I was wrong. Several years ago I reviewed the first Garmin Fenix 3 smartwatch. This was before the release of the Apple Watch. That’s key to this story. I declared Garmin would have a hard time selling the Fenix 3. The Apple Watch would be better in every way, I pointed out. Therefore, there would be little reason to buy the Fenix 3.
But here I am, in the middle of the woods, wearing the fifth generation of the Garmin Fenix while my Apple Watch sits at home on my desk.
In some ways I was right. The Apple Watch is better by most measurable attributes: there are more apps, the screen is superior, there’s a vibrant accessory market, and it’s thinner, faster and cheaper.
The Garmin Fenix is big, clunky and the screen looks like it’s from a Kindle. It’s not a touchscreen nor does it have the number of apps or band options of the Apple Watch. I like it. To me, the Garmin Fenix is akin to a modern Casio G-Shock, and that’s what I want to wear right now.
Smartwatches are often reviewed like phones or vacuums. Specs are compared, and conclusions are drawn. Wearability is talked about, and functions are tested. If the watch has a swimming option, take it in a pool never mind the fact the reviewer hasn’t done a lap since high school.
I started out doing the same thing with this Garmin. I took it kayaking. I had kayaked twice in my life, and dear reader, I’m here to report the watch performed well on this kayak trip. The watch has topography maps that novel though not useful since the river. It has a cadence beat to help keep strokes consistent. I tried it all. I ended up drinking a lot of Michigan beer instead of tracking the performance of the watch. Sorry.
Still, performance matters to a point.
Here’s my OG review of the Garmin Fenix 5: The watch is significant even on my wrist. The screen is underwhelming though it’s always on and visibility improves in sunlight. The buttons have great tactical feedback. The watch is waterproof to the extent it survived a flipped kayak and hours in Lake Michigan. The battery lasts nearly a week. The watch does not know when it’s on or off the wrist, so notifications will cause it to buzz while it’s on your nightstand.
But most of that doesn’t matter. The Garmin Fenix 5 is exceptional, and I love wearing it.
Smartwatches need to be reviewed like ordinary watches. I need to explain more about how the watch feels rather than what it does or how it works. At this point, several years into smartwatches, it’s not notable if the smartwatch with a smartwatch. Of course, it tracks steps and heart rate and displays select notifications from my phone. If those items work then, they’re not important in a review.
Take a Citizen Skyhawk line. It packs a highly sophisticated complication that’s designed, so the maker says, for pilots. Ball makes a lovely line intended to provide accurate timekeeping for train conductors. There are watches for high magnetic fields, tactical operators, racer car drivers and, of course, countless for divers. Here’s my point: The vast majority of these watches are not used by divers or train conductors or fighter pilots.
This Garmin Fenix watch, much like the Apple Watch or Rolex diver, can be an aspirational item. It’s like the juicer in my kitchen or rowing machine in my basement. I got it because I wanted to be a person who woke up and juiced some veggies before my workout. I haven’t used either in months.
Smartwatches are different from smartphones and need to be reviewed as such. This Garmin Fenix watch has many modes I would never use, yet I love the watch. There’s a base jumping mode. I’m not jumping off a cliff. There’s a tactical mode and a golf mode and an open water mode, and I have no desire to be in situations where I need to track such activities. But I like the thought of having them available if I ever wanted to monitor my heartbeat while shooting targets.
The smartwatch industry is approaching a point where features are secondary to design. It’s expected that the watch will track steps and heartbeat while providing access to various features. It’s like the time and date of a regular watch. Past that, the watch needs to fit in a person’s aspirations.
Everyone is different, but to me, this is how it is laid out: The Apple Watch is for those looking for the top-tier experience regardless of the downsides of constant charging and delicate exterior. Android Watches are those looking for something similar but in a counter-culture way. The Samsung’s smartwatch is interesting and with the new Galaxy Watch, finally reaching maturity.
There are fashion smartwatches with fewer features but designs that make a statement. That’s where this Garmin watch lives and I’m okay with it. Fossil and Timex watches live here too. Using the Apple Watch as a standard, some of these fashion watches cost more, and some cost less, but they all say something an Apple Watch does not.
I’m bored with the Apple Watch, and right now I’m into thinking I live the type of life that needs a smartwatch that tracks every aspect of a triathlon. I don’t need all these features, but I like to think I do. I also don’t need to have a GMT watch with a third timezone, and I don’t need a watch with a hacking movement hand as if I need to synchronize my watch with other members of my special forces squad. But I have those watches along with dive watches and anti-magnetic watches. I’m not alone. The watch industry has long existed on selling lifestyles.
I was wrong before. The Apple Watch isn’t better than this Garmin or most other smartwatches— at least it’s not better for me right now. Maybe two weeks from now I’ll want to wear an Apple Watch and not because it’s better, but because it makes a different statement.
