Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference

New Zealand professor asked to present his work at US event on nuclear physics despite it containing gibberish all through the copy

A nonsensical academic paper on nuclear physics written only by iOS autocomplete has been accepted for a scientific conference.

Christoph Bartneck, an associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received an email inviting him to submit a paper to the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in the US in November.

Since I have practically no knowledge of nuclear physics I resorted to iOS autocomplete function to help me writing the paper, he wrote in a blog post on Thursday. I started a sentence with atomic or nuclear and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions.

The text really does not make any sense.

The atoms of a better universe will have the right for the same as you are the way we shall have to be a great place for a great time to enjoy the day you are a wonderful person to your great time to take the fun and take a great time and enjoy the great day you will be a wonderful time for your parents and kids, is a sample sentence from the abstract.

It concludes: Power is not a great place for a good time.

Bartneck illustrated the paper titled, again through autocorrect, Atomic Energy will have been made available to a single source with the first graphic on the Wikipedia entry for nuclear physics.

He submitted it under a fake identity: associate professor Iris Pear of the US, whose experience in atomic and nuclear physics was outlined in a biography using contradictory gender pronouns.

The nonsensical paper was accepted only three hours later, in an email asking Bartneck to confirm his slot for the oral presentation at the international conference.

I know that iOS is a pretty good software, but reaching tenure has never been this close, Bartneck commented in the blog post.

He did not have to pay money to submit the paper, but the acceptance letter referred him to register for the conference at a cost of US$1099 (also able to be paid in euros or pounds) as an academic speaker.

I did not complete this step since my university would certainly object to me wasting money this way, Bartneck told Guardian Australia. … My impression is that this is not a particularly good conference.

The International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics will be held on 17-18 November in Atlanta, Georgia, and is organised by ConferenceSeries: an amalgamation of Open Access Publications and worldwide international science conferences and events, established in 2007.

An organiser has been contacted by Guardian Australia for comment.

Bartneck said that given the quality of the review process and the steep registration fee, he was reasonably certain that this is a money-making conference with little to no commitment to science.

I did not yet reply to their email, but I am tempted to ask them about the reviewers comments. That might be a funny one.

The conferences call for abstracts makes only a little more sense than Bartnecks paper.

Nuclear and sub-atomic material science it the investigation of the properties, flow and collaborations of the essential (however not major) building pieces of matter.

A bogus research paper reading only Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List repeated over and over again was accepted by the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, an open-access academic journal, in November 2014.

Song Exploder: How James Vincent McMorrow Infused ‘Get Low’ With R&B and LA

Song Exploder: How James Vincent McMorrow Infused 'Get Low' With R&B and LA

The Irish singer-songwriter took cues from minimalism and Clipse to craft the song. The post Song Exploder: How James Vincent McMorrow Infused ‘Get Low’ With R&B and LA appeared first on WIRED.

Tove Lo: Being open about sex is not a bad thing

The Habits (Stay High) singer has never been good at bottling up her emotions which is why her songs reveal her most intimate experiences. On her second album Lady Wood she tones nothing down

Tove Lo is not having a good day. This morning, after a night of karaoke in Seattle with Maroon 5, she had a phone interview with a fellow Swede. She very nearly hung up on him. He was so condescending, she says, exasperated. By the end of it I was just like, You know what? You obviously have a very set image of what you think of me, so lets just end this. He was like, OK, I didnt get much time anyway No, because you fucking dont deserve it.

When we meet in a secluded corner of the Ace hotel in Portland, ahead of her performance in the city tonight, Lo is still reeling from the encounter. What frustrated her the most, she says, is that he had arrived clutching so tightly to his own misconceptions. I just know hes gonna angle this into me not being a serious artist. I was thinking all the time, You would fucking not be this way if you were talking to a man right now.

Three years after her self-released single Habits (Stay High) exploded, Lo has become all too familiar with condescension. With lyrics both wryly funny and desperately bleak, the song documented her flailing, substance-fuelled attempts to numb the pain of a break-up. Youre gone and I gotta stay high all the time, she sang in the songs chorus, to keep you off my mind. With a precision that only Robyn has mastered with quite such delicacy, Habits was a heartbreak song you could dance to. And yet the conversation around it, and the singles that followed, seemed to focus on two things: the sex and the drugs.

