With Netflix touting more than a trillion possible permutations for its first grown-up stab at an interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, there’s a lot to unravel.Netflix has been making interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos for more than a year, but Bandersnatch is the first that isn’t a cartoon for kids. The interactivity is simple: A or B choices that branch the plot. But Bandersnatch gives the model a self-referential spin by building the story around a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Netflix press materials note the movie has “five main endings, with multiple variants of each.” Discussions on Black Mirror subreddit, Discord and social media have tried untangling the knot. The pathways can be so convoluted that Netflix has nudged viewers to find scenes that few have uncovered weeks after the movie’s premiere. In fact, Netflix said that of the five main endings, one in which Stefan follows his mother onto the train remains the most hidden, with the fewest number of viewers taking that path. The company has shared that 73 percent of viewers chose for Stefan to accept Tuckersoft’s job offer, and that British viewers were slightly less inclined to spill tea than viewers in the rest of the world. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dropping important financial disclosures during the company’s earnings call. Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even broke into the company’s earnings discussion in January to disclose that 73 percent of Bandersnatch viewers chose Frosties over Sugar Puffs. After two relatively inconsequential interactions about cereal and music, the story starts to offer crucial choices that take you to different plot points or assign attributes to your account that determine what choices you may see in the future. These determine the possible passwords you can enter into the locked cabinet in Stefan’s dad’s office, and they influence the options for how to respond when Stefan calls out “Give me a sign!” when he’s grappling with the idea that somebody is controlling him.Whatever Netflix defines as an “ending” to add up to “five main endings” isn’t really clear, but here are some of the permutations and endings that viewers have mapped out:You choose for Stefan to work with Tuckersoft. Backed by a team, the game is a messy failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. After watching the game review on TV, Stefan yells out that he wants to try again and you loop back with the opportunity to reject Tuckersoft’s offer instead. Stefan jumps from Colin’s balcony, and the game is published after the “tragic accident” without getting a rating. You’re eventually forced to have Stefan discuss his mother’s death with Dr. Haynes. You take the pills that Dr. Haynes prescribes. The game is published but with Stefan’s madness under control, it’s a failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. But hey, nobody dies this time!When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose Netflix, the story takes a meta turn where you either end up with Stefan laughing maniacally as he’s dragged out of the building or Stefan facing a reality where he’s actually on a movie shoot, much to his confusion. When Stefan explores his father’s locked study, if he enters the passcode TOY on the file cabinet and then chooses to leave with his mother to board the train that derails and kills her, Stefan dies in the present day in his therapist’s office because of a timeline paradox. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose PAC, Stefan learns about a government conspiracy, kills his father and ends up in prison after calling Dr. Haynes’ office; the Bandersnatch game is released with a 2.5 star-rating. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you chose the little glyph that Bandersnatch novel author Jerome F. Davies painted all over his walls, then Stefan ends up in prison without Bandersnatch ever being released. Various choices determine whether Stefan ends up in prison after seeing (or sometimes killing) Colin, Tucker, or Colin’s girlfriend Kitty. If you choose to make Stefan chop up his dad’s body, Bandersnatch is released to acclaim with a five-out-of-five rating, but a present-day news report explains the game was pulled after Stefan was imprisoned for murder. A report describes how Colin’s daughter, the baby Pearl that viewers meet briefly during the trip to Colin’s apartment, is a game programmer who wants to revive Bandersnatch. She encounters a bug similar to the one Stefan does, and your choice about whether she destroys her computer or pours tea on it seems to loop you back to earlier points in the story. The interactive story seems to eventually force some choices. No matter how much I tried to avoid talking about Stefan’s mother with the therapist Dr. Haynes, eventually I had no choice but to hear Stefan hash out his mommy issues. And no matter how many times I just wanted to bury Stefan’s dad instead of (gag) chopping up his body, the story eventually just went to repeat loops until I agreed to dismemberment. (Of course, the grisliest choice led to the Bandersnatch game getting the highest possible critical rating…) Protagonist Stefan (left) interacts differently with his game programming hero, Colin (center), and Tuckersoft CEO Tucker (right) depending on the choices you make. Netflix But the way that movie’s interactivity is set up, it also seems that after you’ve followed the course of a few of the endings, it’ll keep prompting you to return to certain choice points that are crucial to unlocking parts of the story you haven’t seen yet. It also seems that you get different endings presented as