Thank you, Tokyo Olympics, for bringing us the ‘beast mode’ we all needed

Many wanted the Tokyo Olympics cancelled, but in the end, they were incredible.

The best.

Pushing past the flimsiest steel barrier ever constructed, into a restricted area he clearly shouldn’t have had access to, Boxall ripped off his required mask and proceeded to… dry hump a fence like The Ultimate Warrior circa Wrestlemania 6?

Like I said. Beast Mode.

The best part: In the background, a Japanese Olympic official, doing her level best to provide resistance, raises her hands like a frightened gazelle and then succumbs. Slowly those raised hands are lowered, evolving into confused claps. OK, she seems to say. You’re here now. There’s nothing I can do about this. I’m just going to try and enjoy this front row seat to Beast Mode, starring Dean Boxall.

In this metaphor, Boxall is the Tokyo Olympics. Both as an event and an idea. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic both probably shouldn’t be here. As the world reels from the effects of the delta strain and global vaccine hesitancy, this is the Olympics no one asked for. Dean, what are you doing here? Bugger off, Dean. Now is not the time.

High jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi gave each other their gold medals. This is too much.

Me? I’m the Japanese official. We’re all the Japanese official. Nervous, unsure how to react, ultimately acquiescing to this moment completely out of our control. Even in Japan, the host country, people were protesting the Olympics. First we collectively raised our hands in passive resistance. Seconds later we were all clapping.

And we were clapping because Dean Boxall is awesome. Reckless, sure. But so awesome. The Olympics were reckless too — but also awesome.

This is what the Olympics delivers: Beast Mode direct to your screen and your heart. It’s in the business of providing iconic moments like Boxall’s. Moments that simultaneously inspire and subvert our sense of what’s possible. Weird shit, displays of pure athleticism.

Two men collapsing into one another’s arms when they realize they can share a gold medal instead of duelling to the death for it. Skateboarding girls cheering each other on, making quick friends in the face of fierce competition. Runners stumbling, falling over in potentially race-ending collisions, miraculously recovering to win races.

Incredible, awe-inspiring moments.

Maybe it’s because we live in a universe where moments like these are worshipped, contorted and shaped into GIFs, tweets and memes in an infinite social media content spiral, but it somehow feels like we’ve had more of these moments compared to previous Olympics. That these Olympic Games have meant more than we ever could have expected when we cynically, reluctantly invited them into our homes.

Personally, as a man living in Sydney, a city wrestling with strict lockdowns that could potentially last for months, the Olympics was been a salve I didn’t realize I needed. It was a welcome distraction as I juggled home-schooling, work and a near-permanent dread at the daily ritual of waiting for Sydney case numbers to drop so we can all go back outside and live relatively normal lives.

There were a million reasons why the Olympic Games shouldn’t have happened in 2021. A million reasons why we shouldn’t have watched and supported what is arguably an irresponsible event run for the wrong reasons. But it’s also equally possible that — this year — the Olympics were more useful than ever.

The Tokyo Olympics probably shouldn’t have happened because of COVID-19. But I’m also happy it happened — because of COVID-19. If that makes sense.

None of it makes sense.

But right now, sport — with its simple rules and digestible outcomes, with its warm blanket of normalcy and straightforward narratives of triumph over adversity — is maybe the only thing that makes sense.

The Olympics, much like Dean Boxall, busted its way into our homes and televisions and refused to leave. An unwelcome guest. But, like the uncertain Olympics official dealing with the uncontainable Boxall as he dry humped a fence, I’m glad the Olympics forced their way into my life. I couldn’t have done lockdown without it.

See hospitalized kids ‘run the bases’ at Dodger Stadium, via robots

Take me out to the ball game, bots.

Richie visits the baseball field from the hospital.

“Turn it that way, there we go,” Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux coached a patient, who was maneuvering the robot around the field from afar, using buttons that direct the bot backward and forward. “Hey, you did a great job running the bases,” Lux said, getting up close to the display atop the robot’s base, which let him interact with the young baseball fan via video chat. Young fans get to run the bases after some Dodgers home games, and this gave the ill children a chance to participate.

The foldable Ohmni Telepresence Robots, from OhmniLabs, stand just under 5 (1.5 meters) feet tall and weigh 20 pounds (9 kilograms). For this occasion, they wore blue and white Dodgers jerseys. Some of the patients also donned Dodgers garb.