Theres one line about that, and then theres 14 other songs that I wrote, she says of the songs opening lyric: I eat my dinner in my bathtub, then I go to sex clubs.

She had no idea that her candidness would provoke such a strong reaction, nor that her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, would do the same. Sure, its overt sexuality was playfully on the nose at times If you love me right, we fuck for life, she sings in Talking Body but, she insists, shes hardly in uncharted waters. Weve heard that in music since I dont know when. I just feel for me, sex and music have always been very connected. Being open about being a woman, and being open about sex, is not a bad thing. And the other thing is like, would they ever ask a guy this? Ever?

Los second album.

I feel like I grew up in a place where nudity and sex is something natural and not shameful. Here [in the US] theyre like: Oh, youre a bad girl, arent you? You go against the rules. Thats not at all what Im trying to say or do here. Its about just not feeling like its something bad. All of a sudden, Im fighting this fight I didnt know I needed to fight.

Not that Lo has taken this as reason to tone things down on her new album, Lady Wood, with its winking title and the accompanying artwork a closeup of her hand pulling down on her own shorts, the Os of Tove Lo shaped like vaginas. It was inspired by the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers cover, though the Swedish interviewer from this morning, to Los chagrin, assumed she was copying Madonna.

Thematically, the album treads similar ground to its predecessor, but with a self-referential smirk on its face. On the title track, whose minimalist clicks and sparse, elastic beats vaguely resemble modern dancehall, she sings, I know what people say about you, they say the same about me, a nod to the reputation she has garnered. Flashes, a darker take on the effect her increased fame and attention has had on those around her, points out that when she fucks things up a camera flashes.

The seeds for the albums infectious lead single, Cool Girl, came from the monologue Rosamund Pikes character Amy makes in Gone Girl. Dripping with sarcasm, the song lambasts the faux-breeziness that people particularly women are expected to project at the start of a relationship. No, lets not put a label on it / Lets keep it fun, she insists, tongue-in-cheek, teeth gritted, Im a cool girl, Im a, Im a cool girl / Ice cold, I roll my eyes at you, boy. She has been on both sides of it the one trying too hard not to show her hand, and the one unwittingly hurting the other person. Both, she believes, could be avoided if people were less guarded with their feelings. I feel like emotion is seen as a bad thing, where it should be the opposite. We just live like this, making ourselves smaller, to not bother each other. Youre not supposed to be too loud, and [there are] all these rules about how your emotional state should be, and its just it doesnt really make sense. Thats why were all bottled up to here with shit.

Its not something she has ever been particularly good at either, bottling up her emotions though she tried for a while. From a very young age I felt very out of place. I did have a really dark mind and I would notice when I started talking about those things it would not be the best of moments. So I was like: OK, I probably shouldnt. Its very different what goes on up here, she points a tattooed hand to her head, and what you see out here, and I think my music and making videos, that shows the more intense side of me that Ive kind of shaved off growing up, because it was never really OK to be that person. But when Im creative, thats when I feel fully free to be that.

In person, that intensity comes only in flashes. I think when people meet me theyre like: Shes gonna be a fucking mess or just crying or stoned out of her mind, she laughs. She is, as far as I can tell, neither of these things. Now more relaxed after venting about this mornings interview, she sits in a Lady Wood emblazoned onesie, her legs tucked beneath her as she sips an almond coffee (Ive gone from six a day to one a day, I think thats pretty good). So unguarded is her presence that its easy to forget this is a professional encounter. Perhaps thats why she has found herself hit with some wildly inappropriate questions over the years that, and the fact that people take her lyrical candour as licence to intrude.

I remember sometimes thinking, How the fuck did they know that about me? she says of interviewers tendency to ask invasive questions. And then its like, Oh yeah, because its in the fucking song. Still, theres a difference between what shes willing to sing about, and what shes willing to divulge in conversation with a stranger. For me to sit down with someone Ive never met before and [for them to say], So, pick up daddies at the playground? Im like, Yeah, do you want me to tell you about when I was way too young and dated this really old this dad that I met? Its not She trails off and exhales something between a sigh and a laugh.

