Tag: Time

In ‘Synchronic,’ designer drug meets time travel

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead work in a grand old tradition of smart people making genre movies for too little money: Val Lewton with his RKO chillers of the 1940s, George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in the 1960s, Larry Cohen’s gonzo B-movies in the 1980s. Benson and Moorhead — the former writes the scripts, the latter handles the camerawork, both direct — have an interestingly dry obsession with time, and their latest movie, “Synchronic,” while being one of their more traditional outings, still opens itself up to some splendid drive-in philosophizing.

The plot is anchored by a pair of EMTs working the graveyard shift in New Orleans, longtime friends Steve (Anthony Mackie, always welcome) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan, Christian in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movies). Steve’s a ladies’ man, while Dennis is married, with a sulky 18-year-old daughter, Brianna (Ally Ioannides), and a newborn with wife, Tara (Katie Aselton). The heroes’ home lives factor in with a more friendly eccentricity than is usual for this kind of thing.

A designer drug called Synchronic has hit the streets, and it’s causing violently bizarre overdoses; when Brianna disappears after taking a hit with friends, Steve swings into not action, per se, but experimentation. Acquiring a cache of the drug, he starts dosing himself steadily and with video documentation to put the puzzle pieces together.

Anthony Mackie in "Synchronic."
Anthony Mackie in “Synchronic.”Well Go USA

This being Benson and Moorhead, it gives only a little away to say that time travel is involved. Still, it’s the duo’s wonky, systematic approach to the gimmick that makes “Synchronic” so much fun. Steve discovers there are rules of where — or rather, when — the drug will take you when it kicks in, and, trust me, there are certain periods of Louisiana history into which a Black man probably shouldn’t teleport from the future.

A curious aspect of the movie is that Synchronic only takes its users into the past — I’d love to see Benson and Moorhead’s idea of the future — and at least one character, a frazzled scientist-type, turns up solely so we can get a scientist-type explanation of what’s going on (it involves pineal glands) before he disappears as conveniently as he arrived. Narrative structure isn’t always the filmmakers’ strong suit.

What is their strong suit is a droll interest in chaos theory as it affects average B-movie schmoes just trying to live their lives; Mackie is immensely sympathetic as a man with the equivalent of a gun to his pineal gland. And it wouldn’t be a Benson-Moorhead movie without the characters pulling back into testy exchanges about the Meaning Of It All or, in this case, the preciousness of any given moment in time — if you’re able to slow down and savor it.

Jamie Dornan (left) and Anthony Mackie in "Synchronic."
Jamie Dornan (left) and Anthony Mackie in “Synchronic.”Well Go USA

Note: “Synchronic” is playing at Boston and suburban theaters; it’s also available on most video-on-demand platforms. The filmmakers recently took to Instagram to urge viewers to

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‘Synchronic’ Is A Novel, Emotional Time Travel Tale With Excellent Central Performances

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are well known for well-executed, high concept films, often of the ‘cosmic horror variety’ such as Resolution, Spring, and The Endless. Recently, the writer-director duo have collaborated for a smart, intriguing time travel film, Synchronic, about a drug that allows consumers temporary time travel (with some frightening implications) and a man’s journey to save his friend’s daughter from those implications at all costs. It’s an excellent, well-told sci-fi tale.

Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are paramedics, friends despite their dramatically different personalities. Dennis is a family man, while Steve is a playboy with no family of his own. They begin to encounter a series of strange cases with people either dying or being found in a bizarre state, the only clear commonality being the presence of a designer drug—something called ‘Synchronic’. One man found stabbed through the chest with a sword. A woman is bitten by a snake in a hotel. The mystery deepens and comes close to home when Dennis’ own daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) disappears following her taking a dose of the mysterious drug. Steve, who has been hiding a terminal medical diagnosis, commits to finding Brianna at all costs as a friend with nothing to lose.

Synchronic is a smart and unusual time travel film, centered not in an elaborate massive machine, quantum shenanigans, or other genre tropes, but rather accomplishes time travel by the use of a pill that, for a limited duration, allows consumers to travel through time through flattening it for the drug’s consumers, rendering it temporarily non-linear in their subjective experience. It’s certainly an interesting concept—if time travel became reduced from high-tech, centralized technologies to affordable, transportable, mass-producible pills, the terrible consequences the film exhibits would be likely. What’s more novel, being unable to control the destination or the duration add a lot of further complications, ones that are well used to set the plot in motion in ways that differ from more standard treatments of time travel. Overall it is a solid concept, one that certainly appeals to fans of science fiction films.