The funeral cortege was greeted by applause and shouts of the brothers’ catchphrase by hundreds of fans gathered outside the ground.
Barry’s younger brother Paul was among those who carried the coffin in through the players’ entrance.
Paul had described Barry as his “very best friend”, after his death on 5 August following a short illness.
Famous faces including Roy Chubby Brown, Vicki Michelle, Linda Nolan, Bernie Clifton, Tommy Cannon and Billy Pearce were among those invited inside the stadium.
Yorkshire comedian Billy Pearce said: “I think Barry would be honoured and elated to see that so many people loved him so much.
“I think that’s the main thing and we will all miss him.”
Vicki Michelle, of ‘Allo ‘Allo! fame, said her favourite memory of Barry was a night out in Birmingham where they were appearing in panto together, and seeing Barry “dancing in a Chuckle sandwich with a girl either side of him”.
She said wherever he went people would call out, “To me, to you”.
“It’s going to be sad today. My heart goes out to his family, his brother Paul in particular and his children.”
About 400 fans gathered outside the ground to pay their respects.
Lisa Scranage, 45, and her fiance Mark Kitchen, 37, got to the stadium with her 14-year-old son Ryan at 10:00 BST, having travelled from Featherstone.
Ms Scranage said she first watched ChuckleVision as a child after school and her love of Barry and Paul grew from there.
She went regularly to shows and often stayed behind to chat to the brothers, becoming friends with them.
“They have given us so much over the years as the Chuckle Brothers, so this is the last chance to give a little bit back to Barry, to say goodbye and pay our respects,” she said.
The couple had asked Barry Chuckle to come to their wedding.
At the scene
Oliver Wright BBC News Online
The road up to the stadium was lined with hundreds of well wishers, keen to say goodbye to Barry.
Some had arrived as early as 10:00 to find a spot, travelling from across Yorkshire and further afield.
All the people I spoke to were delighted to share their happy memories of growing up watching him and his brother on TV or in pantomime.
The famous faces he worked with through his career all painted a picture of a man who was a joy to work with and will be dearly missed.
As the hearse approached a ripple of applause broke out among the crowd and a few shouts of “To me, to you” could be heard.
There were at least a few people who shed a tear as his coffin was carried in to the stadium for the private service.
Will Cowan, 18, from Doncaster, came wearing a Chuckle Brothers T-shirt.
“I can’t remember when I started watching them to be honest – [probably] since I was born,” he said.
“It’s been a really nice send-off for Barry. He’s such a legend.
“Even now you can still enjoy their sketches. It works if you’re five or 95.”
One young Chuckle Brothers fan travelled with his father 100 miles from Birmingham to pay his respects.
Alfie, 10, said: “I first went to see them at the pantomime in Wolverhampton around two years ago and I just became a megafan of them.
“I just love their episodes and every morning I’m watching their episodes of ChuckleVision.”
Hit up a skate park on Manhattans Lower East Side and, amid the skater bros and dudes smoking weed, youll find a tight-knit unit of talented teenage women. With unruly hair whipping their faces and socks pulled up under their Vans, the women belong to an inclusive group of young female skaters self-dubbed Skate Kitchen. The names a two-fingered salute to all the dickheads who have jeered at them to get off the quarter pipes and back in the kitchen.
These are the badass women cruising and kickflipping through Crystal MosellesSkate Kitchen, a narrative film adapted from the girls real lives. At its center is Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a Long Island native and skillful skater who religiously follows the girl gang on Instagram. Breaking her mothers rules, Camille begins trekking into the city to hang at the womens stomping ground, skating and smoking and making online videos. She becomes fast friends with the crew, getting particularly close to Kurt (Nina Moran), a no-filter firecracker, and Janay (Ardelia Lovelace), whose comfortable house and kindly dad make for a great summer refuge.
Riding the Brooklyn G train in 2016, Moselle, whod blown everyones mind the year before with her stranger-than-fiction debut documentary The Wolfpack, overheard a couple of teens recounting their past nights escapades. Moselle couldnt help but listen in. Nina has this incredible voice. It just travels, says Moselle, wearing giant crescent moon earrings and sipping on a green juice in Manhattan the week before the films release. She can silence a room.
But what really caught Moselles attention wasnt what the girls (who turned out to be Vinberg and Moran) were saying, but what they were toting: skateboards. When they got off at the same stop, Moselle cornered the teens and introduced herself while trying to covertly record them on her phone. They totally caught me, Moselle recalls. I actually still have the video.
The chance encounter spurred a years-long collaboration, resulting in what would become Moselles first narrative feature. To pen the script, Moselle copied down stories from the womens lives and shuffled them around on a big board. The Skate Kitchen consulted on every step, taking part in periodic improv workshops to ensure each scene felt organic and the dialogue true to their vernacular.