It may not make sense to most people this willingness to expose herself lyrically, to express her imperfections, her sexuality and her darkness on stage to thousands of people in a way she cant in everyday life. But for Lo, its the only way she can make sense of things. Im putting all my flaws, all my dirty laundry, just out for everyone to see, because thats how I work through it. I dont know why but its just how I deal with it. It makes me move on.

Lady Wood is released on Polydor on 28 October

Elon Musk vs. Jeff Bezos: Who’s going to win in space?

This week, we witnessed another blow in a very public battle between two heavyweights. I’m talking about Elon Musk’s successful vertical landing of his Falcon 9 rocket and his undisguised glee at trumping Jeff Bezos’ recent vertical landing of New Shepard.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: first teaser trailer debuts online

The studio has released the first trailer for James Gunns forthcoming sequel to his blockbuster that was the highest grossing film in the US in 2014

Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy are back in a teaser trailer.

The studio on Wednesday debuted the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, James Gunns forthcoming sequel to his blockbuster that was the highest grossing film in the US in 2014.

The teaser recaptures the spirit of the original by recycling Blue Swedes song Hooked on a Feeling, which made an appearance in the trailer for the first film. After showcasing some interplanetary action, it closes on a funny exchange between former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista, who plays warrior Drax and Chris Pratts cocky adventurer Peter Quill.

Moments before the trailer arrived online, Gunn tweeted a new poster for the film:

Guardians of the Guardians Vol 2 is said to center on family, with the gang embarking on quest to uncover the mystery behind Quills parentage. Marvel teases that new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will make an appearance.

The film opens in US cinemas on 5 May 2017.

The fan rituals that made Rocky Horror Picture Show a cult classic

No matter how good Foxs updated version of the 1975 campfest is, it will never beat watching the original with a live audience and throwing toast at the screen

No matter how good Foxs adaptation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is when it debuts on Thursday, the experience will never match going to see the original 1975 cult classic with a live audience. The worlds longest continuously showing movie plays in theaters across the world every week with shadow casts of actors pantomiming the action and dialogue in front of the screen, with attendees dressed elaborately as characters from the film. There is a ritual of call and response between the audience and the characters on screen, and a host of props that should be taken out or thrown at the appropriate cues.

What if you want to turn your living room into an official Rocky Horror Picture Show screening? The first thing to know is that the experience differs from theater to theater. Some jokes are localized to a certain cast or a certain town, says Eric Garment, the 25-year-old co-director of NYC RHPS, the organization that puts on weekly performances in New York City and has been going since 1976. Thats why it continues to be so loved and proliferate with thousands of people being involved in it. There are no two shows that are ever exactly the same.

The protagonists of the story are Brad and Janet, two squares who get engaged in the opening scene. They celebrate by going to see their science professor Dr Scott, the man who introduced them. On the way to his house, their car breaks down and they wind up in the mansion of Dr Frank N Furter, an alien transvestite who is hosting a party for the unveiling of Rocky, his hunky Frankenstein-esque creation. The innocent Brad and Janet get caught up in a world of decadence and will never be the same. The same goes for anyone watching the film for the first time.

Theyre usually initiated before the film starts with a virgin auction, where those who have never seen the film live are called on stage and auctioned off for sometimes-obscene objects rather than obscene amounts of money. Theyre also asked to perform in lewd contests. We play a little game show called Lets Have an Orgasm and virgins fake their best one and the audience votes on the winner, Garment says. Its great fun.

There are some agreed upon objects that viewers are going to need to have on hand. Rubber gloves come in handy to snap when Dr Frank N Furter first gets up to his lab after singing Sweet Transvestite. Following that there is a dinner scene where Frank puts on a hat, so its nice to do the same along with him. In the same scene he also proposes a toast, where the audience usually throws slices of toast at the screen. Finally, during the song Im Going Home, when Frank sings, Cards for sorrow, cards for pain, its customary to throw cards. Either the playing or greeting variety will suffice.

Garment says there are some traditions that theater owners dont love. Throwing rice during the opening wedding scene used to be ubiquitous until clean-up crews started complaining about the mess. The same goes with people shooting water guns during the song Theres a Light, when Brad and Janet walk through the rain. Janet puts a newspaper over her head in the film, which would also happen in the theater, mostly to protect a well-styled wig from all of those water pistols. There are also some arcane props that are no longer in fashion. Garment says that at the end of the song Planet, Schmanet, Janet, various characters call Frank a hotdog, which would prompt the hurling of the cylindrical mystery meat toward the screen. Yeah, no one wants to deal with flying wieners in public.