the “official” end — with video vignettes interspersed into the end credits like other linear episodes often do — depending on where you arrive around the 90-minute mark. And there are sideways trips that the story can take depending on various factors. Sometimes when you choose to pick up the book before Stefan goes to sleep, he dreams that he breaks his bathroom mirror when he touches it. Other times, if you choose to pick up the book, he dreams that he can reach through the mirror to travel back in time. Netflix’s UK and Ireland Twitter account teased viewers on Jan. 8 by suggesting they have Stefan “try picking up the family photo, ~twice~.” That might not be a hard science as our particular playthrough required selecting the photo three times. This will trigger a scene where Stefan is working in his room and suddenly Jerome F. Davies appears before stabbing Stefan in the chest. Stefan will then wake up, the attack being an apparent dream, and the story will continue. Picking up the book to read can unlock different elements depending on previous answers. Netflix/Black Mirror You can also unlock different nightmares (or realities?) depending on the password you enter into the father’s locked file cabinet. TOY seems to be the only way to get to the ending where Stefan dies in his present-day therapist’s office because you choose for him to join his mother on the train in the past. PAC explains a government conspiracy that’s experimenting on and surveilling Stefan, while JFD and PAX give you some creepy jump scares. There’s also a post-credits scene where Stefan listens to his Walkman but instead of hearing music he hears digital noise. Discussion on Reddit says that decoding the sound results in a QR code that leads to a separate online Easter egg. Some viewers have speculated that some elements of the story are chosen at random, a little chaos purposely inserted to drive everyone crazy who attempts to flowchart all the different narrative branches. And there are additional Easter eggs sprinkled outside the video as well. A website for Tuckersoft, the gaming company in the movie, has a landing page that looks like something you’d load with an AOL dial-up connection. Its job recruitment page is styled like a 1980s magazine ad, with actor Asim Chaudhry’s Mohan Tucker pictured. And the Tuckersoft game that Colin is developing when he first meets Stefan — Nohzdyve, an early allusion to the trip off the balcony that Colin and/or Stefan can take later in some Bandersnatch plot branches — is available to play through an emulator. Mike Sorrentino contributed to this story. Editors’ note: This story was first published Dec. 28, 2018 and is updated as more Bandersnatch pathways are discovered. Share your voice 12 17 Photos Comments Aquaman director James Wan the latest celeb to take social media break Tags Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. What we know about the Disney+ streaming service: It’s getting ready to rival Netflix. TV and Movies Digital Media Netflix
Two Muslim men were beaten to death by stick-wielding Indian villagers who suspected them of stealing cows, police said Monday, the latest such attack over the animal Hindus consider sacred.Police in northeastern Assam state’s Nagaon district said they had registered a murder case over the deaths of Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali on Sunday. Two suspects have been detained for questioning.”They were chased and beaten with sticks by villagers who said the two boys were trying to steal cows from their grazing field,” Debaraj Upadhyay, Nagaon’s top cop, told AFP by telephone.”By the time we took them to the hospital at night they had succumbed to their injuries,” he added.Footage shot by local onlookers and aired by Indian broadcasters Monday showed the two badly beaten victims cowering with their hands tied as villagers surrounded them.The incident comes amidst a wave of rising tensions over the killing and smuggling of cows in Hindu-majority India, where the animal is considered sacred and its slaughter is a punishable offence in many states.There have been a spate of attacks in recent months by ‘cow protection’ vigilante groups, who roam highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.Last month a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in Rajasthan state after they discovered cows in his truck. The man was a dairy farmer transporting milk cows.In both that incident and Sunday’s mob beating police were accused of failing to act quickly enough to protect the victims.In the Rajasthan attack, in which 200 vigilantes set upon trucks transport cattle along a highway, police first arrested 11 of those beaten for alleged permit violations instead of rounding up the perpetrators.Upadhyay rejected suggestions that police had reacted too slowly to Sunday’s incident, saying his officers rescued the pair and rushed them to a hospital, where they later died.He also dismissed speculation that a vigilante group or association was involved in the attack.Critics say vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.Last year Modi criticised the cow protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.At least 10 Muslim men have been killed in similar incidents across the country by Hindu mobs on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows in the last two years.Most Indian states have banned cow slaughter and imposed heavy penalties and jail terms on offenders, while the transportation of cattle across state lines is also barred in several jurisdictions.In a renewed effort to protect against cow smuggling, the government plans to issue millions of cows with unique identification numbers linked to a national database.
