Breaking down ‘Bad’

first_imgSpoiler alert: Walter White could have lived.That’s right — not even “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan was certain of the fate of his antihero, played by Bryan Cranston, when it came time to draft last fall’s season finale.“Everything was on the table,” Gilligan told a Farkas Hall crowd Thursday in a conversation that proved illuminating but also nail-biting for hundreds of fans seeking a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a show whose five-season run has been hailed as one of the best in TV history.But before the audience had their say, Gilligan broke down “Bad” with Harvard President Drew Faust, who admitted that she, like others in attendance, was a big fan after having “binge-watched” the series on Netflix.Her first question: “Where did the preposterous premise come from?”Gilligan giggled.The Richmond, Va., native explained that the idea came during a phone call from a fellow “X-Files” writer. With that show over, “he joked that we should buy an RV and start a meth lab, and as he said that the idea was one of those eureka moments,” said Gilligan. “The idea that I was about to turn 40, and we were a couple of plain-Jane, law-abiding citizens” created the foundation for a character that was “kind of like me, except with chemistry and scientific knowledge.”That character turned out to be White, a meek chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, N.M., who “breaks bad” after a cancer diagnosis and, in an effort to provide for his family, begins cooking an unadulterated form of methamphetamine with the help of former student Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.“I knew what the central spine of the show was going to be,” said Gilligan, who wrote the pilot episode on his own before a team of writers signed on. “I wanted to create a show where the protagonist metamorphoses into the antagonist. Historically you haven’t seen that on TV.”Faust supplemented her interview with scenes from the show, among them Episode 12 from Season Two, in which White lets Pinkman’s girlfriend Jane choke on her own vomit, instigated by heroin and meth use, instead of saving her.“This was the one time the studio thought killing off Jesse’s girlfriend was turning Walt into Scarface too quickly,” said Gilligan.Gilligan praised his fellow writers throughout the talk. Stepping back from the writing process was actually a joy and relief, he told Faust, who pointed out his meticulous attention to symbolism and detail, or “granularity” — right down to choosing a character’s shoes.“I’m more microscopic than macroscopic,” he said. “All that production stuff is more fun than writing.”That granularity lit up the blogosphere throughout the show’s run. “Color is important, wardrobe changes are important,” said Gilligan. “The layered look Jesse had started to go away” as the series progressed, he said, and Jesse’s shaved head mimicked White’s chemo-induced baldness when Jesse still admired White.Other revelations?Teasers for Season Two depicted strange, catastrophic scenes whose link to a plane crash over Albuquerque was eventually revealed. But Gilligan said four episodes from that season were titled to be clues of the plane’s fate: “Seven Thirty-Seven,” “Down,” “Over,” “ABQ.”Oh, and Jesse was doomed — initially.“My general thought was that we’d get rid of Jesse — he’d die in some horrible way,” Gilligan said. “Very quickly I just knew there was no way we’d want to kill this guy.”Gilligan told the crowd that his favorite episode was “Fly,” which he said viewers either loved or hated. The episode centered on White and Pinkman in an underground lab, with White going temporarily insane trying to kill a fly that has contaminated their workspace.Calling it a “bottle episode” written “because we were drastically over budget,” Gilligan said that filming in one location saved a lot of money and that the action was brilliantly directed by Rian Johnson.In a question from the audience about the relationship between his life and his art, Gilligan admitted that, like White, “I’m not as nice as I appear.”“When I’m happier, I’m nicer. I think everyone has a darkness, but I’m not a particularly interesting person,” he said. “I do ask myself things like why I never backpacked through Europe when I was younger … Walter White does terrible things, and he does them out of fear. He says, ‘Before cancer, I’d worry about everything.’ After cancer, he says, ‘I sleep like a baby.’ I don’t want cancer, but I want the fear to go away.”Those who have seen “Breaking Bad” know that White’s fear does go away — and that Jesse is salvaged.“We discussed every possible ending,” Gilligan said. “There’s a version where everybody dies; there’s a version where nobody dies. We didn’t have the ending figured out even weeks in advance.”Gilligan is now at work on a spinoff featuring Saul Goodman, the show’s slippery but lovable attorney, called “Better Call Saul.”“We tried to be novelistic, we tried to write ourselves into inescapable corners,” said Gilligan. “And I love that this show belongs to you folks now, that people interpret it the way they see fit.”last_img read more

