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In his new Netflix special, Burnham looks for comedy in total societal collapse.

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Comedian, actor, screenwriter, and director Bo Burnham’s last standup special, 2016’s Make Happy, closes with a bit of camera trickery: After finishing his routine, Burnham walks off stage at the Capitol Theatre to a standing ovation, and, through a hidden cut, appears to emerge inside a small Los Angeles guest house. (It’s not clear there’s been a change in location until the crowd noise abruptly cuts off as Burnham turns to the camera and says, “Oh, good, it’s just us.”) After performing one last song, the comedian opens the guest house door and emerges into his own sunny backyard, where he’s greeted by his longtime partner, Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria, and his dog Bruce. The shot is framed to pose a contrast between the austere demands of creative work and the vibrant life going on outside:

A shot from Make Happy showing Burnham with his girlfriend and dog framed through a door from inside a guest house with a synthesizer.
Netflix

The main thing you need to know about Bo Burnham’s terrific new special, Inside, which hit Netflix on Sunday, is that it was almost entirely filmed inside that guest house. Burnham wrote, directed, shot, and edited the special himself while quarantined during the pandemic, and it simultaneously functions as a comedy special, a coronavirus diary, an attempt to channel Vegas-era Howard Hughes, and a smart and moving exploration of depression, apocalypticism, self-hatred, and, of course, internet culture. That sounds like a hell of a thing to put an audience through, and Burnham is more uneasy about the transaction than ever, oscillating wildly between a need for attention and sheer contempt for anyone who gives it to him. The show’s opening song sets the tone with the lyric, “I’m sorry I was gone, but look, I made you some content / Daddy made you your favorite, open wide!” Later, however, Burnham acknowledges his viewers in a moving tribute to the way comedy brings people together:

Man, you guys were a great crowd. Give it up for yourselves for coming out, by the way, tonight. Give it up! Supporting live comedy in these weird times, it’s crazy. These are some pretty crazy times. But it’s nice during these crazy times that we can get together and laugh.

He delivers those lines through an extremely unkempt quarantine beard, sitting in his underwear on a stool in his empty guest house, over the sounds of birdsong. It’s like John Hodgman’s remarks about Sept. 11, updated to account for modern levels of misanthropy and despair. There are traditional comedy bits, and they’re good ones: In one sketch, Burnham plays a corporate consultant on social issues who gives advice like, “The question is no longer, ‘Do you want to buy Wheat Thins?’ for example—the question is now, ‘Will you support Wheat Thins in the fight against Lyme Disease?’ But the main action is in Burnham’s relationship to his own work, and that work’s irrelevance in the face of global collapse.

When your show’s premise is tap dancing over an abyss, you have to be a spectacular tap dancer, and fortunately, Burnham is. One of his signature moves in prior specials was dressing up ugly things in dazzling pop music, and he’s still doing that, but creating a special without an audience gave him a lot more room to play around with structure, and the results are extraordinary. The highlight is a worthy successor to Mr. Show’s legendary Pre-Taped Call-In Show,” in which Burnham performs a brief “Sixteen Tons”-type song about unpaid interns, then cuts to a recursive series of reaction videos, reaction videos to the reaction videos, and so on:

A recursive shot showing Bo Burnham reacting to a video of Bo Burnham reacting to a video of Bo Burnham reacting to a video of Bo Burnham singing a song.
Netflix

The Mr. Show version of this joke is purely about its recursive structure, but Burnham turns it against himself in the reaction video to his reaction video:

What I’m doing is I’m explaining what the song means, and what it’s about. I’m being a little pretentious—it’s an instinct that I have where I need everything that I write is to have some deeper meaning or something. But it’s a stupid song and it doesn’t really mean anything. And it’s pretty unlikable that I feel this need, this desperate need, to be seen as intelligent.

