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Strike gets real, and new office digs=picket line

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The WGA is officially on strike, but this doesn't mean a surfeit of brunching scribes playing with their Webkinz or perusing Fantasy Football matchups. For WGA members, the strike means 4 hrs/day of picketing:

"I've heard that a couple of people are greeting the news that their presence is required on the picket line with the very human and yet disappointing, 'Cool... So, um, what happens if we don't show up?'" a WGA email said. "So be aware: Failure to picket is a violation of Strike Rule 10, which says: 'You must picket and/or perform other strike support duties and cooperate with Guild committees charged with enforcement of the Strike Rules...' Absent a valid medical excuse, non-writing employment, compelling personal circumstances [necessary child or elder care] or emergency, you are obligated to perform these duties when and where requested. If there is a personal circumstance making strike support duties impossible when requested, members are required to arrange alternate times to contribute to the strike effort...' Basically, failing to picket is a punishable offense. (via Nikki Finke)

I'm not sure how strong of a presence the WGA has on Second Life, but maybe they could take a cue from IBM Italy workers, who sent their avatars--and others from around the world, totaling 2,000--to strike for them in September.

One protester reports:

Well I don't know what miracle happened, but my avatar got in...to a real staff meeting! They were discussing the corporate website's new functionalities, it seems. So since I managed to get in, why not call some of my protester friends? Minutes later, some 20 participants and staff teleported to literally crash the meeting. We had people saying slogans, some beeping sounds, horns and again, the jumping up and down with our banners and flying fish...It was the most disrupting event I've witnessed so far...! The poor IBM staff were quite confused and asked us to go protest outside. We, in return, demanded to speak to IBM management to put forward our requests. They ended up canceling their meeting."

Already, a new contract for IBM Italy workers has been signed, and you can keep updated on the progress here...For WGA strike updates, Chad Gervich has excellent coverage over at his Script Notes column for Writer's Digest. So do we have any striking _flossers in our midst? Or if you've otherwise clocked in for picket line work, please do share.

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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