Beware of yellow jackets

first_imgBy Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaIt should have been a usual “doing what dogs do” day for Lucky, aneighboring dog that pays a daily visit to Sid, our cockerspaniel.Lucky was sniffing around in my liriope bed trying to findsomething of interest. Suddenly, Lucky flipped around, tucked hertail between her legs, and quickly ran away, snapping at flyingtormentors on both sides of her.When she finally outran what was after her, she stopped andlooked back at the liriope bed with a “what was that?” look onher face.Lucky may not have known what she’d gotten into, but I knew. Shemust have found a yellow jacket nest. I’m glad she was the one tofind it instead of me. Hidden beneath the groundThe nest was belowground, as most nests are. They’re found aroundrotten stumps or on the sides of terraces, gullies and ditches.Recently the principal at one of the area high schools called mewith some concern about the large number of yellow jackets aroundthe school grounds. The yellow jackets are attracted to the sugarin the soft drink cans tossed in the garbage cans around theschool. They may come from some distance to get the sugar.Yellow jackets aren’t the only stinging insects in large numbersthis year. Hornets are out in large numbers, too.I guess everyone is familiar with the bald-faced, or white-faced,hornet. Surely you’ve seen a hornet’s nest, shaped like a bloatedfootball, high up in a tree or under the eve of a building.The hornet that causes the most concern is the giant Europeanhornet. The size of it alone is enough to scare folks. It canbe more an inch long. Unlike the bald-faced hornet, it’s morebrown than black. The only yellow markings are on the abdomen.It’s attracted to lights at night.Hornets and yellow jackets are very aggressive if they believetheir nests are threatened. And they can sting repeatedly.If you’re smart, you’ll wait to control these insects until theevening, when they’re in their nests and are at rest. You’ll beless likely to get stung. What to doSevin is deadly on bees. Just apply it in and around the yellowjacket nests in the evening. Pyrethroids(permethrin, resmethrin,and others) are available in aerosols, some of which produce ajet stream so you can stay a safe distance away. Aim at the nestopening in trees, bushes, ground cracks and crevices. You mayhave to retreat for total control.Don’t be like poor Lucky. She got too close and found out thepainful way just how aggressive yellow jackets can be.last_img read more

Grass-fed milk

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWhen Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Ga., was consideringadding milk to its successful goat and cow cheese business, Desiree Wehner contactedthe University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.The family-owned dairy wanted to know the best way to markettheir milk. Their answer wasn’t exactly what either they or the center wereexpecting.Before interviewing 674 respondents in the Atlanta andTallahassee area about their personal milk preferences, “we figured their top pick wouldprobably be organic,” said CAED economist Kent Wolfe. The other two choices werelocally produced milk and grass-fed milk.Instead, consumers responded that they were more interested inbuying grass-fed milk than either organic or locally produced products. They alsoconsidered the grass-fed milk more unique.Wolfe thinks it has something to do with the mental image of”happy cows.””Grass-fed milk conjured up the image of happy cows, that thesecows have a better quality of life,” he said. “I think that’s what people think.”That, he said, and many people are taking more interest in health issues.Sweet Grass Dairy, which operates both a cow and a goat dairy,reflects this growing trend. Before changing to grass-fed milk and starting cheeseproduction, they ran a conventional dairy.Now, the family says they’ve completely changed the way theircows and goats live. Instead of spending their days inside or receiving hormones orstimulants, the animals “live outdoors, get exercise and enjoy grazing. Ourphilosophy is carried over to our goat herd as well.”In the past, this was reflected through the organic food label.”Different factors are important to various consumer groups,”Wolfe said. “Natural and other production characteristics can be more important to aconsumer than true organic production. We found that even the locally produced milkis more important to this sample of Atlanta and Tallahassee consumers than the(U.S. Department of Agriculture) organic stamp.”Differences between the markets that CAED surveyed do exist. TheTallahassee respondents were much more interested in grass-fed milk thantheir Atlanta counterparts, who leaned more toward locally produced milk. Butoverall, the tendency was toward grass-fed.On average, women were more interested in grass-fed milk thantheir male counterparts. Other items CAED asked about were willingness to pay, willingnessto pay a premium and uniqueness of the products. They also questionedparticipants about different kinds of cheese and fortified yogurt.The Tallahassee and Atlanta areas were chosen because of theirproximity to the Thomasville dairy, which is located in southwest Georgia.As for Sweet Grass Dairy, the grass-fed title they plan to attachto their milk “is kind of unique,” Wolfe said. “They’re probably the only one in thestate going under that label.”A secondary result of the study, he said, was that the dairydecided to put in a facility to process their grass-fed milk on the farm.last_img read more

Modest Investments Needed to Build Security Network

first_imgBy Jim Garamone/DoD News, Defense Media Activity February 27, 2018 U.S. Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of Southern Command, discussed the efforts of competitors to exploit the perception that the United States is disengaging from the Americas.last_img

