TIME Music

AC/DC Announce a New Album Along With Malcolm Young’s Retirement

Exclusive World Premiere Of AC/DC "Live At River Plate" Presented By DeLeon Tequila
AC/DC band members, from left to right, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Brian Johnson attend the exclusive world premiere of their album Live at River Plate in London on May 6, 2011 Jorge Herrera—WireImage/Getty Images

Rock or Bust will be first album in the band's history without the legendary guitarist

AC/DC has some good news, and some bad news.

A statement on the iconic rock band’s website announced that their new album, Rock or Bust, will be launching on Dec. 2. The album features 11 new tracks, recorded in Vancouver this spring, and is their first in six years.

The bad news is that founding guitarist Malcolm Young, who took a hiatus from the band earlier this year because of illness, is set to retire permanently. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning to the band,” the AC/DC statement said.

Young will be replaced by his nephew Stevie Young, who plays rhythm guitar on Rock or Bust and will accompany the band on a 2015 world tour to promote the recording.

TIME Pop Culture

Popples Are Making a Comeback on Netflix

Netflix Popples Key Art -Final_ID-a282d05e0594
PR Newswire

Rejoice, lovers of all things 80s

Popples, those iconically colorful 1980s toys that turned briefly into cartoon characters, are getting a new lease of life next year on Netflix.

The online video streaming site announced a partnership with Saban Brands — the company behind children’s shows like Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation — to create a show based on the Popples, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix has ordered 26 half-hour episodes that will be available for streaming in late 2015, the Reporter says.

The series will revolve around five Popples named Bubbles, Sunny, Lulu, Izzy and Yikes, who are colorful creatures that live in Popplopolis and try to help everyone around them. Their good intentions usually backfire, leading to rather comical attempts at damage control.

Popples previously featured in a Saturday morning cartoon series that ran from 1986 to 1988.

“With the global reach of Netflix, we know Popples will reach a whole new generation of kids that will love it as much as their parents,” said Saban Brands founder Haim Saban.

[THR]

TIME movies

Liam Neeson to Make an Appearance in Ted 2

Actor Liam Neeson attends the Universal Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures with The Cinema Society screening of "A Walk Among the Tombstones" at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on Sept. 17, 2014 in New York City.
Actor Liam Neeson attends the Universal Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures with The Cinema Society screening of "A Walk Among the Tombstones" at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on Sept. 17, 2014 in New York City. Stephen Lovekin—WireImage/Getty Images

Ted writer (and voice) Seth MacFarlane tweeted out a hint that the Oscar-nominated star could be in the film

Ted 2 may have added another big name actor to its cast this week, as Seth MacFarlane, the comedian behind the bro-comedy, hinted in a tweet Wednesday that actor Liam Neeson could appear in the upcoming sequel.

http://twitter.com/SethMacFarlane/status/514826880365903872

Not a bad week at all. One can only imagine what’s in store with a talking bear, what with Mark Wahlberg, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson all on the same cast. Knowing MacFarlane’s knack for pop culture references on his television show Family Guy, we’re guessing there will be at least one reference to Taken.

Fortunately, fans on the film have a little less than a year left to wait and see what MacFarlane has come up with. The film is set to come out June 26, 2015, Entertainment Weekly reports.

TIME Military

Military Pilots Enjoy National Parks, Too

They've got the right stuff when it comes to making a quick visit

If you’ve ever attended an air show, you know to expect the Navy’s Blue Angels or the Air Force’s Thunderbirds to suddenly roar overhead, hugging the Earth and delightedly scaring young and old alike.

It’s quite a different matter when you’re quietly communing with nature on the ridge of a canyon deep in Death Valley, and a pair of F-18s screams by—flying lower than you, down in the rocky gash.

That’s just what happens in this recently-posted YouTube video. It’s no surprise that the gobsmacked reaction of those on the ground (foul-language alert!) is just as much fun to witness as the F-18 Hornets themselves, which likely came from the nearby Navy’s China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.

“If there is one thing in this world that can turn a fully grown man into an excited teenage girl,” one viewer enthused, “it’s the sound of two GE F404 engines tearing overhead.”

Such flights, by military and other aircraft, have long been a concern, both for environmental and safety reasons. While it may be exciting, is this the proper use for such a national treasure (in this case the park, not the jets)? You bet, according to the National Park Service, which oversees the 5,200 square-mile California park.