Similar to The Wolfpackin which Moselle observes a gaggle of teenage brothers quarantined in a tenement apartment by protective parentsSkate Kitchen engages the sort of anti-scripted yet lightly stilted vibe of a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Dialogue is slangy and off the cuff. Thats valid is the movies most-recited phrase.
But reproducing skate parlance was only one part of Moselles mission. Devising realistic day-to-day conversationsranging from tampons to crushes to hookupswas the bigger challenge. Theres a real innocence to these girls and their scene. Its not, like, drug-fueled. Its very fun, Moselle says. I think Nina told me about how shed made out with three girls in one night, and I was like, OK, thats something we have to recreate.
In one scene, lounging at Janays, Kurt interrogates Camille about her sexual preference. Do you like dick or pussy? she demands. Boys I like boys, Camille offers. Unfazed, Kurt replies, I like pussy. Good pussy. Later on, Camille approaches a different friend about a guy shes been seeing. Do you like him? she asks. I like how he gives me head, the friend replies, her mouth curled into a sly smile.
I love to see New York in a new perspective. And to shut down the idea that New York is dead. Im like, you dont hang out with enough teenagers. These girls are finding a new version of New York every single day.
Story-wise, Skate Kitchen hits familiar coming-of-age beatsthe strict mother, the best friend secrets, the love trianglebut its casual verisimilitude elevates it to a league of its own. Of course, it doesnt hurt that its characters are dynamic, hardcore female athletes, the type of women you dont tend to see on the big screen.
With the movies buzz, Moselle has become the newest inductee into a nebulous girl gang of her own, an expanding (but still criminally scant) array of modern female directors approaching womens stories with a refreshing sense of authenticity: Andrea Arnold, Dee Rees, Elizabeth Wood. Arnolds 2016 teen road epic American Honey is a particularly frequent point of comparison for Moselles film due to the parallel hip-hop soundtracks, zippy handheld camera, and brave trust in first-time actors.
The only young professional cast member in Skate Kitchen is Jaden Smith, who plays Camilles love interest Devon. Smith came to mind for the part while Moselle and the crew were brainstorming actors; it was important that whoever played him actually knew how to skateboard. Serendipitously, Smith had DMed Vinberg on Instagram months earlier, complimenting her videos and inviting her to skate in Los Angeles should she ever be in town. Like Shia LaBeouf in American Honey, Smith slips into the ensemble seamlessly, drawing undue attention only via his hair, dyed bright red.
Moselle also shares Arnolds observant eye and sense of adventure. New York City has a long cinematic history, but in Skate Kitchen the familiar environs feel fresh and invigorating. The secret, Moselle says, was letting the girls take the lead. I love to see New York in a new perspective, she says. And to shut down the idea that New York is dead. Im like, you dont hang out with enough teenagers. These girls are finding a new version of New York every single day.
Teen girls have long been seen as notoriously mysterious creatures, and notoriously difficult to capture onscreen. But thats only because the majority who have endeavored to do so are of a different gender and generation. To them, the Skate Kitchen may as well be from another universe. Its no wonder viewers are also likening Skate Kitchen to Kids, the canonized exemplar of raw teenage realism written by a young Harmony Korine: Both films got a boost from someone on the inside.
Theres so many stories about what people think women talk about, says Moselle. The people that are putting the films out into the worldtheyre not women, theyre men. And I think its time for them to realize that people do want to see these films. That they want these stories to live.
She adds, Whats cool is that I think a lot of these films are being financed right now, but as far as them actually getting out into the world, its a little bit more tough. So I think its just about pushing forward.
Several minutes into her twice-eponymous film, Madeline (Helena Howard), cocooned in an elaborate turtle costume, waddles along the beach. She rushes toward the breaking waves as the camera jerks behind. Madeline, what are you doing? a voice chides.
Suddenly were inside an empty theater. Madeline lies prostrate on a bare stage, breast-stroking the air in a green sweater. You were a sea turtle and then you were a woman playing a sea turtle, instructs Evangeline (Molly Parker), Madelines experimental theater troupe director. She clasps Madelines hands. Whose hands are those? Are they yours, or are they the turtles?
In Madelines Madeline, theres a loopy line between the real and the imagined. Chaos is the movies baseline, with fractured images and sounds that bleed and blur and quake, so unstable as to feel radioactive. Ordinary exchanges erupt into abstract colors; scenes drag out or last just a few moments. The movies one constant is Madeline, a temperamental teenager and aspiring stage actor who appears in nearly every frame. We get to know her image well: stormy eyes, lanky limbs, sly smile. Its ironic that she becomes our visual anchor when she cant find stable ground herself.
Madeline lives with her mother Regina (Miranda July), a skittish woman who surveils her daughters erratic moods with a mixture of dread and wonder. When Madeline hops on the kitchen table purring like a cat, Regina plays along, stroking Madelines head and murmuring, good kitty. In other moments, her attempts to stabilize Madeline go too far or backfire. When Madeline tells Regina about her first kiss with a boy she likes, Regina frets about herpes and self-protection. And when she catches Madeline watching porn with neighborhood boys, she loses it completely.