Logo of arrestPolice arrested four people, including a leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), while they were allegedly consuming yaba pills in Chaitannogoli area of Chattogram on Friday night.The BNP leader is Tinku Das, office secretary of Chattogram city unit of the BNP, reports news agency UNB.The other arrestees are Firoz Alam, 32, Md Shahjahan, 50 and Md Baki, 39.On information, a team of police conducted a raid on the rooftop of a house in the area and caught them red-handed around 9:00pm, said Kotwali police station officer-in-charge Mohammad Mohsin.The law enforcement team also recovered 60 yaba tablets from their possession, he added.A case was filed against the detainees under the Narcotics Control Act, the OC added.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesAttorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.Jeff Sessions did exactly what he needed to do Tuesday — help himself in the eyes of his boss, President Trump, and, in turn, help Trump.But the attorney general, an early Trump supporter, revealed little in the congressional hearing about the ongoing Russia saga or Trump’s role in possibly trying to quash the investigation looking into it.Using vague legal justification, Sessions shut down potentially important lines of investigative questioning — and that may be exactly how the White House wants it.Sessions showed flashes of anger rarely seen from the 70-year-old Alabamian, calling any suggestion that he colluded with Russia to interfere in the U.S. presidential election a “detestable lie.”The tactic — combined with the earlier testimony of high-ranking Trump administration officials, who also deemed it inappropriate to divulge conversations with the president — may have given a road map for the White House to keep its secrets without the public-relations blowback of invoking executive privilege.Sessions wanted this open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee so he could respond to fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey — a man whom, it was revealed Tuesday, Sessions wanted gone before Day 1 — intimated in testimony last week that Sessions’ potential conflicts went deeper than were originally known.Sessions denied all of it and shielded his boss from any potential damage.Silence is golden?It became obvious from the get-go Tuesday that Sessions would not disclose conversations between himself and the president. That cut off lines of inquiry about the exact circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing, what may have happened in the Feb. 14 Oval Office meeting in which Sessions was asked to leave so Trump could speak one-on-one with Comey, as well as Trump’s reaction to Sessions’ recusal.Sessions’ legal rationale for his silence was muddled, at best, and deliberate interference at worst, something Democrats accused him of.“My understanding is that you took an oath,” said New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich in some of the sharpest questioning of the day. “You raised your right hand here today, and you said that you would solemnly tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And now you’re not answering questions. You’re impeding this investigation.”Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon was even more blunt. “I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling,” he said.Sessions shot back: “I am not stonewalling. I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice. You don’t walk into hearing or committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the president of the United States, who is entitled to receive conventional communications in your best judgment about a host of issues, and have to be accused of stonewalling them.”Sessions did not invoke “executive privilege.” As he acknowledged to Heinrich, “I’m not able to invoke executive privilege. That’s the president’s prerogative.”And yet, he told Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who asked if Sessions could “speak more frankly” in a closed session with senators, as Comey did: “I’m not sure. The executive privilege is not waived by going in camera or in closed session.”Sessions repeatedly clung to vague reasoning for not answering many of the senators’ questions. He could not point to specific Justice Department language, even though Sessions said he had consulted with department attorneys before the hearing.Senators got just five minutes each to ask questions (the chairman and vice chairman got 10). When Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked about Sessions’ recollection of meetings with Russian officials or businessmen, he complained, “I’m not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.”When Republican Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina interjected and noted that “the senator’s time has expired,” a wide grin swept across Sessions’ face, as he looked up at the chairman and former colleague.Round and round it went. And all of it probably made Sessions’ boss very happy.“He thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, including NPR’s Tamara Keith, traveling on Air Force One on Tuesday night. She added that Sessions “in particular was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.”Can’t recallSessions’ silence kept a lid on important details that could have illuminated much more of the Russia story. He said he couldn’t “recall” 18 times. It reminded Washington of another attorney general who testified 10 years ago, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales said that he couldn’t “recall” some 60 times in a hearing about the dismissal of federal prosecutors, accusations of coordination with the White House and overall Justice Department leadership.Ironically, Sessions was one of the senators questioning Gonzales that day and expressed frustration with Gonzales’ faulty memory.“Well, I guess I’m concerned about your recollection, really, because it’s not that long ago,” Sessions said. “It was an important issue. And that’s troubling to me, I’ve got to tell you.”Other attorneys general, of course, have evaded congressional questions. Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s attorney general, was held in contempt of Congress for invoking executive privilege and not turning over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” investigation.But if questions coming into Tuesday’s hearing were, “How would Sessions respond to fired FBI Director James Comey’s intimation that there was something else — something classified — about Sessions to be concerned about?” or “What more do we know about President Trump’s role in firing Comey or putting pressure on officials to drop the Russia investigation?” there wasn’t much light shed on them.Having it in for Comey from the beginningWhat was learned, though, was that Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, now deputy attorney general, may have always been looking for a reason to fire Comey — and so was Trump.Sessions revealed that he and Rosenstein discussed before they were even confirmed getting rid of Comey. They wanted a “fresh start,” Sessions said.But Comey was kept on for months after they were both confirmed. And, like Trump, Sessions didn’t exactly criticize Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the presidential campaign. When Comey came forward saying he was reopening the investigation in October of last year, Sessions praised him.