Another time-honored tradition is yelling back at the screen at certain times during the film. For instance, every time a character says Brads name, the audience shouts asshole, and every time someone says Janets name they shout slut. No, not very nice, but it can be very funny. There are also a few other well-worn responses, like during Sweet Transvestite when Frank takes an inordinately long pause between the syllables antici and pation, the silence is filled with revelers screaming, Say it!

For those who want a full accounting of what to say when, there are several great annotated scripts available online. Garment says that the biggest laughs come from those who are making it up as they go along and deviating from the script, and even including topical humor. During Time Warp, Franks butler Riff Raff opens a coffin and there is a skeleton inside. Someone invariably shouts, Say hello to [name of recently dead celebrity]. Naturally, the show can get political. Right now the flavor of the week is making specific jokes about Donald Trump and pussies, Garment says.

Its not always the audience shouting after the movie, however. Sometimes a participant will pose a question and let the dialogue of the film answer him. You set it up and you let the movie tell the punchline, Garment says. The only way to pull off those jokes is to see the movie so often that every scrap of dialogue is memorized. The props and some of the common callouts are easy, but for that master level of participation its going to take hours of studying this odd, little film. Theres no time to start like the present.

Is satire dead? Armando Iannucci and others on why there are so few laughs these days

Its hard to poke fun at politicians in an era when theyre held in contempt and every joke is policed for offence, say top television writers

It has become a commonplace to remark on the hyper-sensitivity of the culture; a person saying a vile thing can never be debated, but only no-platformed. A person who once debated another person who went on to say a vile thing thereby shared a platform. Often its hard to establish what was vile about the thing, because if you ask, you are giving it a platform. So once an issue has platform status, the platform acquires final authority and all you can talk about is the platform. Taken as a free-speech issue, it is quite two-dimensional (yourright to say what you like versus my right not to be offended), and therefore boring.

Yet the steady build-up of unsayables has had an effect on humour that you only notice when the jokes are gone.

There used to be a place called satire where you could go when politics got really bad. Say you woke up in 1991 and John Major was still prime minister, there was Spitting Image. Or it was 1994, and you had a headachey, breathless, high-altitude feeling that the government of pompous sociopaths would never end: there was The Day Today. Or it was 2005, in a post-Iraq and post-hope landscape of rule by press release, endless meaningless gestures to assuage the forces of moral outrage that only became bolder: and there was The Thick of It. None of these shows was reactive in the classic sense: they were nothing like the USs Daily Show.

Its not that we never try to do headline-humour (10 OClock Live, The 11 OClock Show, Tonightly). And its not that we always fail Have I Got News for You worked, and continues to work on and off, a bit mysteriously, like a Magimix you bought at university that lasts 20 years longer than all your other small electricals. But our defining satirical tradition has always been rather different: tangential, playful, surreal, creating amplified hyper-realities that excel politics rather than reflect it.

The Thick of It: a world where people are monstrously human, complicated, foul and furious. Photograph: Mike Hogan/BBC

You didnt watch Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It in order to think about Alastair Campbell. You watched him to live in a world where you werent alienated by polish and spin, where people were monstrously human, complicated, foul and furious in a way you understood. You watched him, ultimately, to forget Alastair Campbell.

Re-watching The Day Today now, its surrealism belongs to another age. In episode five, thieves dressed as cleaners steal the British pound. The men escaped, making good with their legs on open ground, Chris Morriss newsreader intoned. (Jesse Armstrong, who co-created Peep Show and co-wrote The Thick of It, noted: The Day Today was at least as interested in satirising form as content. At the time, it felt like traditional news might never recover from how ridiculous Morris made its conventions look.) The anchor continued that the Bank of England had issued an emergency currency based on the Queens eggs, several thousand of which were removed from her ovaries in 1953 and held in reserve.

There is a lot of trust in the surreal Morris, Armando Iannucci et al trusted the audience to get that jokes, like mercury, told you something you couldnt guess but slipped through your fingers if you tried to catch them. We trusted them to bring insight with their obliqueness, without which surreal is just another word for random. The reward of that mutuality was a sense of belonging much more profound than the gooey crowd-think of a Bake Off final.