Theater class provides Madelines only escape from her family dysfunction, and Evangeline, who is pregnant with her first child, grows into a kind of solicitous surrogate mother to her. But after Madeline confides in Evangeline about a dream (a repressed wish, per Freud) in which she struck her mother with a hot iron, things take a turn. Coaxed by Evangeline, the troupe begins to transmute the mother-daughter relationship into fodder for the immersive theater show theyre developing. Play-acting the breakdown onstage, Madeline becomes the troupes star. But boundaries are being crossed and rewritten. Is Madeline a sea turtle or a woman performing? Is her murderous rage against her mother genuine or just pretend?
In many ways, Evangeline is a dramatized stand-in for Josephine Decker, the films writer-director. The seed of the film was planted when Decker discovered Howardwho had never been in a movie before Madelines Madelineat a teen arts festival; Howard performed a monologue from the somber stage drama Blackbird that left Decker in awe.
It was clear that she had a lot of access to her emotions, and she was able to be very, very vulnerable, Decker says on a sunny Monday in Brooklyn several weeks before the films release. I think actors are kind of like the new gods. At times that seems ridiculous, but I think the ones who are worth worshippingthey are almost gods. Theyre accessing all of humanity in their career as actors, and doing that is powerful. Youre kind of meeting the spirit world. I felt like she could do that, so I wanted to be closer to that and do a work that would showcase that.
Deckers third feature after two smaller but equally mesmerizing indies, Madelines Madeline is the juicy fruit of an entirely collaborative effort: hours of improv workshops, debates, and analysis among Decker, Howard, and the ten actors who form Howards troupe in the movie. Through the workshops, Decker says, The troupe itself became a characterkind of one organism that was speaking with this collective mind about their frustrations with the process.
The result is an immersive piece of meta-art that transcends conventional narrative boundaries and probes the ethics of collaboration, authority, and ownership.
Together, the team baked their difficulties and discontents into the films script. The result is an immersive piece of meta-art that transcends conventional narrative boundaries and probes the ethics of collaboration, authority, and ownership. In the film, Evangeline ignores the troupes grievances as her laser-focus on achieving her creative vision veers into megalomania. Decker spent the duration of her project agonizing that she was doing the same.
It was my deep fear: of not being aware of what was going on in the room, not checking in with people about their experience, letting the project come before the people, says Decker. Thats not to say that I got it right. I think that I fucked up a lot of those throughout the process, which ended up being why I wanted to put them in the movie. Nobody talks about these subtle exploitations.
She adds, Is there a line in regards to exploitation? I think the line is different for every project and every relationship. But it should be defined by very deeply encountering the people youre working with, and identifying potential holes in the process, and trying to clarify your own intentionsor maybe lack of knowledge about what youre doing.
The film is such an exceptional inventionfluid and delirious, with each scene resembling a dream or a foggy memorythat it feels almost sacrilegious to address it on the same terms as a coherent, linear narrative. Structurally, the film is more akin to a complicated piece of orchestral music. As with melodies in a song, themes and cryptic motifs will arise, vanish, reappear. During production, Decker says, she listened to George GershwinsRhapsody in Blue like forty times in a row. To Decker, the composition is amazing because it sets up one set of themes at the beginning and then just plays with them again and again throughout. You feel when a theme needs to come back, or when you want to delay, delay, delay.
In Deckers film, mental illness provides one of the most central themes. Murmurs of pills and past hospitalizations occur throughout, and we watch Madeline ride out moody dips and manic peaks. Were never sure what exactly she suffers from, but imposing any type of diagnosis seems counterintuitive. Though her troubles extend beyond the gamut of normal teenage angst, theyre too distinctive and interlaced in the movies unique form to get bogged down with particulars.
One reading of the films unruly style and structure is that theyre meant to echo Madelines experience of the worldas if the film were a lens through which we can weather the waves of life as Madeline does. But the film is more than an immersive portrayal of psychosis; to take it that way is to ignore the very specific voice of its director, which reverberates through the film with lyrical gusto.
I love that the film can be read in multiple ways, Decker says. If I want to have the audience have an experience where theyre making up their own minds about meaning or what really happened, I have to also be asking that question. If Ive answered it for myself, the audience is going to feel that and theyll all come to that conclusion. So I tried to not answer all those questionshow much is in her mind, how much is in realityto leave it pretty open.
True to her intention, the story of Madelines Madeline can be taken as real or illusory, or some combination of the two. It can also be accepted as inscrutable. Mostly, it is engrossing and transcendent, and its the closest a movie has ever come to unlocking the spirit of immersive theater.
