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Exclusive: Can You Guess Who's in These Gorgeous Pop Culture Portraits?

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Can You Guess Who's in These Gorgeous Pop Culture Portraits?

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Image: Ashton Gallagher

“Wait, those are paintings?” It’s a phrase I hear often when discussing the work of painter Ashton Gallagher. The Illinois-based artist can take any subject and make a painting so lifelike, so dynamic, that you’d swear it was a photo. And, at times, people do think they’re photos. But, we assure you they’re not.

On June 11, Gallagher returns to Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA with “Mini-Portraits IV,” his fourth (obviously) exhibit of pop culture portraits in his beautifully detailed style. It’s a show he’s been thinking about since completed work on his last show back in 2020.

“At the end of each show, I write down thoughts and ideas for what I should do on the next one—as it pertains to process and what it takes behind the scenes to bring a show together,” Gallagher told io9 over email. “For me, bringing a show together is always fluid. It often starts one way and, likely, ends up completely different than I initially thought. A lot of that has to do with the amount of time dedicated to each piece, pushing it to be the best version I can make it. I’m proud to say this show is close to what I envisioned! Any projects that didn’t make it in from the original plan are ready to go for the next show. Always nice to have a leg up.”

Before we talk about the next show, though, we’ve got a selection of pieces from this show, which has its opening from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. First is an exclusive reveal from one of the most famous sci-fi films of all time. Then, Gallagher exclusively crafted multiple teases for us. Blurry images with a line of dialogue to give a hint of what else will be in the show. But, as you can see from the image above, these are not rocket science. We’re pretty sure there’s gonna be a Han Solo in there too.

Begin the slideshow to see it all, as well as a few other images that have been revealed.

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Exclusive: Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans for July 2022 – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

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Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans for July 2022     - CNET

#Car #Insurance #Military #Veterans #July #CNET

If you’re an active-duty military member or a veteran (or sometimes their family members), there are a couple of good places to check for car insurance. Some companies offer discounts for vets while other auto insurance carriers create policies specifically for them. Military members and vets may have access to a variety of cheaper car insurance options that aren’t available to the general public, often with rates hundreds of dollars below the national average. 

Car insurance companies that exclusively cover service members and veterans — whether you’re a sailor, Marine, soldier, airman, Coast Guardsman, National Guard member or reservist — provide a pricing scale that larger insurers typically can’t match. Eligibility for the families of service members or veterans will depend on the carrier. 

If you fall into any of these categories, it’s still critical to compare rates and policies. “Current and former military [personnel] should shop for insurance just like everyone else,” said Dan Karr, CEO of ValChoice, an independent platform for insurance analytics and ratings. The way a provider handles claims should also be an important consideration when researching insurance policies, Karr added.

Here are some of our top car insurance company picks for military members, veterans and their families. 

Best car insurance companies for members of the military and veterans

USAA

Active-duty military service members, veterans and their immediate family members are eligible to apply for United Services Automobile Association insurance. If you fall into one of these categories, you may find yourself eligible for cheaper rates than you might find elsewhere. Customers who switch their auto insurance policies to USAA saved $725 on average per year, according to USAA’s website. Moreover, USAA’s average annual premium for full coverage is among the most competitive, coming in at $1,209 compared to $1,771 for the national average, according to Bankrate.

The company has been around since 1922, when 25 US Army officers decided to insure each other’s vehicles. Today, the insurance company serves millions; the insurer’s low car insurance rates are a big draw, but USAA’s high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power surveys are also alluring. Its overall customer satisfaction score averages to 884 across US regions; higher than the industry average of 834. 

The bottom line: USAA is a worthy option to look into if you’re eligible to buy a policy. 

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Geico doesn’t quite match USAA’s rates: The company’s average annual premium for full coverage sits at $1,297 compared to USAA’s $1,225, according to Bankrate. Nonetheless, Geico’s rates fall well below the $1,674 national average, and its military discount makes for a good insurance choice if you’re active or retired military.

All active-duty and retired personnel, as well as members of the National Guard or Military Reserves, are eligible for up to 15% off their total insurance rate premium. Moreover, Geico offers an additional Emergency Deployment Discount to customers who deploy into a military base in imminent danger pay areas, as designated by the Department of Defense. The company has a special customer service team dedicated to military assistance, as well as a toll-free line dedicated to serving military customers — 1-800-MILITARY. 

Check out our full review of Geico Auto Insurance.

Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance has deep roots — it was founded in 1887 by military leaders — and while it’s not as well-known as USAA, it’s been around longer and has broader eligibility requirements, making it easier for more people to qualify for coverage.

