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New Book Says Van Halen Once Held A Gun To Fred Durst’s Head After Limp Bizkit Audition

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(TMU) –  According to a new book by Andrew Bennett, Eddie Van Halen once held a gun to the head of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. Bennett reportedly recalled the encounter for the new photobook, Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen.”

In addition to short stories about the band, the book also features photos from Van Halen’s studio recording time and tours between 2004 and 2007. 

Bennett says that Van Halen was a potential replacement for former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland.

At the time of the incident, Borland had recently left the band and they were looking for a replacement. Durst and Van Halen were reportedly introduced at a party where a record-label executive suggested they work together.

Bennet says that Durst thought the suggestion was funny because Van Halen was so overqualified.

That would be hilarious. The greatest guitar player ever plays with the worst band ever,” he allegedly said.

Van Halen was willing to at least play together once and see how it went, so the pair organized a jam session at a house in Beverly Hills. The meeting quickly went sour because there were so many people smoking cannabis in the house, which is something that Van Halen had a problem with.

He left abruptly without taking any of his gear with him, and then tried to recover it the next day, but didn’t immediately hear back. After waiting about a day, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“Eddie once bought an assault vehicle from a military auction. It has a shine gun mount on the back and is not legal. Eddie drove that assault vehicle through L.A., into Beverly Hills, then parked and left it running on the front lawn of the house Limp Bizkit was rehearsing in. He got out wearing no shirt, his hair in a Samurai bun on top of his head, his jeans held up with a strand of rope and combat boots held together by duct tape. And he had a gun in his hand,” Bennett recalled in his new book.

According to his retelling of the story, Van Halen told him, “That a****** answered the door. I put my gun to that stupid f***ing red hat of his, and I said, ‘Where’s my s***, motherf***er?’ That f***ing guy just turned to one of his employees and starts yelling at him to grab my s***. … Eddie Van Halen stood on the front lawn of a residential home in Beverly Hills in broad daylight, smoking a cigarette while holding a gun on Fred Durst as he went back and forth from the house to the assault vehicle, lugging amps and guitars.”

The story does sound outrageous, and it is important to note that the band has previously taken Bennett to court because they were unhappy with his work.

Van Halen passed away this Tuesday at the age of 65, after years of battling throat cancer. He lived with the illness for years but his condition rapidly declined in the days before his death, family, and friends told the media.

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The Flaming Lips Held A Concert Where Everyone Was In A Plastic Bubble

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Although many people throughout the United States have started to get back to work, the live entertainment industry is still on hold for the most part.

Some artists and production companies have come up with creative ideas to keep the shows running, but they look nothing like the events of 2019. The most popular style of COVID-era concert this past summer was the drive-in, with many artists touring drive-in theaters that were repurposed as outdoor concert venues.

However, at these shows, everyone is still required to stay in their cars, and it doesn’t feel much like a real concert.

Last week, the popular rock band The Flaming Lips actually played an indoor concert venue but they performed in giant plastic bubbles, and all of the fans in attendance were inside the bubbles also. The show happened at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, where the band used the strange setting to shoot a music video.

The band’s frontman Wayne Coyne told CNN that he came up with the idea when the pandemic began, but didn’t expect the virus to stick around long enough for it to actually be necessary. 

“I did a little drawing… where I drew a picture of The Flaming Lips doing a show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space bubble, and everybody else is just norma. Then (I did another drawing with) The Flaming Lips playing a show in 2020. The exact same scenario, but I’m in a bubble, and so is everybody else….I don’t think anybody would have thought, in the middle of March that this is still going to be going, you know, eight months later. I think we all thought this is a month, this is maybe two months, but we’re going to get a handle on this,” he said.

The band first revealed the idea on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” back in May, and the reaction inspired them to expand it into a full concert experience.

“We do a couple of songs with about 30 people in the bubbles. And we start to think, ‘Well, you know, just from doing that, we start to get an idea that we could actually do it, you know, and it could actually happen,'” Coyne said.

“Since May, the desire to see the live music has just gotten, you know, more, more amplified,” he added.

Fans Attend The Flaming Lips Concert Inside Plastic Bubbles

The Flaming Lips held a short, two-song concert in Oklahoma City, with fans attending in individual plastic bubbles. The short gig was reportedly ‘half test run for future concerts, half music video shoot.’

Posted by NowThis on Thursday, October 15, 2020

Although this is the first time that they have required their fans to wear them, the band has previously performed in space bubbles, so they knew exactly where to find them.

“I like the way this looks, because you can get as excited as you want, you can scream as much as you want, you just can’t infect the person next to you, no matter what you forget about, how excited you get. That barrier is still there, they’re protected, and you’re protected… that part of it is what we really felt like was the success,” Coyne said.

“We, as The Flaming Lips, we like the idea that we are doing something different…. I think it could be cool. It could be fun. And we could all have a, you know, a crazy unique experience,” he added.

Are Concerts in a Bubble The New Normal? The Flaming Lips Just Pulled It Off

Posted by Melissa Knowles on Friday, October 16, 2020

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University Says Students Intentionally Getting COVID So They Can Sell Their Plasma

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There is a growing concern that people who are desperate for some extra spending money are intentionally getting COVID-19 so they can later sell their plasma. People who have recovered from COVID are encouraged to donate their plasma because their blood will contain antibodies that could help others fight the illness.

The FDA says plasma “may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.” 

Administrators at Brigham Young University’s campus in Idaho announced that they were investigating multiple cases of students intentionally getting sick with COVID so they can cash in on their plasma donation. The school has also threatened to suspend any students who are found to intentionally contract the virus.