By the end, when Madeline does begin to squirm free of Evangelines toxic grip, it doesnt represent a restoration of Madelines safety or sanity; rather, its just another step in her windy route to self-realization. No matter what, Madeline wont be Evangelines or Reginas or even Deckers. Like a truly visionary artist, she doesnt belong to anyone but herself.
If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know it’s a silent monster eating away at you from the inside out — and it wears so many faces.
Whether it looks like a smiling wife or a frazzled mother, appearance does not dictate how deadly it feels in the pit of your stomach.
Everyday tasks can seem impossible. Showering, getting out of bed, putting on your shoes, driving to the grocery store, and doing the dishes can all seem like huge mountains that you simply can’t move because the monster is holding you down with the weight of its negative, invisible presence.
And the vicious cycle only perpetuates as self-loathing and worthlessness set in when you can’t accomplish simple tasks.
While many Christians are tempted to think depression is a spiritual problem, it is actually a very real medical problem that stems from a chemical imbalance. It’s as real as cancer, and though it can’t be seen, it can wreak havoc on your whole life.
The way depression cripples each person may vary, but sharing our different stories and experiences can make sufferers feel a little less alone in this world.
Brittany Ernsperger decided to do just that in a viral Facebook post that has been widely shared across the web by people who feel the same way. Read her post in full below, and be sure to share your own personal experience in the comments. In the words of Brittany, “we can only help one another by lifting each other up.” Remember you are NOT alone:
“This is what depression looks like.”
“No. Not the clean dishes.
But that there were that many dishes in the first place; that I’ve gone 2 weeks without doing them.
[Three] days ago I sat on the kitchen floor and stared at them while I cried. I knew they needed to be done. I wanted to do them so bad.
But depression pulled me under. It sucked me in. Like a black hole. Rapidly, sinking quick-sand.
I walked by them morning and night and all day long. And just looked at them. Telling myself that I could do them. Telling myself that I would. And feeling defeated [every day] that I didn’t. Making the depression only that much worse because not accomplishing something that needs to be done is failure.
Worthless. Failure. Piece of shit. Incompetent. Stupid. Lazy.
All things that roll through the mind of someone with depression. All. Day. Long.
Throw anxiety on top of it, and you’ve got yourself a real treat.
Being scared your husband will leave because he thinks you’re lazy. Being scared to let people into your home because they’ll think you’re nasty. Feeling like you’re failing your kids because for the 3rd night in a row you don’t have any clean dishes to cook dinner on.. so pizza it is. Again.
And the worst part of it all, it’s not just with the dishes. The laundry, cleaning, dressing yourself, taking a shower, dressing your kids, brushing your and their teeth, normal everyday tasks. It all becomes a nightmare. A very daunting task. Somedays it doesn’t get done at all.
Depression is something that ‘strong’ people don’t talk about because they don’t want people to think they’re ‘weak.’
You’re not weak. You’ve been strong for so long and through so many things, that your body needs a break.
I don’t even care if the only thing you did today, was put deodorant on. I’m proud of you for it. Good job. I’m in your corner. I’m on your side.
I’m not looking for sympathy, not in the slightest.
But I am letting everyone know that I’m here for you. I get it. If you need someone to talk to, I’m always here to help.
I wasn’t expecting this to get as much love as it has gotten.
Ladies, if you’re feeling this way, send me a friend request. I’ll do my best to help you or get you the help you need. We’ll figure it out together.
We can only help one another by lifting each other up. I’m here for you. “
When you were a kid you were afraid of the dark because of monsters lurking in the shadows, well Irish illustrator Brian Coldrick has cast these creatures as the stars of his ongoing webcomic and book “Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories.” Each image is a beautiful and haunting one-panel illustration that shows a monster hiding just in arms reach, along with darkly humorous one-sentence captions. The London-based artist states that although none of his short tales are direct adaptations of existing stories, they do touch on “well worn horror tropes.”
Coldrick said told Bored Panda that his inspiration for the series sprung from his love for horror films, books, and spooky internet stories, “Just before I started the series I’d been reading through some Creepy Pastas, the internet’s version of spooky folk tales, and also lots of accounts of ‘real life’ supernatural encounters on sites like Reddit.”
An illustrator since 2003, he began ‘Behind You’ in April 2015 and confessed it was partly borne as an attempt to tackle his laziness. “I had wanted to do a continuing webcomic for a while, but I was worried I’d lose interest after starting a story I thought if each installment was a snippet of a different tale I could start afresh each time. It also had the great side effect of leaving much of the story to be decided by the reader. It’s probably the main reason people enjoy the series.”
With a style all his own, these murky pictures have a charm you can’t ignore. The artist said he uses a hand pencil to create his characters but works with Photoshop to create the backgrounds, add texture, and make the animations. Although he has many artistic influences, (such as horror comics Junji Ito and Emily Carroll), he said GIF illustrators Rebecca Mock and Sachin Teng had a direct influence on his attempts to make his own illustrations move.