“Now, he’s received new evidence,” Sessions said on Fox Business. “He had an absolute duty, in my opinion, 11 days or not, to come forward with the new information that he has and let the American people know that, too.”He added that Comey, after being uncomfortable with the airplane meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, had “stepped up and done what his duty is, I think.”Sessions was critical of the investigation, but seemingly only because it didn’t “get to the bottom” of what happened.“I think it should have used a grand jury,” he said. Sessions wanted people put under oath. “So you have to grill them, and people will surprise you how sometimes they’ll just spill the beans when they’re under oath like that.” He then pointed out that with the “new evidence,” Sessions thought the investigation was “back on track again.”All that seems to undermine the rationale for Comey’s firing that Sessions says he relied on — Rosenstein’s memo that charged Comey acted inappropriately in the handling of the Clinton email investigation.It wasn’t until the stars aligned, as the Russia investigation was heating up, that Sessions and Rosenstein could pull the plug, with at least Trump’s blessing. Sessions also admitted that neither he nor Rosenstein, Comey’s direct supervisor, ever talked to Comey about his job performance.And Trump himself undercut the reasoning for firing Comey that Sessions and Rosenstein had presented, saying he was going to fire Comey anyway “regardless of recommendation.”In Mueller’s courtThe questions will continue, especially of everyone who steps before Congress, but Trump allies have proved that even going under oath won’t shed light on the full details surrounding the Russia investigation and whether Trump pressured high-ranking officials to drop it.That is something that may have to be determined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller when he eventually releases his findings.And Trump allies have already been trying to insulate themselves and the president by attempting to delegitimize whatever Mueller comes up with.The irony, of course, is that if the president has done nothing wrong, as he has insisted all along, Mueller is the one guy in Washington who has the credibility to clear him.Copyright 2017 NPR. 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The Bengali food festival is here again! All the folks out there who crave for bengali food can head on as Welcomhotel Sheraton brings us the opportunity to enjoy the best of bengali delicacies.In Bengal cooking is considered high art. There are indeed two distinct traditions – one from the East, the second from the West, Bangals and Ghotis. The main difference between food cooked in a West Bengali home – those from originally from Kolkata (Calcutta), and its surrounding districts and towns, tastes sweeter.East Bengali home – those from Dhaka (Dacca) now in Bangladesh, generally resists putting sugar in their foods. Fresh water fish is what a true Bengali look forward to. This fest would highlight the best of two Bengals, with its distinct tastes and flavours. So hurry and book your table.
The scorching heat of the summer may be one of the most dreadful times of the year for the grown-ups but for children, it brings with it the euphoria of one of the most anticipated vacations in the calendar. Here are a few reading treats listed for children to read this summer vacation:4Book: The Ammuchi Puchi; Author: Sharanya Manivannan and Nerina Canzi”When Anjali and I were really little, we were sort of afraid of our grandmother, Ammuchi.”Aditya and Anjali love listening to their grandmother’s stories, particularly the scary one about the ghost in the tree. But the night their grandmother passes away, all her stories seem to lose their meaning. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThen something happens that is more mysterious and magical than any story. Could their grandmother still be with them after all?Stunningly illustrated and told in gorgeous, poetic prose, this is a poignant and moving story about bereavement and healing.4Book: Inside India — Festivals and Celebrations; Author: Shachii Manik and Ahmed SikanderJoin Indy and Dia on a super exciting and fun tour of India’s popular, curious and bewildering festivals and celebrations. This activity book for children will help you navigate India’s colourful festival calendar through engaging activities like word searches, crossword puzzles, number games, recipes, art and craft and much more. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive3. Book: Encyclopaedia of DinosaurThis book introduces the readers to the intriguing world of Dinosaurs. The book contains pictures and information about the newly discovered Indian Dinosaurs. A captivating offering to let one know where these creatures lived and what they looked like, it seems just apt for a vacation read.4. Book: A Bagful Of History; Author: Subhadra Sen GuptaLet’s take a walk through history. And as you travel back in time, there are encounters of dinners with Mughal princess Jahanara Begum; a jugalbandi with Miyan Tansen, one can compete with the nawabs of Chandni Chowk in a kite-flying duel, be a part of Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s fight for the education of the girl child, or revolt with Indian sepoys in the Mutiny of 1857. Many more exciting events find mention in the book. Peppered with stunning illustrations and unusual trivia, this is a fascinating read about the unforgettable events and people from Indian history.5. Book: The Children’s Book Of TruthsWhy do people fight? What’s the use of education? Is India rich or poor? Why are stories important? Can anyone be a leader? Is science only about exams? Will planting trees save the earth? Growing up throws up a lot of questions – about people, events and the world around us. Sometimes the answers are in simple black and white, wrong and right, but mostly they are not.In this book, ten truth-explorers and idea-shapers share with you their thought-provoking views on important topics close to your heart and mind. Drawing on their experiences, they help you see many different sides of a question and arrive at the most important truth – your own conclusion, your own interpretation, your own answer.6. Book: Rebel with a paintbrush; Author: Anita VachharajaniAn artist, a citizen of the world and a rebel, Amrita Sher-Gil was one of modern India’s first professional women artists.