It’s not exactly revolutionary for a comic to draw on their own insecurities, but the number of ways Burnham critiques his own work in Inside is remarkable, whether he’s imagining an angelic choir urging him to heal the world with “the indescribable power of your comedy,” reimagining his quarantine existence as a terrible video game he’s live-streaming, or bringing in a sock puppet to yell things at him like “Why do you rich fucking white people insist on seeing every single political concept through the myopic lens of your own self-actualization?” At one point, he projects himself giving an extremely unconvincing anti-suicide pep talk (“Just don’t, all right?”) onto his own t-shirt, as elegant a visualization of self=commodification as I’ve ever seen:

An unkempt Bo Burnham sits in a chair wearing a white t-shirt, on which is projected an image of Bo Burnham giving a double thumbs-up.
Netflix

It’s a strange position to work from, but despite Burnham’s relentless undercutting of his own work, Inside is not entirely an exercise in self-pity or narcissism. Instead, Burnham’s habit of judging himself by the same harsh standards he applies to the rest of the world gives him room to go bigger than he otherwise might. One of the special’s most elaborate songs is a critique of the internet in its entirety, which is a lot easier to take from someone who isn’t claiming to be above it. Burnham insists again and again that he’s part of the problem, like all of us, which is the only way to even begin reckoning with the shitty civilization we’ve built. Despite its many levels of jokes and meta-jokes, Inside is one of the most sincere artistic responses to the 21st century so far: a beautiful, intricate chambered nautilus shell filled with loathing.

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From symptoms to precautions, what you need to know about Omicron — Covid’s latest horror

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Omicron patients reported extreme tiredness, mild muscle aches, a scratchy throat and dry cough.


Omicron patients reported extreme tiredness, mild muscle aches, a scratchy throat and dry cough. | Representative image&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • The new variant of SARS-CoV-2 — Omicron — has been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization.

  • A South African doctor said that the Omicron patients she treated had “unfamiliar symptoms”.

  • The Omicron patients have shown extreme tiredness, mild muscle aches, scratchy throat and dry cough, with a few reporting slightly high temperature.

The new variant of SARS-CoV-2 — Omicron — has been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 26, 2021. The variant, belonging to a lineage named B.1.1.529, is possibly even more transmissible than the highly infectious Delta variant as per early indications. The experts opine that the current vaccines may be less effective against it. While a lot of things about the variant are still unclear even to the epidemiologists, preliminary data has some revelations.

How infectious is Omicron

From what is known currently through preliminary analysis, this variant is highly infectious. The Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) has said that South Africa has reported a four-fold increase in new cases, coinciding with the emergence of Omicron over the last two weeks. Further, the NGS-SA added that the rapid and consistent rise in the number of cases is most likely fuelled by cluster outbreaks. The Omicron cases have shown a marked increase in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, and the NGS-SA speculates that the variant has already travelled to most other provinces as well. WHO has maintained that epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if the increased number of cases is because of Omicron or whether there are other factors.  

What are the symptoms

Coming to the symptoms, there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants, according to the WHO.  The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of South Africa maintains the same, saying that currently, “no unusual symptoms” have been reported following infection with the Omicron variant, though highlighting that some individuals who tested positive are asymptomatic, as the case with other infectious variants such as Delta.

However, a South African doctor who raised the alarm over this new variant has revealed that the patients she treated had mild but unfamiliar symptoms, according to an AFP report. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, said that she had seen around 30 patients over the past 10 days who tested positive for Covid-19 but had unfamiliar symptoms. The symptoms included mild muscle aches, a “scratchy throat” and dry cough, and only a few had a slightly high temperature, she said adding that these very mild symptoms were different to other variants. 

Do the patients require hospitalisation

On the hospitalisation requirement, WHO said that there are increasing rates of hospitalisation in South Africa in the clusters where the variant seems to have been reported most widely. However, the health body is quick to add that the increasing rates may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected. Coetzee confirms the same and adds that her patients recovered fully without hospitalisation.

What is the vulnerable group

What was concerning, however, was the age group that showed an increased vulnerability to Omicron. Of the 30-odd patients that Coetzee treated, most were men under the age of 40. Less than half of them were vaccinated. It is very much possible that they could be of the same cluster. Initially, the reported infections were among university students — younger individuals who tend to have milder forms of the disease. However, WHO stresses that understanding the level of severity and the vulnerable targets will take days to several weeks.   

What about re-infection

According to WHO, preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron, meaning that people who have previously had COVID-19 could be re-infected more easily with Omicron, as compared to other variants of concern. However, the information is limited and cannot be taken as absolutely certain.

Do the existing vaccinations help

Well, that’s another grey area. According to preliminary studies, vaccines are 40 per cent less effective on this variant — thanks to the 32 mutations in the spike protein. The currently available vaccines trigger the body to recognise the version of the spike from older versions of the virus. However, since the spike protein looks so different on Omicron, the body’s immune system may not be able to recognise and fight it off.

