What a Week! July 6-12

Answers in Genesis' Ark Encounter opened in Williamsburg, Ky.; James Franco's production company signed on for two more films shot in the Queen City this summer; Pokémon Go mania descended and more.

Jul 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm
Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham foresees the new Ark Encounter competing with Disney parks. - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham foresees the new Ark Encounter competing with Disney parks.


Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones is no stranger to internet infamy. He famously installed a sign outside the sheriff’s office that reads “Illegal Aliens Here,” pointing to the county jail. In a 2014 Daily Show interview, he squabbled with comedian Al Madrigal about the free perks undocumented workers receive — computers and car payments and medical care, ay mio!  — after crossing the border. He has even taken to Twitter to encourage folks to report employers who hire these people. Now he’s taking on drug dealers with a dated parody of Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads. You know, the ones that were retired months ago. “I don’t always speak my mind,” Jones says, “but when I do, it’s some fear-inducing racist, xenophobic bullshit.” Just kidding. He actually said, “It’s for the best interest of the people. That’s why I like snitches,” and directed viewers to report drug dealers via text. If only clips of backward sheriffs with cigar-stained mustaches were the most gut-wrenching police videos circulating online this week.


Answers in Genesis’ Ark Encounter, a “historically themed” park featuring a “life-sized” replica of the real boat that a guy named Noah really built and filled with two of every animal, opened to the public today in Williamsburg, Ky. Wannabe Evan Almighty Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis’ president, foresees it competing with Disney parks. Protesters argued that an “anti-science” religious attraction that only hires Christians should not receive multimillion-dollar tax breaks, while homeschooled children across America merely rejoiced at the opportunity to leave their kitchen-based classroom for a field trip. Rumor has it that if you hit up the Ark Encounter and AiG sister attraction Creation Museum in nearby Petersburg, Ky., in one day, a Bill Nye the Science Guy VHS tape somewhere will spontaneously combust. 


Actor John Cho revealed in an interview this week that his Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu is gay and will have a husband and daughter in the upcoming sequel Star Trek Beyond. The move was a nod to George Takei, the actor who portrayed Sulu in the original TV series who has become America’s favorite non-threatening gay person since Ellen DeGeneres and a champion for same-sex rights. The series is considered groundbreaking for its time, famously depicting the first interracial kiss and tackling subjects like racism and the destruction of war. However, Takei did not approve of the move, calling it “very unfortunate.” He calls the designation a twisting of creator Gene Roddenberry’s thoughtful creation and rewriting of history. That’s… surprising. If he thinks that’s bad, just wait until he finds out about Star Trick: The XXX Generation (spoiler alert: everyone has been rewritten as gay). In Takei’s words, “Oh my.”


Lin-Manuel Miranda retired his puffy shirt and luscious Founding Father locks following his final performance in his Broadway smash Hamilton. Co-stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo also took their final bows — to the theme song from The West Wing (Manuel is apparently a big fan of the show and its creator Aaron Sorkin). Tickets for this final performance with the original cast went for as much as $20,000. Oh, and the hair reference wasn’t a joke — Manuel chopped his hair after the performance. Those New York summers are pretty humid.


James Franco is basically obsessed with Greater Cincinnati. After filming two movies here last year — The Long Home and Goat — his production company has signed on for two more this summer. Filming on a pair of “high concept Sci-fi cult horror films” is set to begin in Hamilton later this month. S/o to John Kasich for recently doubling the annual incentives cap on the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit to $40 million and removing the $5 million cap per film project. Get that money, Franco! Make those movies we’ll never see!


Pokémon has come a long way since the days of trading cards at recess and after-school cartoons. A new mobile game, Pokémon Go, incorporates elements of the same game with Google maps and geo-caching — pretty much a nerd’s dream come true. But since we can never have any nice things, people are already misusing the game and playing dangerously — yes, actually dangerously — by not watching where they walk while searching for Pokémon characters or playing while driving. Police everywhere have issued warnings not to catch ’em all and drive. Multiple people have reportedly suffered injuries resulting from carelessness while playing. Four men used the new game to commit multiple robberies around St. Louis by targeting their victims near a Poké-stop in their location and luring more players nearby. A young Wyoming woman even discovered a man’s body in a river while playing. She said it wouldn’t deter her from continuing to play. Geez. Where’s Ash when you need him?


Say you’re spending a day at the beach with your family and you notice a gigantic seagull has taken a creamy dump on a kid. Your first inclination is to run over and rub the stuff in, right? Well, that’s what skin care company Nivea was banking on when it deployed a sunscreen-pooping seagull drone with SPF-sensing abilities (what?!) for a recent case study. Nivea proclaimed the ad helped give kids a positive experience with ever-important sunscreen, while British advertising guru Sir John Hegarty called the commercial the dumbest thing he’d watched in his life. And he didn’t just stumble upon the questionable ad — it had actually been entered into the Cannes Lions, an international advertising festival, of which Hegarty is a jury president. “I actually thought the Monty Python team had gotten together and entered it into (Cannes), “ he said at the festival, “to see if we would vote for it.” It’s been a great (or terrible) time for seagulls this summer: A gull named Sully, aka. Steven Seagull, co-stars with Blake Lively in this summer’s shark-attack-thriller, The Shallows, playing the Wilson to her castaway.

CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: [email protected]