Chris Morris: ridiculed news in The Day Today. Photograph: Peter Kramer/AP

If you told Morriss joke today, there would be a pearl-clutching, royalist faction (lets term it, for brevity, the Daily Mail) outraged that jokes were being made (with taxpayers money/where children might see delete according to the channel) about the Queens gynaecological apparatus. Followed swiftly by: And arent you lefties supposed to be feminists? How would you feel if someone made a joke about your eggs? From the other side, a feminist outcry, how can the Queens eggs function as a joke in this context without the presupposition that shame is indivisible from the condition of being female? You would find yourself having to defend it; and justifying a joke, like pleading your own character, is to have lost before you begin.

Two personnel notes. First, there are no women in this piece; political satire is a very male world. Second, as Armstrong said bluntly: Talking about satire feels like death. If I heard somebody go, Now Im going to write some satire, and I had to think what that person looked like, Id think, That person looks like a wanker.

There is a magic circle-like code: that the truest of the satirists would never speak of it. More than once, someone said: I bet Chris Morris would never go near a conversation like this. And it was true, he wouldnt.

Ian Martin, originally hired as a swearing consultant by Iannucci for The Thick of It, went on to become one of the main writers. I still remember one from a few years back, he says. One of the characters had demanded of another character that they behave like a Hutu, in graphic and unpleasant detail. It was massively inappropriate and precisely the sort of awful thing that character would say.

Nevertheless, I was challenged to explain why I thought genocide was funny. And thats the tone now, isnt it? Creepy 1984 vibe. Bumptious, puffed-up little dickheads demanding so-and-so is sacked by the BBC. Everyone patrols the boundaries of their own jokes and opinions now. But if they do go over the line, theres a great mass of outrage starlings ready to swoop down and Hitchcock them.

Iannucci agrees that something has changed. Ive found this very worrying, the idea that if anyone says anything that might offend anyone, they mustntbe given a platform. Its like when a complaint is made about a satire show, the reply goes out immediately: The intention was never to offend. The intention was to offend. Ifit hadnt offended, it wouldnt be funny. If we have beliefs, religious or political, and theyre not strong enough to stand up to a joke, then theycant be that good.

Yet this new respect for offence-taking doesnt touch the people who are actually offensive. Iannuccis example is: Donald Trumps campaign manager said this morning, This thing about locking Hillary up in prison, that was just a quip. Trump saying if I were in charge, youd be in jail, doesnt sound like a joke. Theres nothing to signify that its a joke. Theres no set up and no punchline. If its a bold statement that then takes 24 hours to clarify that its ajoke he has reached a beautiful crescendo, like a Gettysburg Address tothe honour of the joke Thats not a joke!

Iannucci believes that in this polarisation excessive sensitivity quelling humour on one side, radical insensitivity masquerading as humour on the other comedy has come to replicate the new extremes of politics. Weve lost the third way, he concludes.

Better times to be a satirist: Spitting Image had plenty of targets in the 1980s. Photograph: ITV/Rex Features

Everyone, from John OFarrell, writer of Spitting Image, onwards, has what Armstrong calls a wistful respect for the endeavour of being in politics. I think politics should be heldin higher esteem, OFarrell says, and not just because, without it, satire has sort of died, really. Theres no pedestal to pull them off. The public hold them in such contempt. Armstrong generally resists grand theories about the state of satire, preferring the happenstance explanation that you getlittle bubbles of great talent Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the Pythons, Iannucci and Morris but you dont get them all the time, any more than you get great pop songs all the time. Some decades donthave a Beatles. But if Ithought there was any dip in satirical output, Imight put it down to the fact that, usually, satirists are there to prick the pomposity of the establishment. Thats an over-beaten piata. Everyones kicking the shit out of the establishment. Being puckish about the trains not running on time, or cold tea, theres some fucker sitting there going:You know why the teas cold? Because of Europe.

OFarrell sees nothing new in the offence-taking: The 80s was another time of extreme leftier-than-thou, people trying to catch each other out and trip each other up, outmanoeuvre each other for political purity. Its related to a lack of confidence. In other words, its because we keep losing. But I keep wondering whether its that way round, or whether we keep losing because we have lost our confidence.