When it comes to Coldrick’s creative process the order can vary.”I almost always start with the image first but once or twice a phrase has popped into my head and I’ve worked back from there. Rather than a coherent story, the first step is usually one element. In the early days of the series it might have been a desire to draw a particular kind of creepy monster, but later on it’s been the setting. A kitchen at night illuminated by a fridge light, or an escalator on the Underground. Sometimes it can be something darker like the loneliness, doubts or anxieties that emerge once no one else is around.”
In addition to “Behind You,” Coldrick draws editorial pieces, posters, book covers and character designs. Check out some of his nightmarish illustrations from this quirky webcomic series below!
DENVER – The father of two young girls found submerged in oil tanks after being missing for days told authorities his pregnant wife killed the children after learning he wanted a separation, and that he erupted in rage after witnessing the killings and strangled their mother inside the family’s suburban Denver home, according to court documents.
Days after letting police inside his home so they could help find his missing family, Christopher Watts told investigators “he would tell the truth.”
Watts first asked to speak with his father then admitted to killing his wife, Shannan. Watts told police in court papers released Monday that he killed her after witnessing her strangling one of the girls on a baby monitor. The other child had already been killed by the woman, he said.
Watts, 33, faces three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murdering a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday and is being held without bail.
District Attorney Michael Rourke declined to answer questions about the case Monday but said his office has three prosecutors working on it. Rourke also said it was too early to discuss whether he will seek the death penalty.
Police first visited the family’s house on Aug. 13, after a friend asked officers to check on Shanann Watts. She had missed a doctor’s appointment and wasn’t answering calls or text messages hours after returning home after a business trip, the friend reported.
With Christopher Watts’ approval, police searched the house and found his wife’s cellphone stuffed inside a couch. Her purse was on a kitchen island and a suitcase was at the bottom of the stairs.
A detective spoke to Christopher Watts and learned about his separation plans. Watts first described the conversation with Shannan as civil but later told police that “they were both upset and crying” and she planned to go to a friend’s house that day, the court papers said.
When Shanann Watts and the girls did not return home by Tuesday morning, investigators ramped up their efforts with the help of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Christopher Watts was interviewed by several local television stations, asking for the return of his family and discussing how much he missed spending time with his children.
It wasn’t until Wednesday night that he made his promise to tell police the truth.
According to Watts’ account, the early hours of Aug. 13 began with an intense conversation. He said he told his wife that he wanted a separation. Separately in the papers released Monday, investigators said they learned that Watts was “actively involved in an affair with a co-worker,” something he denied in earlier conversations with police.
Watts told police that after discussing the separation he walked downstairs.
When he returned, he told them he spotted a baby monitor on his wife’s nightstand — displaying her “actively strangling” their 3-year-old daughter, Celeste. He said the video feed also showed their other daughter, 4-year-old Bella, “sprawled out on her bed and blue.”
“Chris said he went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death,” the document said.
Police found surveillance video from a neighbor showing Watts’ truck backing into the driveway at 5:27 a.m. and shortly after driving away from the house in Frederick, a small town on the grassy plains north of Denver where fast-growing subdivisions like the one the Watts family lived in intermingle with drilling rigs and oil wells.
Watts, an operator with Anadarko Petroleum, said he loaded his wife and daughters’ bodies into the back seat of his truck and drove to an oil work site about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of the family’s home. There, he buried Shanann Watts’ body and “dumped the girls inside” oil tanks, according to the court document.
Separate court documents filed by Watts’ defense attorney last week said the girls’ bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before police found the remains late Thursday. Their mother’s body was found nearby, in a shallow grave, according to prosecutors.
Anadarko, one of Colorado’s largest oil and gas drillers, has since fired Watts.
The court filing says Watts gave police an aerial photograph of the area and identified three areas where he placed the bodies. Investigators used a drone to search the area and spotted a bed sheet that matched other linens in the family home, along with fresh dirt.
Shanann Watts’ social media social media posts show the girls playing with their father and each other. The couple married in North Carolina nearly six years ago, and moved to Colorado soon after.
Shanann’s father, Frank Rzucek, spoke to reporters for the first time on Monday. In a statement, he thanked police for their efforts, along with friends and neighbors who organized a candlelight vigil outside the family’s home last week.
“Keep the prayers coming for our family,” Rzucek said.
NEW YORK – A man who jumped out of a freezer and threatened employees with a knife at a New York City brunch spot and then died was a suspected cold-case killer who had just been released from jail in Boston, authorities revealed on Monday.
Carlton Henderson screamed “Away from me, Satan!” as he rushed out of the walk-in freezer at Sarabeth’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side Sunday morning, police said. Kitchen employees stripped away the knife and took him to the floor, police said, and he went into cardiac arrest.