Further, of the 32, three mutations — H655Y, N679K and P681H — help the virus penetrate the body’s cells more easily, and two mutations — R203K and G204R — help the virus replicate faster. The mutations P681H and N679K which are “rarely seen together” could make Omicron is more resistant to vaccines, according to British scientists as per a report in Daily Mail.

However real-time data shows that high vaccination rates significantly reduce the stress that Omicron causes on health systems. Experts have stressed that vaccination remains crucial to protect groups at high risk of hospitalisation and death.

How to prevent it

The same protocol that has been put in place since the outbreak of the pandemic — Covid-appropriate behaviour including wearing masks, social distancing, good ventilation in shared spaces, and sanitising hands and surfaces regularly. As WHO puts it, the pandemic is far from over and the emergence of the new variant establishes that for certain.

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Here’s What You Should Know

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Inside Edge Season 3 Release Date: This series created by Karan Anshuman and directed by Kanishk Varma aims to show the audience the dark underbelly of cricket as the ultimate game of power and greed is unleashed. The movie stars Bollywood actors like Richa Chadha, Vivek Oberoi, Tanuj Virwani and Aamir Bashir.

The makers of Inside Edge Season 3 said that the plot of this season will keep the audiences hooked to the show and will impress fans and audiences alike in India and beyond.

Ritesh Sidhwani, Producer of the show has said, “Inside Edge is and will always be very special to us given that it is Excel’s first original with Amazon while also being Amazon’s first original in India. We are thrilled to chronicle the next gripping phase of the journey of Mumbai Mavericks, which will ultimately decide the fate of the team that has battled many odds. The third season of the Inside Edge franchise is a testament to the fact that we are committed to bringing our creative vision to life through interesting and innovative formats. We’re eagerly looking forward to the global premiere of the show on Prime Video.”

Trailer of Inside Edge Season 3

The trailer was released by the official YouTube channel of Amazon Prime Video India on November 22, 2021. “Amidst the greatest show on earth: an India v/s Pakistan cricket series, the politics of Indian cricket is laid bare, its secrets unraveled and truths exposed. The stakes have never been higher, even as they are investigated for corruption, battle lines are drawn for TV rights, endorsement deals and the captaincy of the Indian team. But what is the limit to the price of power?”, read the caption.

The trailer has got 19,292,971 views and 1505 comments so far. Watch the trailer here.

Inside Edge Season 3 Release Date 

Inside Edge Season 3 is slated to release on 3rd December.

Where to watch Inside Edge Season 3

Inside Edge Season 3 will be available for viewing on Amazon Prime.


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Vistara resumes flights to Singapore amid concerns over new Covid-19 variant | Latest News India

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The World Health Organisation has dubbed Omicron a variant of concern after early evidence showed it could be more transmissible, and resistant to immunity from past infection or vaccination

A Vistara flight from Mumbai landed in Singapore on Monday while Singapore Airlines and IndiGo were also scheduled to resume their flights between the two countries even as the airlines awaited clarity on operations in view of the detection of a new Covid-19 variant–Omicron.

The government on Friday allowed scheduled international flights from December 15 to and from all countries considered not at risk”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked officials to review the plan to ease international travel restrictions after the new variant triggered global alarm. He called for the need to be “proactive in light of the new threat”.

The World Health Organisation has dubbed Omicron a variant of concern after early evidence showed it could be more transmissible, and resistant to immunity from past infection or vaccination. The detection has prompted countries such as Japan to suspend the entry of foreign visitors.

Also Read: Congress MP reminds Centre of promise to fully vaccinate Indians by 2021

Vistara operated the Mumbai-Singapore flight under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), which allows quarantine-free travel to Singapore for fully vaccinated travellers. The airline has scheduled five flights weekly to Singapore.

IndiGo was scheduled to operate a Chennai-Singapore flight under VTL at 2.50 pm. It has been allocated 3,618 seats per week, of which 1,624 seats will be available on the Chennai-Singapore route under VTL.

“The rest of the capacity will be utilised under non-VTL conditions for travel to and from Singapore,” an airline spokesperson said.

A Singapore airline official said they will be operating flights to Singapore as per schedule until the government issues fresh guidelines. The airline’s first flight between the two countries is scheduled to take off at 4.25 pm (IST) from Singapore and arrive in Delhi at 9.55 pm.

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