Contempt for mainstream politics ispossibly a global, certainly OECD constant nowadays, and makes the work of challenging the establishment difficult everywhere. But although perhaps I am suffering a surfeit of national pride I think there is something about politics at its extremes that neuters British satire in a specific way. The Americans lampoon their politicians with direct mimicry Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and it works, its funny. Baldwin riled Trump enough that the latter responded, calling Saturday Night Live boring and unfunny (though his narcissists rage admits no dignity, so his taking to Twitter is not as unusual as it would be from any other politician). Whereas, here, anything so direct falls flat: If we did a joke, now, about Theresa May the individual, OFarrell says, that she hadnt told the truth or whatever, people would just say, We knew that. If we did those sketches from the 80s Margaret Thatcher is bossy it just wouldnt work.

Tracking to further extremes, it is really hard to mock Nigel Farage: he is already a caricature of a little England neo-fascist, defending Trumps pussy-grabbing one day, attacking Goldman Sachs without quite saying the words Jewish conspiracy the next. He is a mockery already, and heisnt laughing.

When Nigel met Donald: beyond satire. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Martins analysis is easily the most depressing. Its the great hate shift ofearly 21st-century civilisation. Righteous anger has tipped over online into righteous hatred and its poisoned everything. Maybe thats OK, you know? Victimhood is a legitimate response to targeted abuse. And the internets full of wankers. And civil society is struggling to redefine itself, and all the guy ropes have snapped and its a howling gale, and maybe if the price for some sort of sanity is PC humour, then so be it. But underneath, everyone hopes that its out there, we just have to look in the right place. Satire is a young persons game, which means a digital platform, which means it probably wont be in a Soho cabaret or on BBC2.

Were due a satire boom, OFarrell says optimistically. Weve got a rightwing government doing these appalling things; its time for satirists to gather under the flag. Go on, then. Oh, Im too old now. I leave that to theyounger satirists.

But what if satire isnt firing? How much does that matter? When it is at its height, does it pack any political punch? As Peter Cook said when he opened The Establishment in Soho, he was modelling it on those wonderful Berlin cabarets which did so much tostop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the second world war. OFarrell concludes mournfully but also quite jauntily, with that dualism made possible by being funny to your bones: The thing Ive learned over the30 years of doing it is that satire doesnt work. It has the opposite effect. Our outrage turns into elation and a joke. Its a release valve. I could never bear Christine and Neil Hamilton, but then you look at them, and they are funny, and youre going, Neil hes aledge.

George Orwell said that every joke is a tiny revolution, which I like as a soundbite. But I think every joke is instead of a tiny revolution. He pauses for a minute, to consider whether any of the Spitting Image sketches had had any destabilising effect on Thatchers government. All he can remember wasone Tory MP who had changed hismind to vote in Thatchers favour, afterher Spitting Image puppet looked so sad.

Armstrong says Orwell was also wrong in thinking we couldnt have fascism here, because people would laugh at the goose-stepping. I dont even think thats true. Some people would have been sniggering behind their hands, but a couple of labour camps would solve that problem. It hasno objective truth. Comedy is not good for anything, really. Apart from being one of the only things that makeslife worth living.

Why Ghanaians can’t get enough of Jane the Virgin and Indian soap operas

Veera and Kumkum Bhagya, dubbed in Twi dialect, are some of the most-watch TV shows in Ghana, where the popularity of telenovelas dates back to the 90s

Its afternoon at a hair salon in Osu a busy commercial area in Accra where a group of workers have been shuttling between customers since the morning.

As the day winds to end the stylists in the salon move with a little less urgency, stealing occasional glances at the television screen above one of the large mirrors. Veera, a popular Indian soap opera, is on, grabbing their attention with its dramatic segues, cliffhangers, tension-heightening sound accompaniments and swift closeups capturing the shocked, ecstatic and exaggerated expressions of the actors.

Veera is the second Indian imported soap opera that has been dubbed into Twi (a local dialect of the Akan language in Ghana) by the television channel Adom TV. With families coming home after work and school to catch up on the latest episodes Adoms two shows, Kumkum Bhagya and Veera are two of the most popular on the channel and have become part of peoples regular television watching routine, says Beatrice Ehomah, a producer at Adom. So much so that their success has surpassed what management had expected with people watching and following them with more rigor than the local films on the channel.