The performances by both Dornan and Mackie are excellent, with Mackie in particular adeptly walking a delicate balance in portraying a man desperately attempting to help a friend in crisis while struggling with the implications of a frightening, reality-bending drug. It’s a complicated performance to pull off, but Mackie excels in the role. This shouldn’t be news to fans of the directors, whose films are often high-concept intellectual feasts with a strong emotional core. (Incidentally, their last film The Endless does involve time travel in a way in the form of ‘looped time’—I won’t spoil anything but it definitely is worth your time).

Synchronic is certainly a labor of love for the filmmakers as well, who (impressively, it should be added) have a hand in many aspects of the film’s production—Benson co-directed, co-produced, wrote, and co-edited the film, while Moorhead co-directed, co-produced (along with

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Summer Vacation 2020 Was a Bust. But Fall Is a Better Time to Travel Anyway.

During the coronavirus-induced closure of Amangiri, its general manager Julien Surget fielded countless requests from people begging to ride out their stay-at-home orders at the hotel. One even offered to buy out the property for a month. While their attempts were futile—following state restrictions and safety protocol, Amangiri closed for two months in March—they had the right idea.



a chair sitting in front of a mountain: Your annual summer vacation was likely a bust this year. But fall is a much better time for travel, when the weather is better, crowds are thinner, and social distancing-friendly domestic destinations are plentiful.


© Camp Sarika
Your annual summer vacation was likely a bust this year. But fall is a much better time for travel, when the weather is better, crowds are thinner, and social distancing-friendly domestic destinations are plentiful.

The celebrity-adored Utah hideaway is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but desert, sagebrush, and dramatic sandstone mesas that glow in hues of beige, burnt siena, and mauve following the arc of the sun. (For that reason, it’s also quite possibly the most Instagrammable hotel in North America.) With just 34 suites and one villa, Amangiri is made for social distancing. So too is its new sister property, Camp Sarika, an ultra-luxurious encampment of ten tented pavilions just a five minute drive from the main hotel.



Like its sister property, Amangiri, Camp Sarika is surrounded by hundreds of acres of secluded Utah desert.


© Camp Sarika
Like its sister property, Amangiri, Camp Sarika is surrounded by hundreds of acres of secluded Utah desert.

Like many of their peers, Amangiri and Camp Sarika have been operating at reduced capacity since reopening in May to maximize safety. On any given day, there are no more than 60 guests on site. “Considering we’re on 600 acres, 10 acres per person isn’t a bad deal,” Surget says.

Gallery: Vacation Inspiration: 10 Places to Go This August (Town and Country)

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The Air Travel Recovery Has Stalled. Why It Might Be Time to Buy Airline Stocks Anyway.

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Delta Air Lines said it expects to be cash-flow positive next spring.


Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Bearish sentiment on airlines may be running deep. But some analysts are making a case for the stocks, arguing there’s value in a lagging sector that has a postpandemic recovery path.

Citigroup analyst Stephen Trent reiterated Buy recommendations on several domestic and foreign airlines Wednesday, including

Delta Air Lines

(ticker: DAL),

Spirit Airlines

(SAVE),

Ryanair Holdings

(RYAAY),

Azul

(AZUL), and

Copa Holdings

(COPA).

The rationale for airline stocks is getting tougher as it sinks in that the recovery will take longer than hoped. “We are looking at a tough winter with cash crunches,” Trent writes. And it’s hard to be positive on a cyclical sector that isn’t participating in the broader cyclical rally that has lifted transportation and industrial stocks.

“But at a certain point,” he writes, “there’s scarcity value in a lagging sector with post-pandemic legs…the challenge being when and where things normalize.”

Global traffic patterns point to a mixed and uneven recovery. Air travel in the U.S. has improved a bit lately, with more than 1 million passengers going through security checkpoints on Sunday, the highest levels since the early days of the pandemic in mid-March. But that is still well below daily averages above 2 million passengers last fall, and traffic—which fell back to 662,000 passengers on Tuesday—isn’t showing a sustained rebound.

Total traffic isn’t the only headwind—it’s the fares and revenue composition, too. The U.S. recovery is being fueled by leisure and small-business travel, while large-scale corporate and international travel remains severely depressed. Consumers taking short hops to see friends and family may be filling planes domestically, but it isn’t helping the full-service legacy carriers that built route structures based on higher-margin business and international travel.

Global air travel remains broadly depressed. Domestic traffic in China is now higher, year over year, and Latin American markets like Brazil are looking stronger. But travel to European destinations is stagnating. Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, recently said it would maintain capacity at 40% of last year’s levels through the first quarter of 2021, well below prior estimates of 60% of capacity. Travel restrictions by the European Union “forced” the airline to trim its schedule, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said.

Country-specific travel restrictions remain a big hurdle. Canada, for instance, recently loosened some restrictions, allowing extended family members to visit for the first time since the pandemic started. But the rules remain onerous: Visitors must commit to staying in Canada for 15 days, present a detailed quarantine plan, stay isolated for 14 days, and have written authorization for the visit from Canadian immigration authorities. “Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa,” the Canadian government said.