“Experiences like this are incredibly powerful for patients who cannot leave their hospital rooms or homes because of their health conditions,” Kelli Carroll, director of the Child Life Program at UCLA Health, said in a statement.

Telepresence robots aren’t new. Among their many uses, they’ve allowed sick kids to attend school and beamed students who had to be out of town at prom time to the big event. But the coronavirus pandemic has brought the robots’ many potential uses into sharper relief.

“Hopefully, you get better and you can come out here, and we can play some catch,” a player told a patient named Crew who plays right center field and catcher. Here’s wishing Crew, and all others, a lifetime of home runs.

Tokyo Olympics to be held under state of emergency, won’t allow spectators

Rising COVID-19 cases in Japan’s capital have led to a third state of emergency for the city, one that will last throughout the Olympic Games.

The Olympics were postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“New cases in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area have been rising since June,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was reported as saying in the Japan Times. “Stronger measures have become necessary in those areas, but could be lifted early if we see evidence of the positive impact of the vaccine rollout.”

Tokyo’s COVID-19 cases peaked with the new year, with over 2,392 new cases on Jan. 8. Numbers have fallen since, but they’ve been rising since the middle of June. Tokyo recorded 337 new COVID-19 cases on June 15, but July has seen new cases fluctuate between 500 and 920. It’s the third state of emergency the city has endured since the pandemic’s onset, following similar precautions in April and January.

Around 15% of Japan’s 126 million citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A worldwide death toll from the virus had risen to more than 4 million as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In Japan, nearly 15,000 people have died of the virus.

After being postponed more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Olympics are scheduled to begin July 23 in Tokyo. They’ll run through to Aug. 8. Though many experts cautioned against holding the games, Japan’s government has pressed on — albeit with increasing restrictions as the games approached.

Officials last month said local fans would be allowed to physically attend the games, but with venues limited to 50% capacity or up to 10,000 spectators max. In March, officials banned overseas spectators from the Olympics.

Electrify your commute with these Fluid Freeride Black Friday scooter deals

Get some serious savings on these scooters.

Note all scooters’ travel estimates will vary depending on travel speed, terrain, rider weight and other factors.

The Cityrider is a last-mile scooter powered by a 350-watt motor with a top speed of 18 mph and a listed travel distance of 15 miles. It’s lightweight and easy to store.

The Fluid Horizon is powered by a 500-watt motor, can hit a top speed of 23 mph and has an estimated travel range of 30 miles.

More than a commuter, this scooter has two 500-watt motors with tubeless tires that never go flat. This scooter has a top speed of 26 mph and a travel distance of 30 miles.

For those wanting to go faster, the Apollo Explore can reach a top speed of 31 mph. It has a 1000-watt motor allowing riders to travel up to 35 miles on their commute.

The Inokim Ox is an excellent scooter for anyone needing a little speed in their life without the herky-jerky take-offs. It has a top speed of 28 mph and a travel distance of 30 miles. The Ox runs on a single 800-watt motor and has unique single-sided swingarms that absorb bumps exceptionally well.

The Mantis Fluid Edition is a dual 1000-watt scooter with a top speed of 40 mph that weighs 65 pounds. Most scooters that can hit that speed weigh about 77 pounds; believe me, that makes a difference. It can travel approximately 33 miles on a full charge. This deal throws in a free Cityrider scooter — a $499 value.

The Mantis Pro Fluid Edition runs on dual 1000-watt motors with a top speed of 40 mph and can travel 45 miles on a full charge, making it a great choice for long commutes. Once again, a $499 Cityrider scooter is getting thrown in at no extra charge.

The aptly-named Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11 is a beast of a scooter. It has dual 1200-watt motors, can travel up to 50 mph with a travel distance of 60 miles. Just note that it weighs in at 101 pounds. Right now, The Wolf Warrior is bundled with a free Horizon scooter — a $799 value.

The Nami Burn-E is one of my favorites. Equipped with dual 1500-watt motors, it has a top speed of 60 mph and a travel distance of 90 miles. It also has a suspension that can easily be adjusted for on- and off-road travel and its smart weight distribution keeps the front wheel down when aggressively accelerating.