Henderson was facing murder charges in the 1988 shooting deaths of 26-year-old William Medina and 22-year-old Antonio Dos Reis.
Henderson, 54, of Cave Creek, Arizona, got out of jail last Wednesday when a judge threw out key evidence in the pending double-murder case and ordered him released on his own recognizance.
Judge Janet Sanders said Henderson’s 1993 statements suggesting his involvement in the 1988 killings were inadmissible because he and investigators had an understanding that they couldn’t be used against him.
Henderson was looking to trade the information for a reduction in his 15-year prison sentence on drug and gun charges, Sanders wrote, and investigators treated him as a cooperating witness — not a target or a suspect — in his 55 hours of questioning.
Prosecutors argued such an informal immunity agreement, known as a proffer, would have been made in writing and no corroborating paperwork has been found.
Police arrested Henderson in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2017 after bullets from the Boston killings were matched to a gun recovered in a fatal shooting in Miami in 1993.
It’s also similarly pricey at $200 for the 8-inch display and $250 for the 10-inch version, which I’ve been using at home for just over a week.
With a priced at $130, the big question on everyone’s mind is: Is a touchscreen worth another $70-120?
I wish there was a simple answer, but it all comes down to how much you value the information that gets displayed on the screen. A display is great for showing information that can’t be conveyed verbally, but it’s also not a necessity for everyone.
Fits right at home
I think most people agree the Echo Show is more functional than beautiful. Sure, the design is less of an eyesore the more you use it, but that doesn’t mean we should just accept ugly design. Anyone who’s seen the knows what I’m talking about.
Compared to the Show, the Smart Display is a looker; it has a -ish vibe going for it. It’s slick and fits in well in the kitchen or on a bookshelf, two places it’s likely to end up.
The 8-inch model comes with a white frame around the display and a gray backside. On my 10-inch device, the frame’s also white, but the rear has a bamboo finish.
The Smart Display is meant to be stood up in landscape, but you prop it up vertically for making video calls using Duo, Google’s FaceTime clone. Don’t bother trying to stand it up vertically for regular use because the interface only works in landscape.
The smaller Smart Display has a 1,280 x 800 HD resolution and the larger one has 1,920 x 1,200 full HD resolution. I can’t speak for the smaller screen, but the 10-inch Smart Display’s IPS screen is bright, sharp, and has nice wide viewing angle. It’s comparable to a decent tablet display.
The 10-incher comes with a single 2-inch 10-watt speaker with two passive tweeters and dual array microphones. For buttons, there are just the essentials: a volume button, a physical mute switch, and — this one I really like — a physical camera privacy shutter that blocks the 5-megapixel camera.
Honestly, any camera-equipped device that’s always “looking” at you should have a privacy shutter just for peace of mind. Extra points to Lenovo for including one.
Lenovo really nailed the Smart Display’s hardware, but the size might be a problem for some people. The 10-inch model’s nearly twice the width of an Echo Show and can dominate a smaller kitchen counter or bedside table.
If you’ve used a Google Home or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker of any kind, you’ll know exactly what capabilities to expect from the Smart Display.
Everything you can do with a Google Home you can also do on the Smart Display. That means asking the Google Assistant to tell you the weather, play your music, control smart home devices, set alarms, make phone calls, search for things, etc.
The dual 2 x 2 microphones work really well. The Smart Display was able to pick up my “Hey, Google” requests even when it was playing music at the highest volume. At close range, it could also pick up the wake word if I whispered it.
The single speaker has decent range, too. Side-by-side with the Echo Show, the Smart Display sounds a lot clearer. Music sounds less muffled, and the bass isn’t as distorted at higher levels. On the Show, the speakers crackled as they tried to push more air. The only edge the Show has over the Smart Display is that it’s capable of louder sound. But that’s not really much of an advantage since it’s rare you’ll ever crank these kinds of tabletop smart devices to full volume.
The value of the Smart Display, like the Echo Show, is of course its screen. The touchscreen interface is extremely stripped-down — there’s no grid of apps or app drawer — and serves as a reminder that the Smart Display isn’t a tablet. As such, it’s for short voice and bite-sized screen interactions.
On standby, the screen shows the time and weather. Tap it and it takes you to a home screen with an expanded weather forecast. Swipe to the left to scroll to access features like music. A right swipe from the left bezel returns you to the home screen. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up controls for adjusting brightness, volume, and toggling Do Not Disturb mode.
All of these touch controls can also be performed with voice controls. So instead of swiping on the bezels, you can just say say “Hey Google, go back” or “Hey Google, go home.”
Voice controls are super convenient, especially when your hands aren’t free, but there are many times where visual information is either more useful or augments the digital assistant experience.
For example, Google Maps. It’s great that a Google Home can tell you how long it takes to go somewhere, but it’s even better when you can see the route and all the additional info that comes with Google Maps such as street names, nearby restaurants, etc.