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 3

first_imgStudents need more help fighting hunger Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMore border security is better than a wallDemocrats want border security. “Wall” defenders cite prisons or the White House as examples of walls working. Of course, the White House has a fence, not a wall. That’s so they can see who’s outside. Walls don’t provide that visual advantage. Prisons do have walls. Prison staff doesn’t care who’s outside. They have guards stationed to monitor the inside. If we want a border wall to work like a prison wall, we need to spread our agents along the entire length. Trouble is, there are few cities or towns near the border. There are few houses for rent or for sale, no schools for their kids, no shopping, no place for their spouse to work. Wonder why we have 2,000 unfilled Border Patrol Agent job openings? However, with a few well-located military-style bases, listening devices, cameras, helicopters, aircraft, boats, drones, ATVs and SUVs, we can monitor the border and respond as needed. That arrangement solves the no-place- to-live issue that makes staffing a wall solution problematic. While we’re imagining a fence around the White House or a wall around a prison is somehow the equivalent of a wall on the border, ask yourself how many illegal immigrants arrive at the White House or prison by air. That is how 46 percent of illegal immigrants arrive in the United States. Even a perfect solution on the southern border only solves about half of our problem. We need border security, not a wall.Glenn GraySchenectady A recent Gazette article highlighted the efforts of Jessica Brennan, a social worker at Rosendale Elementary School, to reach out to meet the food needs of students who need a little extra help. Niskayuna is a relatively affluent community, but still has 13 percent of its students living under the poverty level.Jessica runs “Nisky NOW,” which is a backpack program that provides backpacks full of food to kids in need each weekend. Deliveries by volunteer drivers are made to the kids’ homes on Thursdays or Fridays. She recently organized “Hoops for Hunger,” which was a successful food drive that helped stock the program’s pantry.Earlier this year, when my husband and I visited the school board meeting to inquire as to why our district had not become involved in the Backpack Program, we were told by district Superintendent Dr. Casimo Tangorra that there was not a need here. Hopefully, now all recognize that such a need exists. Only through efforts of people like Jessica has the district implemented the Backpack Program.” This season has again seen many teachers and school staff reaching out to provide assistance to families in their schools. We should be proud of these teachers who are contributing in spite of the fact that they are working currently without a contract. Thank God for people who care for those less fortunate.Dorothy HorstkotteNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more

No expense spared on dream home

first_img20 Scenic Rd, Kenmore.The master bedroom features a walk-in robe and stylish ensuite. Two other large bedrooms adjoin the main bathroom and sitting room, featuring a wood-burning fireplace. A separate fourth bedroom adjoins another sitting area and bathroom – ideal as a teenage retreat or for guest accommodation. 20 Scenic Rd, Kenmore.But it’s the home’s enviable location on 2777sq m of acreage just 10km from the CBD that the owners will miss most.“You feel like you’re living out at Pullenvale without being out that far,” Mr Pemberton said.More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019The couple have lived in the home for the past seven years, but a change in family circumstances has convinced them to downsize. 20 Scenic Rd, Kenmore.THEY spared no expense creating their dream home in a secluded pocket of Brisbane. But now Chris Pemberton and Rachael Chan are looking for someone else to enjoy it.The couple completely renovated their four-bedroom house at 20 Scenic Rd, Kenmore.From the Spanish porcelain tiles and Italian pavers, to the designer kitchen and endless indoor and outdoor areas, the makeover is immaculate.center_img 20 Scenic Rd, Kenmore.The police officer co-ordinated the renovation, which involved “many hours on a jack hammer”.A garage and workshop were demolished to open up the rear of the home and create a seamless indoor/outdoor living area.“The aim was to capture the timelessness of a ranch-style home but create an open-plan, alfresco feel,” Mr Pemberton said.The hub of the home starts with the kitchen, which extends through stacked doors to the entertaining area and pool.It features stone benchtops, an island bench, soft-close drawers, a Smeg electric oven and an integrated dishwasher.last_img read more

Bruins Repeat As CYO Champs

first_imgFor the second year in a row, St. Louis-1 captured the Batesville Deanery CYO basketball championship by defeating St. Michael-1 56-44.The game was close for the first 8 minutes as the lead would change hands several times and St. Louis would hold a 1 point lead after one period 12-11. The second quarter would turn out to be the difference in the game as St. Louis-1 would outscore St. Michael-1 19-9 to take a 31-20 led at halftime.We knew going in that we would have do a good job rebounding the ball and not give them 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities. We did a great job controlling the boards. At halftime, we knew we needed to continue to play our game and not have a letdown in the second half. In the third quarter St. Louis-1 would continue their strong play and would extend the lead to 44-31 going into the final quarter. St. Louis-1 would close out the game as they would hit their free throws to secure the win.This was a good group of kids to coach and I am really proud of the way they grew as a team over the year.Bruins Scoring.  Anthony Butz 19, Alex Roell 16, Cooper Williams 6, Zach Prickel 4, Nathan Batta 4, Caleb Moster 3, Paul Ritter 3, Evan Straber 1.Courtesy of Bruins Coach Roger Dietz.All Deanery Teams.St. Louis-1.  Anthony Butz – MVP/All Sportsmanship; Alex Roell – 2nd team; Nathan Batta – 3rd team.St. Louis-2.  Lane Oesterling – 2nd team; Gus Cooper – 2nd team.last_img read more