While the FAA urges civilian aircraft to fly no lower than 2,000 feet—and orders them to stay above 500 feet—such altitude restrictions don’t apply to military planes. That’s because much of Death Valley is part of the R-2508 military training complex. “Congress and the FAA have given the military authority to deviate from standard flight regulations in the training complex,” the park service says. Outside of Death Valley itself—which includes many valleys—“the military can fly to within 200 feet of the ground.”

The military services regulate flights over national parks (Air Force, Army), but those rules don’t always apply when the park is part of a military training range.

Military pilots will tell you that flying low amid terrain—to practice hiding from enemy radar—can be good training for possible real-world missions. But such flights—especially outside military ranges—carry risks. In 1998, a Marine EA-6B jet crew was schussing, too fast and too low, through Italy’s Dolomite Mountains. It clipped a ski gondola cable and sent it plummeting more than 300 feet to the ground, killing all 20 aboard. “The aircraft,” the official investigation concluded, “flew lower and faster than authorized wherever the terrain permitted.”

The pilot and navigator were cleared of charges of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. They were later convicted of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer for destroying a videotape, perhaps resembling the one from Death Valley, made from the cockpit during the fatal flight through Alpine Valley.

TIME

John Oliver Gave a Big Boost to Women’s Scholarship Funds

Late Night with Seth Meyers - Season 1
Comedian John Oliver during an interview on June 11, 2014. NBC—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Society of Women's Engineers calls the bump in funding the "John Oliver bounce"

A scathing segment Sunday from Last Week Tonight host John Oliver brought a welcomed boost in scholarship funds to one Chicago-based women’s organization, the group said this week.

During Oliver’s 15-minute takedown of the Miss America pageant, which claims to be the “world’s largest provider in scholarships for women,” the host mentioned the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) along with other organizations that provide women-only higher-education scholarships for women. An SWE spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday it has received about 15% of its expected annual donations in two days thanks to the HBO host’s plug.

The SWE has provided about $3 million worth of scholarships to women pursuing careers in engineering over the past six years, the Tribune reports. The $25,000 the organization has received this week is said to be going to the group’s scholarship fund.

A spokesperson for the organization dubbed the bump in donations they received after Oliver’s nod the “John Oliver bounce,” a riff on fellow late-night host Stephen Colbert’s “Colbert bump.”

[Chicago Tribune]

TIME Books

Lena Dunham: A Generation’s Gutsy, Ambitious Voice

Lena Dunham, author of 'Not That Kind of Girl'
Lena Dunham, author of 'Not That Kind of Girl' Autumn de Wilde

Roxane Gay is the author of Bad Feminist, a new collection of essays.

The Girls star takes on Hollywood, friendship, rape culture, and more—with humor and tenderness—in her new memoir

During the first season of her critically acclaimed HBO series, Girls, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath, high on opium, tells her parents, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation—or at least a voice of a generation.” The line made waves as people conflated the fictional character with her creator, perhaps not wrongly. How dare a young woman make such a bold claim? All too often our culture tells young women their voices don’t matter or deserve to be heard.

In her debut essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” Dunham demonstrates her 28-year-old voice’s admirable range. While some celebrity essay collections and memoirs are lackluster, even embarrassing to read, Not That Kind of Girl suffers few missteps. Dunham’s cinematic flair translates to the page with vigor and clarity—not unlike the late Nora Ephron, to whom she is often compared and to whom the book is dedicated (along with Dunham’s family and her boyfriend Jack Antonoff of the indie-rock band fun.). Instead of tossing pithy, pseudo-motivational observations at the reader, Dunham has crafted warm, intelligent writing that is both deeply personal and engaging, clustered in five topical sections: “Love & Sex,” “Body,” “Friendship,” “Work” and “Big Picture.”

Each of the 29 pieces—essays mixed with lists, like “18 Unlikely Things I’ve Said Flirtatiously”—is confident and assured, sidestepping self-deprecation and instead offering intense self-examination. Dunham’s self-awareness can almost overwhelm with truthiness, as in “Barry,” her glancing, tragicomic account of being raped by a “mustachioed campus Republican” who, among other nonconsensual acts, removes his condom without her permission or knowledge. “A sexual encounter that no one can classify properly” sounds precisely like a voice of her generation, one struggling to come to terms with rape culture. (And yet, “I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault … But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way” sounds like a voice of every generation of women.)