There is a lot of learning and encouragement about children and their intelligence, one of the stylists, Grace, says of a storyline in Veera. I like it because of that.

Grace adds that she and her colleagues are often still working when the evening shows begin, but any moments they catch are worth it. Hannah, a trader who has a kiosk on the busy Oxford Street in Osu, also likes that there are lessons to be learned from the shows.

Latin American telenovelas first aired on Ghanaian channels in the 90s with storylines of love, betrayal and family melodramas. Over the years Ghanaians, who were typically used to their own local Kumawood and neighbouring Nigerias Nollywood films, took to the telenovelas from Latin America and Asia, perhaps as a result of the dramatized depictions of daily life that both offer with the added appeal of a foreign lifestyle.

Soap operas such as Juana la Virgen the American version, Jane the Virgin, which returns on CW this week in the US are also popular on cable television. Esmerelda and Rosalinda proved to be instant hits and even served as an avenue for non-fluent English speakers to brush up on their English-language skills.

Even with an increasing number of television channels popping up in the country many of which air English-dubbed telenovelas it wasnt until last year that one channel, Adom TV, a Twi-speakingtelevision station, decided it was time to set themselves apart from the competition. In November the Indian soap opera Kumkum Bhagya became the first to be dubbed into Twi. Others are now following suit.

Originally the target audience was market women, says Ehomah. But now we find kids singing the songs, mimicking and picking up [lines] from the novela.

While the channel is not the only one to locally produce a local language-dubbed telenovela Obonu TV airs a Ga-dubbed Indian show it is the first Twi channel to do so. With the dialect spoken across the diverse country, Adom has been able to reach a wider audience.

Grace says that though she watches both the English- and Twi-dubbed shows, she prefers those that are in Twi and finds as the local producers hoped that more people are encouraged to watch them.

However Amelia, an accountant and regular telenovela watcher, isnt one of those people. Instead she feels like the voiceovers and the actors are at odds with each other.

It doesnt interest some of us anymore, she complains. It becomes annoying when youre watching it. Whoever is speaking for them … it doesnt really match with the scene that is going on. So it takes the fun out of it.

She prefers instead to watch Ghanaian films in local languages. But Ehomah says she and her team are pleased with the success of the Twi telenovelas.

Twi has this humour in it, Ehomah explains. When we translate it we mix it up with the funny words in Twi and it makes it more humorous. So you have the Indians speaking Twi with all those proverbs, its funny, she says. It helps relieve stress.

The week’s best TV: Divorce, Timeless and The Mindy Project

Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO, Mindy Kaling returns to Hulu, and a bunch of time travellers return the past



This NBC drama about a trio who have to go back in time to stop a terrorist from destroying history as we know it is the first of four chronology-hopping shows to debut this season. Its a very likable, lighthearted adventure series which sees our heroes visit the scenes of the Hindenburg crash, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and, if were lucky, the Titanic. Maybe we can travel to the past and stop some of the other time-travel shows from happening. NBC, Monday 3 October at 10pm ET

No Tomorrow

The Walking Dead is the end of the world if it was scary, The Last Man on Earth is the end of the world if it was funny, and No Tomorrow is the end of the world if was a sweet, sweet romance you never want to forget. Evie (Tori Anderson) meets the sexy stranger Xavier (Joshua Sasse) and he tells her that the apocalypse is coming in a little more than eight months. He invites her to help him accomplish his apoca-list of things he wants to accomplish before they are obliterated forever. Yup, its weird, but if we only have eight months left, at least well get to enjoy this show. The CW, Tuesday 4 October at 9pm ET


Ever since Sex and the City went off the air (lets forget about those movies, shall we?) fans have wanted Sarah Jessica Parker back on HBO. Be careful what you wish for. In Divorce she plays a suburban housewife who decides its time to break up with her husband (Thomas Haden Church), but the separation doesnt go as easily as she hoped. Written by Sharon Horgan of Catastrophe and Pulling fame, this is a dark, biting comedy that has none of Carrie Bradshaws frippery but fans might end up loving this show even more. HBO, Sunday 9 October at 10pm EST


