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Pop annotations: "Show Stopper" by Danity Kane

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While most of us sneak peeks at the footnotes while trying to decipher baffling classics like Finnegan's Wake, we seem to do fine without expertly-annotated copies of In Style. Truth is, we don't know what we're missing. To remedy that, there's Pop Annotations, our weekly column exposing profundities lurking below the surface of today's hit songs. This week we tackle newly-minted supergroup Danity Kane's new single, "Show Stopper."

We in the car, we ride slow
We doin' things that the girls don't do1
The boys stare, we smile back
All my girls in the rainbow Cadillacs, yeah!2

1. In a subculture where the ample-booty'd are treated like fleshy fashion accessories, could this be hip-hop's long-awaited rallying cry to feminism; Danity Kane nothing less than a pop-lockin' quintet of fly Betty Friedans?
2. Despite the connotations here, DK are apparently not lesbians.

Showstoppin' at the latest spot3
The ride shinin' with the open top
Hydraulics make our heads go nod
Hair blowin' in the breeze
Yo, we superstars!4

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3. The band's latest spot, according to Billboard, was #1 on the album charts -- not bad for a group Frankensteined into existence by rap impresario Sean "Puffy "˜P. Diddy'" Combs, who discovered them on his reality show Making the Band. DK was assembled from the reanimated corpses of Salt "˜n' Pepa, En Vogue and Destiny's Child. Professors of Victorian literature predict it's only a matter of time before the girls turn on their creator and eat Diddy.
4. "Yo" is the name of a deity worshipped by the Bambara tribe of Mali, who believe the universe began and will end with the sound "yo!" "Superstar" refers to the prevailing cosmological paradigm explaining the origin of the universe, in which a tremendously dense and hot supermass (or "superstar") existed for a brief time, 13.7 billion years ago, before it expanded into what we today refer to as "everything." Therefore, the Big Bang sounded something like this.

Put in the keys, make that engine purr
Three in the back, one in the passenger
Slow-creepin' cause we look that fly
All the boys tryn'a taste our candy ride5

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5. Champion racehorse Candy Ride would indeed be difficult for the boys to taste, not only because he is exceedingly fast "“ running a mile in just 1:31.01 "“ but thanks also to American taboos re: the consumption of horseflesh. Such taboos, however, don't exist in Japan, where the boys might sample some Candy Ride-flavored ice cream (gag -- pictured).

[Chorus]
Bet you ain't never seen (hey!)
Chicks ridin this clean (hey!)
Louis Vuitton seats (oh, oh, oh!)6
We do it deadly7
That's how we keep it poppin' (hey!)
Make sure the bass knockin' (hey!)
So when you see us ridin' (oh, oh, oh!)
We call it Show Stoppin'

6. French luggage-maker Louis Vuitton, who would be 185 this year if he hadn't died in the 19th century, can lay claim to having founded the world's first designer label. As a device originally meant to combat counterfeiting, the Vuitton monogram has been a colossal failure: these days, just over 1% of "Vuitton"-branded items are not counterfeit.
7. Diddy knows deadly: in 1991, a judge ruled him 50% responsible for the deaths of nine people at a concert he promoted, at which he had blocked all exits with heavy tables so that fans without tickets wouldn't be able to sneak inside. But as the third law of Peediddydynamics states, "if the ticketless can't get in, the ticketed can't get out" "“ a stampede did the rest.

We sittin' on 22s plus 28
Mink bucket seats, neon blue9
Color-coordinate with them shoes
Yeah, we divas but we ride like big boys do

8. That is, 24-inch wheel rims. ("We sittin' on 48s divided by the cube root of 16s" just didn't have the same ring to it.)
9. Didn't they just say the seats were Vuitton leather?

Black-tinted with a white stripe interstate
Lookin' in the mirror at my Bad Boy fitted, yup10
Show stoppin' till they lose they breath
Turn the wheel to the right
Turn the wheel to the left

10. "Bad Boy" being Diddy's record label, Bad Boy Records; "fitted" being a hat. Diddy, remember, is also a fashion designer, and so understands the hidden relationship between hats and record albums: when people buy either of them, Diddy gets paid.

This is for my ladies in the 280 Mercedes
In the H3, Baby Ranges, Bentley Coupes, Escalades
Break 'em off somethin' proppa like a real show stoppa11
This is for chicas with the Beemers, A6's
"˜67 Chevy, Maserati, or a Lexus

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11. According to the Dictionary of Fringe English, to break off means "to freely or gratuitously give something (to someone), especially money or something highly prized; in the form break (someone) off a piece, to give or receive sexual favors." While breakin' someone off a piece in the latter sense would undoubtedly be a show-stoppa "“ especially while riding clean in, say, a Baby Range "“ I don't think this is something that hip-hop's most outspoken feminists meant to imply. Therefore, they must be giving away cars like Oprah; hook a blogga up, ladiez!

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entertainment
10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
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In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).

1. THE NAME “BABADOOK” WAS EASY FOR A CHILD TO INVENT.

Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”

2. JENNIFER KENT WAS WORRIED PEOPLE WOULD JUDGE THE MOTHER.

Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”

3. KENT AND ESSIE DAVIS TONED DOWN THE CONTENT FOR THE KID.

Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”

4. THE FILM IS ALSO ABOUT “FACING OUR SHADOW SIDE.”

IFC Films

Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”

5. THE FILM SCARED THE HELL OUT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE EXORCIST.

In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.

6. AN ART DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT SCORED THE ROLE AS THE BABADOOK.

Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.

7. THE MOVIE BOMBED IN ITS NATIVE AUSTRALIA.

Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”

8. YOU CAN OWN A MISTER BABADOOK BOOK (BUT IT WILL COST YOU). 

IFC Films

In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.

9. THE BABADOOK IS A GAY ICON.

It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.

10. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A SEQUEL.

Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

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Space
NASA Is Posting Hundreds of Retro Flight Research Videos on YouTube
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Bruce Weaver / Stringer / Getty Images

If you’re interested in taking a tour through NASA history, head over to the YouTube page of the Armstrong Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base, in southern California. According to Motherboard, the agency is in the middle of posting hundreds of rare aircraft videos dating back to the 1940s.

In an effort to open more of its archives to the public, NASA plans to upload 500 historic films to YouTube over the next few months. More than 300 videos have been published so far, and they range from footage of a D-558 Skystreak jet being assembled in 1947 to a clip of the first test flight of an inflatable-winged plane in 2001. Other highlights include the Space Shuttle Endeavour's final flight over Los Angeles and a controlled crash of a Boeing 720 jet.

The research footage was available to the public prior to the mass upload, but viewers had to go through the Dryden Aircraft Movie Collection on the research center’s website to see them. The current catalogue on YouTube is much easier to browse through, with clear playlist categories like supersonic aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. You can get a taste of what to expect from the page in the sample videos below.

[h/t Motherboard]

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