“BYU-Idaho is deeply troubled by accounts of individuals who have intentionally exposed themselves or others to COVID-19, with the hope of getting the disease and being paid for plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies…The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter. Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community,”  the school said in a statement

Each donation site has different offers for potential donors, but East Idaho News found locations close to the school that offered as much as $200 for their first visits. Many of these locations allow people to donate multiple times.

BYU-Idaho is offering financial help and mental health services to students who are feeling desperate.

“If students are struggling, BYU-Idaho stands ready to help. There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet,” the school said.

However, many people are in situations where they have no choice but to endanger their health to make ends meet, especially people who are forced to deal with the public every day during a pandemic in order to keep a steady paycheck. Tuition alone at BYU runs an average of close to $20,000, which would likely be a factor that would push a person to put themselves in danger for some extra money.

BYU is located in Rexburg, Idaho, which the New York Times recently ranked as a nationwide hotspot. BYU has confirmed 119 active student cases of COVID-19 and 20 active employee cases as of Tuesday. In response to the explosion in cases, the school recently warned that it is considering a switch to remote learning. 

The problem of plasma donation centers preying on poor and desperate people is nothing new. According to ABC, nearly 80 percent of the plasma centers in the U.S. are located in America’s low-income neighborhoods. They also tend to target college students and cluster around college campuses.

Of course, the donation of plasma is important and should be encouraged, but there is also a problem with predatory practices that should not be ignored. The fact that people are putting themselves in danger for a few extra dollars also illustrates how this system is failing people.

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Smoothie Robot In Walmart Signals Continued Rise Of Automated Fast Food Workers

Justin MacLachlan

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A robot that makes smoothies was showcased at a Walmart in California signaling the rise of automated workers.

The Mind Unleashed has previously reported on how automated robots were beginning to take over various different jobs, including flipping burgers with Miso Robotics’ Flippy. Now, Walmart has partially got involved in the trend. A new start-up company called, Blendidshowcased its product at the Fremont Walmart in California this week opening a kiosk, Yahoo News reported.

The stall is open seven days a week and is pitched as a way for customers to place contactless orders for a smoothie. Customers place their orders for a 12-ounce delicious drink and then an autonomous robot whips it up. What’s more, the drink is made in just 3 minutes or less from the time it’s placed.

Digital Trends recently questioned the CEO Vipin Jain about how the robot works. Jain explained that customers use an app scanning a simple QR code at the kiosk or via the Blendid app to order. If that doesn’t impress you, how about artificial intelligence that remembers your taste preferences?

“Consumers use their cell phone to order by scanning a QR code at the kiosk or via the Blendid app,” Vipin Jain, Blendid’s CEO and co-founder, told Digital Trends. “They browse our menu of smoothies made from whole fruits, and vegetables. Once they select a drink, they customize it to their personal taste and health preferences, by modifying the amount of each ingredient as desired. Then they place their order, and Blendid robot gets to work preparing their drink. Once the drink is ready, they receive a text with instructions for a contactless drink pickup. The robot serves the drink to them when they confirm the pickup.”

While a robot taking over a job like making a smoothie might seem small, the fact Walmart has an automated kiosk in one of its California stores is a larger signal of the automation trend to come.

In fact, it was previously reported by Fox News in July that, Walmart was looking to remove all cashiers and standard conveyor belt lines from its stores and is testing a pilot in one of its superstores in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the short term.

CNN previously reported that grocers – big and small chains alike – are turning to robots for performing various tasks like cleaning floors, stocking shelves, and delivering groceries to shoppers. The CV crisis could even prompt online retail warehouses like Amazon to invest more into automation technology as well.

Walmart also isn’t the first business to discuss using automation. Last year international fast-food chain McDonald’s reported they would begin employing automated fryer robots throughout their different branches across the world. Former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi told Fox Business, “It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.” McDonald’s has also introduced touchscreen ordering kiosks to some of its stores.

Restaurant chains that are using automation include McDonalds, KFC, Panera, Wendys, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Arbys according to Business Insider.

Robots aren’t just taking over restaurants, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute indicates there are 800 million careers (or 30 percent of the global job force)—from doctors to accountants, lawyers to journalists—that will be lost to automation by 2030. The report concludes that hundreds of millions of people worldwide will have to find new jobs or learn new skills.

A report by the University of Oxford suggests we will face a robot job apocalypse predicting that 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots and Artificial Intelligence over the next fifteen to twenty years. However, with the current ongoing pandemic workers might find they are replaced quicker. Especially, any type of work that requires physical contact with a customer.

It shouldn’t be surprising for the reader that’s exactly what a report by A3, Association For Advancing Automation, detailed earlier this year. Stating all the ways that artificial intelligence and automation is being used in different industries to combat CV. Oxford Economics also published its own report warning that accelerating technological advances in automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have the potential to reshape the world in 2020 through 2030s, displacing at least 20 million workers.

With CV as a catalyst to speed up the deployment of automated machines, we can probably safely say that number will be much more severe. It seems I am not the only one to share that opinion; a recent MarketWatch article written by Johannes Moenius, a professor of global business and the director of the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis at the University of Redlands, agrees with this author’s conclusion stating “at least 50 million jobs could be automated in just essential industries.”

In fact, the Brookings Institution said in a report last month that “any CV-related recession is likely to bring about a spike in labor-replacing automation … Automation happens in bursts, concentrated especially in bad times such as in the wake of economic shocks, when humans become relatively more expensive as firms’ revenues rapidly decline.”

You can watch a video of Blendid in action below.

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