The Mindy Project

The fourth season finale left Danny with a choice: his baby momma Mindy or his fiance Jody. Considering he doesnt appear anywhere in the season five trailer, we can only assume what his decision will be. Guess that means more romance for Mindy as Garrett Dillahunt and Bryan Greenberg join the cast. After all, what would Mindy be without a little bit of rom to add to her com? Hulu, 4 October

The Grinder

Like Firefly, Arrested Development and Pushing Daisies before it, The Grinder is one of those brilliant shows that was so ahead of its time it wasnt appreciated when it was on the air. While seemingly a story about an actor (Rob Lowe) who leaves his job playing a famous lawyer on a long-running show to join the family law firm run by his straitlaced brother (Fred Savage), The Grinder was really a deconstruction of television procedurals. It was too good for this world and Fox canceled it after one season. One day we will wake up and realize this was the best sitcom of the decade and on that day, Rob Lowe will say for the last time, The Grinder rests. Netflix 4 October

Time to catch up on

Sabrina the Teenage Witch: CBS All Access is a great streaming service with an awful name. While it recycles original episodes of the shows the network has rebooted (like MacGyver, The Odd Couple, and Hawaii Five-O), it also allows subscribers access to some forgotten gems in need of revisiting. Currently all seven seasons of Sabrina the Teenage Witch are online, just in time for fans to celebrate its 20th birthday. Megan Koester writes: Its feminist ethos and screwball-esque dialogue made it stand out from the average teen show of its day. Thanks to the internet, it might be time for a reappraisal. CBS All Access

TV News

Will & Grace makes pro-Hillary return

Woody Allens Amazon show isnt so hot

HBO Contemplates Game of Thrones spin-off

The CW is remaking Dynasty

Gordon Ramsay lands new variety show

NBC cancels Mail Order Family sitcom after protests

Conviction review flashy new procedural drama should be sent to jail

Despite a great premise and the considerable talents of Hayley Atwell, ABCs latest crime series fails by trying to do too much

Conviction, ABCs latest procedural drama, is a little bit like letting your toddler dress herself for school. Many of the pieces of the ensemble are great, but when you put them together, all you can see is a messy jumble, and the bad things distract from the good. Its a case of trying too hard with somewhat good intentions.

The best thing about the show is the premise: a conviction integrity unity (or CIU) that goes through old cases that are being disputed to make sure the system locked up the right person. As they repeatedly say, they are not the Innocence Project, but its something akin.

Its other ace in the hole is the leader of the CIU, Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell), a former first daughter who is caught with a bunch of cocaine and is blackmailed into leading the unit as a PR stunt by New Yorks district attorney, Connor Wallace (Eddie Cahill). Atwell, who was equally excellent in the sadly departed Agent Carter, does a killer job playing this party girl with a law degree who wants to pretend like she doesnt care about her job but is just too damn smart not to. Shes funny, profane, ambitious, sexy and just about everything you could want from a lawyer. Shes basically Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder, without the mean streak.

So far so good, but then you add that Hayes and her mother, who is running for Senate, have a strained relationship. Then you add that she and Wallace sort of hate each other but want to have sex. Then you add that her No 2, Sam (Shawn Ashmore), wants to steal her job. Then you add that the CIU has to clear each case in only five days for no apparent reason other than to add unnecessary tension. Then you add all the jarring visual flourishes and shaky shots of case photos on a whiteboard. Then you add the flashbacks to the actual crime during the investigation. Then you add the stirring musical montage at the end of each episode when the wrongly convicted are vindicated and get to re-enter the world. Thats the toddler standing in front of you wearing every single thing in her closet thinking shes not going to get ridiculed at kindergarten.

Since it canceled old warhorse Castle, ABC is on the lookout for its next great procedural and with an inherent case-of-the-week structure this could have been a home run. Conviction allows people to root for the underdog and feel like theyre doing the right thing rather than watching another show about a talented man who is helping a female investigator put murderers in jail.

Creators Liz Friedman (Jessica Jones) and Liz Friedlander (The Following) felt the need to pile on a bunch of tired conventions of the genre and uninteresting visual ticks, killing it before it could even get started. Its clear that none of the people the CIU is investigating belong in the slammer, but someone at ABC should be locked up for squandering Atwells considerable talents once again.