AFI expands its coverage beyond active-duty and retired service members — and their children and spouses — to the Department of Defense civilian employees, officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Public Health Service. If you fall into one of those groups (or have in the past), AFI may be worth a look.

However, one of the most glaring differences between AFI and USAA is reflected in the companies’ customer satisfaction and ratings. While USAA routinely scores high in customer satisfaction, feedback on AFI is more divided. AM Best has given AFI a B+ financial strength rating compared to USAA’s A++. Moreover, AFI receives more than 3.5 times the complaints compared to the national industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners,

Other carriers with notable discounts


Arbella

Arbella is a regional insurance company offering car, home and business insurance policies in the New England area, though its auto policies are only offered in Massachusetts and Connecticut. If you live in either of these states, Abrella is worth exploring because the company offers up to a 10% discount for any active-duty service member deployed more than 100 miles away from your vehicle.

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Farmers

Farmers extends its “Affinity discount” for military customers who are active duty, active reserve, retired or honorably discharged veterans. Pair this discount with others from Farmers’ robust list, including good payer (history of paying in full, on time), multicar and ePolicy discounts, and you’re well on your way to bringing your annual premiums down.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is another insurer that offers a robust set of discounts, including one that extends to active, retired and reserve members of the US armed forces. Though Liberty Mutual’s average annual premium for full coverage sits a bit higher than the national average using the military discount along with homeowner, bundling multicar, good student or early shopper discounts can help make its policies more affordable. 

Best car insurance for military and veterans, compared

Company Benefits A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating*
USAA Family coverage, low rates, award-winning service and coverage. A++
Geico Military personnel, emergency deployment, dedicated hotline for military customers. A++
Armed Forces Insurance Department of Defense civilian employees and NOAA and PHS commissioned officers eligible. B+

*A.M. Best financial strength rating scale runs from D (lowest) to A++ (highest).

FAQs

What is the best car insurance for military members?

The best carrier will differ for everyone, depending on your specific situation, how much coverage and what kinds of coverage you want. According to our research, USAA and Geico offer among the most competitive rates out there for service members, and they both cover a wide range of coverage options and discounts to help formulate a policy that fits your needs and budget.

Whichever auto insurer you choose, your military service may potentially mean savings. For that reason, it’s important to always check your eligibility and inquire about the rates and discounts that service members, veterans and their families can get.

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What should you do when applying for car insurance as a service member or veteran?

  • Look for quotes from a variety of insurance companies. Make sure to include companies that offer military discounts, as well as those that only serve the military.
  • Choose the plan that makes the most sense for you, based on eligible car insurance discounts, the company’s customer service rating, auto claims satisfaction, coverage options and the final price.
  • Gather documented proof of your identity and military service such as your military ID or DD-214 (or the service of your family member, along with proof of relation).
  • Submit the appropriate documents to your insurer of choice, then wait for final approval.

How can you save on car insurance as a veteran?

Some carriers only serve members of the military, such as USAA and AFI. These insurers generally have competitive rates compared to other mainstream carriers available to the general public. If USAA and AFI don’t serve your needs, mainstream carriers like Geico, Liberty Mutual and Farmers also offer discounts for military members. If you pair a low premium rate with a variety of discounts, including a military discount, you may be able to bring your annual premiums down substantially and save on car insurance in the long run.

How do you get a military discount on car insurance? What documents do you need to show you’re eligible?

The requirements to receive a military discount differ from insurer to insurer. For example, while Geico simply gives all active-duty military and retired personnel up to a 15% discount, Arbella will only apply up to a 10% discount if you’re an active-duty military member that is deployed more than 100 miles away from your vehicle. You’ll want to check what each insurer’s parameters are for qualifying for a military discount. 

That said, the documents to prove your eligibility for military discounts are similar across the board. You’ll likely need to show one or more of the following documents:

  • DD-214
  • NGB-22
  • Military orders if you are actively serving
  • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract
  • Discharge certificate
  • Letters or statements showing membership in an eligible military group, such as the Navy League of the United States or the Armed Forces Benefit Association.

CNET reviews insurance carriers and products by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each category. For auto insurance, we examine average annual premium rates for full coverage, consumer complaints, collision repair scores, the carrier’s financial strength, auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction. For this list, we also investigated available discounts for military members, veterans and their families. Our data comes from a multitude of sources. 

Auto insurance rates come from Bankrate, which gathers data using Quadrant Information Services. We also use both J.D. Power annual surveys that collect data on customer auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction.