Unlike Hannah Horvath, Dunham in her self-awareness does not come across as self-obsessed. When she is absurd, she acknowledges that absurdity. “13 Things I’ve Learned Are Not Okay to Say to Friends” is among the most drolly enlightened of the lists, made up of ostensible real-life Dunham quotes like “No, please don’t apologize. If I had your mother I’d be a nightmare, too” and “There’s nothing about you in my book.”

She reveals her vulnerabilities in a deadpan manner, showing us how she loves and has been loved, how she has wronged and been wronged. But it’s not all laughing around the hard stuff. At the end of “Barry” comes a teary phone call with Antonoff, in which she tells him what happened with the hipster rapist; here the narrative turns deeply confidential, allowing the reader into what you realize is Dunham’s truest interior life, as fragile and authentic as yours or anyone’s.

Not That Kind of Girl is evidently what she has learned thus far, and Dunham is far from an autocratic memoirist, even warning us, “I’m an unreliable narrator. Because I add an invented detail to almost every story I tell about my mother. Because my sister claims every memory we ‘share’ has been fabricated by me to impress a crowd.”

Dunham has received a great deal of criticism from critics, including me, over the lack of racial diversity on Girls. That assessment is well but narrowly placed. The lack of diversity is a fault of Hollywood more than of Dunham. Thankfully, this essay collection translates far beyond the white, urban demographic of Girls.

Some things, like our humanity, are universal. We all examine our families’ bonds and oddities. We all experience the insecurity of becoming an adult and navigating the world in an imperfect, human body. In Dunham’s case, body image and family are inextricably linked. She believes her penchant for exhibitionism and onscreen nudity came from her mother, the artist Laurie Simmons, who took nude ur-selfies with a Nikon back in the day. We all love, and hate, and nurture ambitions and nurse failings. We all worry about death and cancer—“I’m not scared enough to do any 10K walks, but I’m pretty scared,” Dunham jokes in “My Top 10 Health Concerns” (which include tonsil stones and infertility). Her privilege is undeniable in her television work and even in these pages, but by revealing so much of herself in such an intelligent manner, she allows us to see past that privilege and into her person.

And what is a voice of a generation, really? The phrase offers a seductive rhetorical flourish that speaks, at its core, to a yearning. We are forever in search of someone who will speak not only to us but for us. In the introduction, Dunham writes, “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman.” Not That Kind of Girl is from that kind of girl: gutsy, audacious, willing to stand up and shout. And that is why Dunham is not only a voice who deserves to be heard but also one who will inspire other important voices to tell their stories too.

Roxane Gay is the author of Bad Feminist, a new collection of essays.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Video Games

It’s Simple Math: You’re Probably Not Good Enough to Beat Bloodborne

Or at least not good enough to take down the creature that games studio From Software demoed at PAX Prime and the Tokyo Game Show.

The wonderful thing about Tokyo studio From Software’s games — the reason they’re beloved by such a widening swathe of gamers — is that they fly in the face of a decade’s worth of design assumptions: that successful games, especially financially successful ones, must be these inviting, cosseting, mechanically anodyne things.

Speaking as a deep admirer of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, it’s with great pleasure that I’m reading a statistically irrelevant number of people managed to beat the PAX Prime show-floor demo of From Software’s upcoming ego-collapser, Bloodborne, at the conference earlier this month.

According to DualShockers, who attended the show as well as a stage event during which Bloodborne producers Masaaki Yamagiwa and Marketer Yasuhiro Kitao broke down the demo’s play stats, just 20 people managed to beat the final antagonist, of some 3,500 people who tried (slightly more than half of one percent).

That percentage crept up slightly at the Tokyo Game Show last week, says DualShockers: 40 people succeeded, out of 1,250 attempts, or 3.2%.

Writes DualShockers’ Giuseppe Nelva:

As I mentioned when I posted my video, journalists and industry professionals that had exclusive access during the first two days did abysmally, with only one managing to kill the Cleric Beast.

Unfortunately that one wasn’t me, as I did get to the final boss, but didn’t stop to grab enough potions for healing along the way. The result is that I got killed before I could drop under 80% of its life bar. It was exhilarating.

Here’s video of the demo at PAX. Nelva advises you can cut in line to the 33 minute mark if you want to see a few of those elite, supernaturally gifted 20 players taking the thing out.

Bloodborne arrives for PlayStation 4 on February 6 next year.

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