Airlines are cutting their cost structures by 30% to 40% to adjust to lower demand, Trent writes. But the big question remains: When will a sustainable recovery take hold?

J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker is

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TSA screens 1 million passengers in one day for first time since mid-March as travel picks up during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus is still in the air, but so are travelers.

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 1 million passengers on Sunday, the first time passing the seven-digit mark since March 17, just five days after Tom Hanks and Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

Between Monday and Sunday, 6.1 million passengers crossed through TSA checkpoints, the highest weekly volume since the pandemic began.

The TSA touted its health protocols in keeping passengers safe, including acrylic barriers and technologies that reduce or eliminate physical contact between passengers and officers.

“TSA has been diligent in our efforts to ensure checkpoints are clean, safe and healthy for frontline workers and airline passengers, implementing new protocols and deploying state-of-the-art technologies that improve security and reduce physical contact,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement Monday.

While the TSA said its numbers are still “well below pre-pandemic levels,” the slow return to normalcy comes as coronavirus rates begin to spike again.

As of Monday, more than 8.1 million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus and almost 220,000 deaths reported so far.

Many airlines are still using their own health protocols, including mask usage and leaving seats open to help with social distancing.

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Time For Travel To Take Off Again

As Covid-19 continues to take its toll on 2020, with varying levels of quarantine measures in place across the world, the desire to travel still remains strong. According to our global research 70% of people are already planning their 2021 break or about to start doing so soon. Since global travel became commonplace people’s passion for exploring new countries has only grown. Prolonged periods at home during the pandemic is only going to have heightened people’s sense of adventure and search for escapism.

The impact of Covid-19 has been far-reaching and is unlike any challenge the travel industry has had to navigate before. But there is a lot the travel industry can learn about consumers and how to adapt services to cater for travel and tourism in 2021.

Transparency is going to be key to consumer confidence in the future. Hundreds and thousands of people had travel plans disrupted, an unprecedented amount of people for airlines, accommodation providers and travel agents to process refunds for. While our research shows that people do have a desire to travel, people need greater assurance, 60% of travelers would need a guaranteed refund for travel and accommodation, in case of cancellation before committing to book a trip. The travel industry has responded to this with new insurance products, including our own Covid-19 insurance, launched to market to support travelers in case of disrupted travel.

Travelers are still focused on making plans for holidays but need reassurance that their trips are safe. A third of travelers are paying closer attention to the hygiene ratings of travel and accommodation providers they stay with. Reviews, both online and by word of mouth, are likely to become even more crucial in helping people decide what company to book with, where to stay and what restaurants to visit while on holiday. Uncertain travelers will seek recommendations and reassurance.

Familiarity with a place is going to become more important too. This could be familiarity by association, for example, a recommendation from friends or family, or travelers deciding to return to destinations where they feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the health services and government infrastructure in place. Tourist boards and holiday providers can use this to their benefit. Marketing and advertising messaging should reassure customers, highlight a sense of home from home and empower travelers to understand a country’s health and safety precautions.

2021 remains a vision of hope for the travel industry and customers. Only 4% of travelers that went abroad this summer felt unsafe during their trip, with the vast majority of respondents finding the steps taken at airports, in accommodation, at tourist attractions and in restaurants created an environment that was safe and enjoyable. 

Given that 70% of people are either currently planning or about to start planning 2021 holidays it demonstrates the continued appetite for going away. Of those with plans for a trip already in motion, the majority are planning a short-haul holiday – this reinforces the increasing importance to travelers of familiarity with a destination.

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Victoria’s Covid restrictions ease as Daniel Andrews reveals 25km travel bubble and scraps exercise time limit

Melbourne’s 5km travel radius will expand to 25km from midnight under eased restrictions announced by the state’s premier Daniel Andrews.



Daniel Andrews holding a sign: Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

From 11.59pm on Sunday, residents of the city who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days will be able to travel up to 25km for either exercise or shopping.

The city’s two-hour time limit for exercise and socialising will also be scrapped and groups of up to 10 people from two households will be permitted to gather outdoors.

Hairdressers and outdoor sporting facilities including tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen, and outdoor real estate auctions will recommence.

Several changes were also announced for regional Victoria, where two adults and two children will now be permitted to visit a home and hospitality venues can increase the number of patrons to 70 people outside and 40 people inside.



Daniel Andrews wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Premier Daniel Andrews announces the easing of some restrictions on Sunday, saying Victorians had done ‘an amazing job’ during months of coronavirus lockdown.


© Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Premier Daniel Andrews announces the easing of some restrictions on Sunday, saying Victorians had done ‘an amazing job’ during months of coronavirus lockdown.

Andrews said on Sunday Victorians had done “an amazing job” during months of extended lockdown.