Consumer complaints are taken from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which collects consumer complaints across states, indexing complaints on a scale that takes into account the industry average. We collect the financial strength rating of each carrier from the A.M. Best Rating.

Last, we collected collision repair scores from the Crash Network Insurer Report Card, which collects data from collision repair professionals, including mechanics, to gauge the quality of collision claims service from insurance carriers.

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More car insurance advice:

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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Exclusive: Hyundai shares first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 electric sedan – TalkOfNews.com

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Hyundai shares first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 electric sedan

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Forward-looking: Hyundai is slowly climbing in EV market share in the US and Europe, and it has grand ambitions to capture seven percent of the global EV market by 2030. While a full reveal is scheduled for next month, the South Korean automaker is already teasing everyone with a first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 all-electric sedan.

Not too long ago, Hyundai was in talks with Apple to build an electric car. The South Korean automaker seemed interested in lending its expertise to the Cupertino giant, which had long been rumored to be working on a self-driving car. However, those discussions quickly fell apart as Apple executives were worried about information leaks. Similarly, Hyundai executives remained divided on whether or not they saw Apple as a great fit for a potential partnership.

Earlier this year, Hyundai stopped research and development on combustion engines, adding to a growing list of companies committed to going all-electric in the coming years. During its 2022 CEO Investor Day forum, the Hyundai Motor Group presented its bold electrification roadmap through 2030 that includes no less than 17 new battery-powered electric vehicles.

Today, Hyundai offered the first look at its upcoming all-electric sedan, the Ioniq 6. It looks a lot like the Prophecy concept EV it showcased back in 2020, and as noted by Top Gear, it seems to be inspired by classic, streamlined designs from the 1920s and 1930s, such as the Stout Scarab or the Tatra 87.

Details are scarce now, as Hyundai wants to make a full reveal on July 14. Still, the company did tease an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.21, which is among the lowest you can get with most cars on the market today. That’s thanks to the streamlined design with a low nose and active air flaps, among other things.

The Ioniq 6 shares the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 crossover, which is rated for up to 315 miles on a single charge, and since the Ioniq 5 is a smaller, low-drag car, it will not only be cheaper but might also offer more range.

The cocoon-shaped interior features sustainable materials, and a couple of touchscreens give it a futuristic look. However, Hyundai design chief Sangyup Lee told Ars Technica the company opted for physical buttons for things like audio and climate controls.

“The touchscreen is great when this car is [in] stationary condition, but when you’re moving, touchscreens can be dangerous. So we always think about the right balance, user experience, and the buttons and the combination with the voice activation together. In the future, obviously, voice activation is going to play the major role versus touchscreen, but this is still in transition. For us, anything that relates to the safety, we use hardware. Anything not related to safety will use a touch interface.”

Production of the Ioniq 6 is expected to start next month in South Korea. In the meantime, Hyundai is also spending $10 billion to accelerate electrification and autonomous vehicle development in the US, $5.5 billion of which will go towards building a battery manufacturing facility in Georgia.

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Exclusive: Substack CEO says he’s ‘very sorry’ about laying off 13 people – TalkOfNews.com

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Substack CEO says he’s ‘very sorry’ about laying off 13 people

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Substack is the latest tech company to announce layoffs, with the company’s CEO Chris Best tweeting on Wednesday that he’s letting 13 workers go. According to Axios, that’s around 14 percent of Substack’s workforce. In his letter and follow-up tweets, Best cites “market conditions” as the reason behind the layoffs.

He also admits that the move may be a surprise to some employees. “Not so long ago, I told you all that our plan was to grow the team and not do layoffs,” he says, also noting that the company is “still hiring for specific key roles” and has money saved. However, Best says that the company needs to change tactics, as it could be facing “an extended period” where the economy goes from bad to worse. He says that the layoffs are one of several changes the company has made to make sure it’s in “a strong financial position.”

According to The New York Times, some of the employees laid off were involved in human resources and writer support. The report also says that Substack recently halted efforts to secure funding from investors, but that its revenue is still growing.

In April, Substack faced a minor controversy around its hiring efforts when its vice president of communications tweeted a hiring link while noting a specific type of employee she said the company didn’t want. “If you’re a Twitter employee who’s considering resigning because you’re worried about Elon Musk pushing for less regulated speech… please do not come work here,” she said. The company has historically said that it places a lot of importance on free speech.

Substack is far from the only company laying off a significant percentage of its workers in the past month or two. Companies like Tesla, Netflix, Klarna, Better.com, and Cameo have all cut jobs, as have several large crypto firms.


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