The Fluid Board is powered by dual 350-watt motors and can hit a top speed of 23 mph. It can travel 20 miles on a single charge. The entire board weighs 17 pounds.

WWE is using TikTok to find its next SummerSlam ring announcer

Applicants with the “most entertaining” videos will win a trip to Vegas for the August event.

WWE is looking for fresh talent to serve as a ring announcer.

WWE will review each video submission before selecting two winners from its TikTok channel, which has more than 11 million followers, on Aug. 16. The company has also been using TikTok’s Resumes feature, which lets job seekers post video resumes to TikTok for positions with partner companies like Chipotle and Target, to find and recruit its next generation of Superstars. Selected applicants will attend a multiday talent tryout in Vegas as part of SummerSlam.

SummerSlam will stream live at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on Peacock in the US and on WWE Network everywhere else.

See also: TikTok has a new resume feature for job seekers

Tokyo Olympics: Watch and stream the final weekend games, closing ceremonies in 4K HDR

The Tokyo Olympics are coming to a close. Here’s how you can watch the end in 4K on FuboTV, YouTube TV, cable or satellite.

Read more: Dolby Vision, HDR10, Technicolor and HLG: HDR formats explained

The Olympic rings float in Tokyo Bay near Odaiba Marine Park, venue of the triathlon and marathon swimming events.

The Olympics started on July 23 with the opening ceremonies. The final day of the competition, as well as the closing ceremonies, will take place on Sunday, Aug. 8.

The first matches of the competition actually began three days before the opening ceremony on July 20 (July 21 in Japan).

Read more: How to watch the Tokyo Olympics

NBC is broadcasting the games in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos sound, though not every TV provider or streaming service offers it. As always, you need a 4K TV and a compatible app or box to view content in 4K HDR.

Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, offers those with its Xfinity X1 service the ability to watch in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision.

Cable provider Optimum (channel 200) and satellite network DirecTV (channel 105) also offer the games in 4K, though not with Dolby Vision.

Read more: 4K vs. 8K vs. 1080p: TV resolutions explained

Dish says it offers the Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel in 4K HDR in its “usual 4K channel slot” at channel 540 as well as in an “Olympics-centralized location” at channel 148. It notes that “timing will coincide with the events being covered on the Golf and Olympics channels.”

DirecTV says its 4K coverage is available on a one-day delay on channels 105 and 106. It includes footage from the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, swimming, gymnastics, diving and beach volleyball and other coverage.

Verizon offers the Olympics in 4K to those with its Fios One service. Channels include NBC (Fios TV channels 1491 and 1492), the Golf Channel (1493) and the Olympic Channel (1494).

Read more: Best 4K TV for 2021

You can stream the Tokyo Olympic games on FuboTV and YouTube TV.

If you’re looking to stream in the highest resolution available, you can do so on FuboTV or with YouTube TV, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

YouTube TV — our go-to streaming TV service pick — has 4K channels available for NBC, NBC Sports, Olympic Channel and Golf Channel, according to The Streamable. You need to be signed up for the company’s new 4K option that runs an extra $20 a month on top of the $65 regular monthly rate. There’s a 30-day free trial of the 4K option, however, which is long enough to last through the entire Olympics. You should also note that the 4K feed isn’t available in every market; here’s the full list.

FuboTV’s home screen on an Apple TV is uncluttered and friendly.

FuboTV costs $65 a month and doesn’t charge extra for 4K, but its higher resolution feeds from NBC, the Olympic Channel and Golf Channel are only available to those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston.

NBC has confirmed that Peacock is not streaming the games in 4K.

While it isn’t in 4K, the service is streaming some of the major games and competitions for free. This includes events such as men’s and women’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s track and field.

It is not, however, streaming the US men’s basketball games for free. For that, you’ll need to pony up for a Peacock Premium subscription, which starts at $5 per month for an ad-supported plan, or $10 per month for the Plus option that offers on-demand content ad-free.

The many NBC channels and websites broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics in the US.

NBCUniversal owns the US rights to Olympics broadcasting and is once again using its variety of networks to show competitions from the Summer Games. This includes the main NBC channel, as well as NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC, the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Golf Channel, Telemundo and Universo.

Per an NBC press release, the main NBC channel will have 17 “consecutive nights of primetime coverage” as well as a live primetime show.