Dedication for new library announced

first_imgBrookville, In. —There will be a dedication ceremony for the new Franklin County Public Library in Brookville on Sunday, September 16 at 2 p.m. The public is welcome.last_img

FIFA chooses six stadiums for U-20 World Cup

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland Football’s global governing body FIFA has selected the six venues for the 2021 U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, an official said on Thursday. The six stadiums are the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in the capital Jakarta, Pakansari stadium in the West Javan town of Bogor, Manahan stadium in Central Java’s Solo, Mandala Krida stadium in Yogyakarta Province, Gelora Bung Tomo stadium in East Java’s capital Surabaya and Kapten I Wayan Dipta Gianyar stadium on the island of Bali, according to Gotot S. Dewa Broto, Secretary of Indonesia’s Youth and Sports Ministry. The number of stadiums chosen by FIFA is in line with the request of the Indonesian government, as the governing body had previously planned to select only four stadiums, according to the ministry. Gotot added that FIFA would conduct inspections of all the sports facilities in March. The 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Indonesia from May 24 to June 12, with 24 teams set to take part.Tags: FIFAGelora Bung Karno StadiumU-20 World Cuplast_img read more

Syracuse seeks to finish games stronger in Diamond 9 Citrus Classic this weekend

first_img Published on February 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse was two outs from victory against No. 11 Stanford. Two hours later, it was one out from defeating Long Beach State.The Orange was unable to close out either game, and what could’ve been a 4-1 weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic saw the Orange finish 2-3.“It was one of those days where the ball kept dropping in for the other team and not for us,” SU head coach Leigh Ross said of her team’s two late losses Sunday. “We are young and inexperienced as a team.“Being on the bottom half of the score happens sometimes.”This weekend, Syracuse (4-6) looks to rectify its late-game struggles when it travels to Orlando, Fla. for the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. The Orange will face Nebraska-Omaha and Missouri on Friday, Auburn and Bradley on Saturday and finish the stretch against Fordham on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the first game of the doubleheader Sunday, SU led Stanford 5-2 heading into the final inning.After freshman Christina Clermont pitched five impressive innings, Ross planned to bring in freshman Sydney O’Hara. Because of the lead, she opted for junior Lindsay Taylor instead.A Taylor error in the seventh allowed Stanford to tie, and after Taylor experienced tightness in her throwing arm, O’Hara came in two innings later than originally planned.Stanford piled on six runs in the extra frame, going on to win 11-5.“The injury kind of threw a wrench in everything, so we had to blow out our pitchers for that first game,” Ross said. “They did what they could do because they had used all their energy.”Two days after pitching a perfect seventh for the first save of her career against California Polytechnic, O’Hara was on the opposite end of the result against the Cardinal.Despite the result, the freshman still had a positive outlook on her outing.“I was pretty on point, but Stanford is a really good team,” O’Hara said. “I think I did a pretty good job of attacking each batter. You just have to work through it no matter what happens.”Even though Ross’ initial plan didn’t go accordingly, she said she feels confident with each pitcher on the mound no matter the situation.Clermont, O’Hara, Taylor or sophomore Lindsey Larkin can be brought in at any time depending on the opponent’s weakness, and the coaching staff trusts that all four can get the job done.Against Long Beach State later in the day, Larkin entered a tie game with one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the fourth.She went on to retire nine of the next 11 batters before Hannah De Gaetano doubled in the bottom of the seventh. After Larkin got the next batter to ground out, Long Beach State recorded three straight hits, including a walk-off double, to win 7-6.Despite the final result, Ross was extremely pleased with the sophomore’s first outing of the season.“She did exactly what she was told, so I was really proud of her, “ Ross said. “We don’t really care about the loss right now in the season. We’ll get to that later.”It’s no secret that the Orange lacks experience on the mound.Larkin mentioned how big situations can sometimes get the better of the young pitchers, something that she said needs to be fixed.“I think that if the pitching staff focuses more on ‘one pitch at a time’ it will help us keep late-game leads,” Larkin said via email. “I know many of us can get caught up in the big picture when in reality that is not the best thing.”Larkin added how she thoroughly believes that each pitcher can handle big-time situations, and that late-game success will simply come with more experience and confidence as the season progresses.“We just have to stay focused the whole entire game,” O’Hara said. “Each time, just attack the batters, get outs, trust your defense and just work through anything.” Commentslast_img read more