“What it means is that as so many cities across the world head into what is going to be a deadly winter, we in Melbourne and across Victoria are well-placed to have a Covid-safe summer and a Covid-normal 2021,” he said.

Restrictions to ease even further on 1 November

There will be further easing of restrictions in both Melbourne and regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday 1 November.

From that date, Melbourne residents will be permitted to leave their homes for any reason, retail will reopen, hospitality venues will reopen with limits on the number of patrons, and two adults and two children will be able to visit another home once per day.

Andrews said if it was possible to make some of those changes safely before that date, the government would consider it.

The state announced another day of single figures for new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with two cases recorded and no deaths.

Andrews hits back after federal MPs pile on premier

Andrews took aim at federal government MPs, including the health minister Greg Hunt, who have been critical of the state’s approach and called for a reopening in line with conditions in New South Wales.

“I don’t accept that anybody has a more complete picture of what this virus is doing in Victoria than the Victorian chief health officer, the Victoria deputy chief health officer, the Victorian health minister and the Victorian premier,” he said.

“My position to the Victorian communities but I’m not doing what is popular, I am doing what is safe. Because we don’t want to be back here again.”

Melbourne’s rolling 14-day case average dropped to 7.5 on Sunday, down 0.6 from Saturday.

Changes in Melbourne from 19 October

  • There will be no time limit on leaving your home for exercise or socialising.

  • The travel distance from your home will

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Why you should still take vacation time during the pandemic

“Time off doesn’t have to mean taking your annual vacation,” says Andrew Shatté, cofounder and chief knowledge officer of meQuilibrium, a science-based resilience training provider. “You may be thinking, ‘I’m not going to fly and don’t want to vacation somewhere close, so why bother?’ But grabbing a few days can make a big difference.”

Many employees decided to cancel their PTO and work instead, says Rhiannon Staples, chief marketing officer of the people management platform Hibob. “However, vacation days are earned and part of your benefits package,” she says. “They’re something that you should be taking advantage of—and not feeling guilty about.”

Why it’s important

It can be hard to draw a distinction between work and personal time when you’re working from home. Unfortunately, this can contribute to stress.

“We watched the journey during the pandemic,” says Staples. “In the beginning, many of us were grateful to have a job. But six months of working from home is causing burnout and hurting work-life balance. More than ever, you need time off to take care of your mental wellbeing. It has a significant impact on productivity and creativity.”

How much time to take

How you structure your time off will depend on your company and your role, says Staples. “We’ve seen a trend in taking extended weekends as opposed to two-week periods off,” she says. “It’s possible to reboot in a small amount of time, such as taking a Friday and Monday.”

Taking shorter amounts of time can also help relieve the burden you may feel you’re leaving for your colleagues as many companies may be working with smaller teams after layoffs or furloughs. “Think about how your work is going to get done,” says Staples. “Make sure there are systems and mechanisms to manage PTO effectively.”

What to do

Time off can be used in many ways that don’t involve travel. Many workers are juggling extra responsibilities at home, such as homeschooling children or taking care of aging parents. A few days away from work can allow you to catch up and create a sense of balance.

“Maybe it’s simply a day you don’t work and you devote to yourself,” says Shatté. “Maybe it’s just reading a book or watching movie. Or maybe it’s a day to devote to your kids, so you feel better when you can’t be 100% present the rest of the week. Be mindful in the moment and shut out thoughts about work. We can get personal time off even when you’re not leaving house.”

“Time off should be used to do something that enriches your own life,” adds Staples. “By shutting off from work, you can focus on other things. It could be taking a couple of days to go hiking in nature at a nearby place. It could be learning a new skill. It’s also a great time to do home projects you never had time to do. The best thing to do during your PTO could be something different for everyone.”

Managers’ responsibility

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25 Most Popular Recreational Activities For First Time Participants

Most health enthusiasts agree, living an active lifestyle is crucial to a healthy life. The problem with most people however is that first, crucial step into an activity that promotes a non sedentary lifestyle. Some activities may require some knowledge and skills that may not be easy for most to acquire. So what’s a person to do? The answer is to face it head on but to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of activities most popular among first time users. Based on research by the Outdoor foundation, these are 25 most popular recreational activities For First Time Participants.

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saltwateren.wikipedia.org

As the title indicates, salt water fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big draw back to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches.

Bird-watchingcommons.wikimedia.org

With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature.

alpineen.wikipedia.org

Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.

snowboardkingen.wikipedia.org

An American born sport that is getting world wide attention, snowboarding was developed in the 1960’s and became part of the Olympics in 1998. Like any other extreme sport, snowboarding does present risks of injury (especially for new participants), in fact, you are twice as likely to get injured while snowboarding than Alpine skiing.

backpackingcommons.wikimedia.org

Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote places that are usually un-accessible by any other means.

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