Same goes for showing information such as your Google Calendar, the upcoming five-day forecast, album art, Google Translations, to name a couple of things. These are all things that are better with visual info.
The most obvious use for the screen is for playing videos and displaying photos. If you have the Smart Display set up in your kitchen, the display’s really handy for showing recipe instructions (Google’s even condensed popular recipes from various independent online sources into easy-to-follow step-by-step slides) and for watching tutorials on YouTube.
I can’t stress enough how convenient it is to have YouTube videos on the Smart Display. It’s infinitely more valuable than watching Amazon Prime Video on the Echo Show. While chopping veggies one night, I simply asked the Google Assistant to show me Mashable’s MacBook Pro video without ever lifting a finger off my knife.
Similarly, you can tell the Google Assistant to show you photos. By default, it’ll pull photos from your Google Photos gallery first. I asked to show photos of my mom and because I had her face ID’d and tagged in my Peoples & Pets section within Google Photos, it pulled up all her photos.
The screen’s also essential for video calling over Google’s Duo service. Video and audio quality is alright. I used the Smart Display to video call Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal’s iPhone X and though the connection was solid, the video call picture quality was average.
For almost all screen info, the Smart Display also includes a handful of actions that you can take either with touch or voice. But sometimes, actions aren’t clearly labeled. For instance, I pretty much guessed at using voice controls to scroll through this recipe’s steps, and it worked even though it wasn’t clear how to do so:
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t quite get all of Google search just because the Smart Display has a screen. There’s no Google app where you can manually search the web like you can on Android or iOS. Which kind of sucks because when Google doesn’t understand something, it’d be great to have the option to perform a manual search.
One good example was when I asked for a meatloaf recipe. It worked the first time with the Smart Display showing recipes from a couple of publications. But for whatever reason, the time I asked for meatloaf recipes, the Google Assistant apologized and said it couldn’t understand what I wanted. After a handful of fails, it finally understood the command again.
Then again, Alexa fared way worse. When asked for meatloaf recipes, it just messed with me — every single time:
After trying out the Smart Display, I’m convinced that smart speakers are better with screens. There’s no doubt in my mind that certain information is better shown than spoken. With the Lenovo’s Smart Display you can the best of both voice and touch.
You don’t have to use the touchscreen if you don’t want to. It’s there to augment the experience, which is still primarily voice-based.
The Smart Displays aren’t cheap at $200 for the 8-incher and $250 for the 10-incher. But they’re also not outrageously priced when compared to the $230 Echo Show.
Regardless of the model, you’re getting what is arguably a richer and more meaningful experience than you get with the Show. The Smart Display is prettier and has a larger screen. The Google Assistant is smarter and does more than Alexa. It also plays YouTube videos, which the Show can’t.
That tablet and dock combo, however, is powered by Alexa. With the Google Assistant, the Smart Displays are more intelligent, but if you can make do without the deep Google services integrations, it’s a much better buy for something that’s probably going to end up as kitchen toy.
However, if the decision’s only between the Echo Show and the , I’d go with the latter unless you’re already locked into the Alexa ecosystem.
In a new documentary entitled I Am Paul Walker, details of which are reported by People, his mother Cheryl said, We were having this good conversation, and hed forgotten about an event he had… He got a text and said, Oh my gosh, Im supposed to be somewhere!
Walker leapt up from his seat and dashed out the door.
His mother would never see Paul again.
Upon leaving the charity event, Paul, 40, hitched a ride in the passenger seat of his friend Roger Rhodas Porsche Carrera GT.
Minutes later, the car went out of control, hit a tree, and exploded into flames, killing both men.
Gruesomely, it was later established that Walker survived the crash but was burned to death in the vehicle, trapped by his seat belt.
Lawsuits by the mens families contested a sheriffs report that stated that the car was speeding, traveling at around 80 mph when it hit the tree.
Meadow Walker reportedly collected a $10.1 million settlement in 2016 from the estate of Rhodas, and a further undisclosed amount from Porsche, claiming design defects in the car contributed to her fathers death.
Documents claimed the cars seat belt snapped Walkers torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis, and Walkers lawyers accused Porsche of knowing the Carrera GT had a history of instability and control issues.
Walker, famed for his surfer dude good looks, was in the midst of filming Fast and Furious 7 at the time of his death.
In the documentary, which is due to be screened next week, Cheryl says: I think so many people think, Oh, he was just a movie star who was killed in a car accident. But there was so much more to him. That was just a piece of who he was. He was an amazing man.
Five years after his death, People reports, family members mark Pauls birthday on Sept. 12 by visiting one of the actors favorite surf spots and throwing sunflowers into the ocean.
Ive gotten letters from people all over the world who said he made a difference in their lives, says Cheryl. That is such a blessing. Hes never forgotten.