Read more: Tokyo Olympics: All 6 new sports explained

The pandemic continues to plague countries around the world. Tokyo is currently operating under a state of emergency, and fans are barred from attending the games in person. Officials are also asking that people not congregate on roads alongside outdoor events like the marathon, according to the Washington Post.

Read more: Tokyo Olympics: The athletes that have tested positive for COVID-19

Eddie Huang’s Boogie is the ‘Taiwanese-Chinese NY Rocky’

On CNET’s I’m So Obsessed podcast, the talented Huang opens up about making his feature film directorial debut and his love for writing.

Eddie Huang (center) sits between two of the actors in his debut film Boogie: the late rapper and songwriter Pop Smoke (left), who plays Monk, and Taylor Takahashi (right), who plays Alfred “Boogie” Chin.

“It’s not about basketball, right? He [Boogie] plays basketball. But it’s the Taiwanese-Chinese New York Rocky. Rocky is not about boxing, it’s an Italian American coming-of-age story,” said an energized Huang. “That’s what Boogie does with the Asian American immigrant experience. And then it also intersects with the Black experience.”

Boogie stars Taylor Takahashi in the titular role and the late rapper and songwriter Pop Smoke as rival Monk. In February 2020, Pop Smoke was killed when four men broke into and robbed a house he was renting. Along with Boogie being the only movie he was in, Pop Smoke has original music on the film’s soundtrack.

When I watched Boogie, I was taken aback by its smart and raw storytelling. This is an independent film that is both contemporary and old-school. Huang is incredibly gifted when it comes to dialogue, and Boogie reminds me of the satisfaction I get from the dialogue in a film penned by Quentin Tarantino or Diablo Cody.

During our conversation, Huang discussed the challenges of directing his first feature film, how he absolutely loves writing and how Chinese Americans to this day are still hurt by the myth that MSG is harmful.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Huang on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can currently see his film Boogie in theaters. Also, you can subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.

Kevin Costner visits Field of Dreams ahead of real Yankees, White Sox game

If you build it, Major League Baseball will come. And so will Costner.

Kevin Costner starred in Field of Dreams in 1989.

Don’t expect any ghosts of former pro players to appear at the game. It will be a real game that counts in the regular season standings, and will air on the Fox network with a pregame show set to kick off at 3 p.m. PT.

The Field of Dreams is ready to host a real MLB game.

MLB built a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark at the Dyersville farm where the movie was filmed. The new field is located near the current tourist ballpark site and has a view of the surrounding cornfield. “We look forward to celebrating the movie’s enduring message of how baseball brings people together at this special cornfield in Iowa,” commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB.com when the game was announced in 2019.

Costner got in on the nostalgia with a visit to the field. MLB shared a video on Wednesday of the actor walking around on the grass and taking in the sights. “Wow. This is perfect. Every bit of it,” Costner said. “Felt so good to be back,” Costner tweeted when sharing a photo of himself playing catch.

MLB posted a scenic photo of corn, lights and a sign with the phrase “If you build it…” as it hyped up the game on social media on Thursday.

The New York Yankees team Twitter account shared a photo gallery of its own that shows off the verdant green field, stands and signage.

Fans have long made pilgrimages to the Iowa farm where the movie was set. This for-real MLB game will elevate the dream to an even higher level. Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

Originally published Aug. 8, 11:24 a.m. PT.

UFC 263 Adesanya vs. Vettori: Start time, how to watch, predictions, full fight card

We’re just hours away from UFC 263.

Nate Diaz returns at UFC 263.

But in terms of mainstream interest, UFC 263 heralds the return of one of the UFC’s biggest drawcards: Nate Diaz.

Nate Diaz is fighting Leon Edwards in a fight where the odds are stacked against him. To begin with, the contest is at Welterweight. Diaz is strongest in the Lightweight division where his reach and size often drowns opponents. Previous fights at Welterweight have involved other opponents who normally fight at Lightweight, like Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis. This time he’s fighting a true Welterweight in Leon Edwards, a fighter who has dominated in that weight class. He hasn’t lost in almost six years.

In short, it could be a rough night for Diaz.

The UFC 263 main card starts at 10 p.m ET (7 p.m. PT) but here are all the details…

This year the UFC entered into a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC live in the US.

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 263, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site:

You can do all of the above at the link below.

MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 263 exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 263 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation or using the UFC app on your Xbox.

Need more international viewing options? Try a VPN to change your IP address to access those US, UK or Australian options listed above. See the best VPNs currently recommended by CNET editors.

As always, these cards tend to change and evolve. We’ll keep this updated.

Let’s do a couple of quick predictions for a change!

Returning from a failed sojourn at Light Heavyweight, you could assume Adesanya is vulnerable. But the fact is he’s yet to lose at Middleweight and Marvin Vettori presents nothing new for Adesanya.

In addition: Adesanya and Vettori have already fought once before in 2018, which resulted in a split decision victory for Adesanya. It was close but, score cards aside, Adesanya was the clear victor.

Who has improved most since that contest? Adesanya, clearly. His wrestling defence and jiu-jitsu have improved markedly since that fight. This fight will almost certainly stay standing. Expect a similar contest to Adesanya’s last Middleweight defence against Paulo Costa.

Our prediction: Adesanya by TKO.

This fight is another rematch. Figueiredo and Moreno locked horns in a fight that was ruled a draw in December 2020.

That draw was the result of docked points on Figueiredo’s part after a brutal low blow. If not for those docked points, Figueiredo would have won the fight, fairly clearly.

It was a close contest, but I expect this one to be far more decisive in Figueiredo’s favor. His punching power, his size — Figueiredo has been an absolute mauler in his UFC career. This could potentially go the distance (Moreno can really take a shot) but I expect Figueiredo to win.

Our prediction: Figueiredo by decision

People have been quick to write off Nate Diaz in this fight, mainly because he’s not had much success at Welterweight in the past and Leon Edwards is a strong Welterweight.

I expect Edwards to beat Diaz, by mixing up his wrestling, striking and cage work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz took a round or two, particularly since this is a five round fight.

This should be a fun fight.

Our prediction: Edwards by decision

French Open 2020: Tennis schedule, how to watch and more

Cord-cutting tennis fans have many options for livestreaming the matches on the red clay of Roland-Garros.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams will go for her 24th Grand Slam singles title to tie the legendary Margaret Court. Defending French Open champion Ash Barty is not playing due to coronavirus concerns, and Naomi Osaka is skipping the tournament with a hamstring injury, but the women’s draw is still loaded with 2018 French Open champion Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Karolína Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Sofia Kenin and Kiki Bertens all playing.

Rafael Nadal has his eye on his 13th French Open title as the tournament gets underway not in May but September this year.

First-round matches begin on Sunday, Sept. 27. The women’s final is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, and men’s final is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 11.

The tournament will be broadcast on the Tennis Channel and NBC. NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock — which is finally coming to Roku — will also show some third- and fourth-round matches from Saturday, Oct. 3 through Monday, Oct. 5.

Coverage starts at 5 a.m. ET and ends at 3 p.m. ET most days. Early round coverage is on the Tennis Channel, with NBC picking up afternoon coverage on the weekends. The men’s and women’s semifinal and final round matches are on NBC.

You can livestream the tournament on TennisChannel.com and NBCSports.com, but you will need to prove you have a pay TV subscription. Serious tennis fans can subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus for $110 a year to stream the match live from the French Open and hundreds of other tournaments.

If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can watch the French Open with a live-TV streaming service. For the big matches at the end of the tournament on NBC, however, you will need to make sure you can get a live feed of NBC in your area. In some markets, you can watch on-demand but not live content from NBC and the other local networks.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch matches on NBC for free just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

NBC is included in Sling TV’s $30-a-month Blue package. The Tennis Channel is part of the Sports Extra package, which you can add to Sling Blue for an extra $10 a month. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our Sling TV review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC and the Tennis Channel. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

FuboTV costs $65 per month and includes NBC. The $11-a-month Sports Plus package adds the Tennis Channel. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.

AT&T TV Now’s basic $55-a-month Plus package includes NBC but there is no way to get Tennis Channel. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes NBC but not the Tennis Channel. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

Peacock offers three tiers: a limited free plan and two Premium plans. The ad-supported Premium plan costs $5 a month, and the ad-free Premium plan costs $10 a month. You need one of the Premium plans to watch French Open matches live.

Read our Peacock review.

All of the live TV streaming services above offer free trials (except Peacock, which just has a free tier), and all allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.