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With an estimated 2.3 million Americans behind bars, the U.S. incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than any other nation on Earth. As a result, one out of every 28 children grows up with a parent in jail—an average of one child per classroom.
These numbers are the reason why Sesame Street Workshop has created Alex the Muppet, the first Sesame character to have a father in prison. He’s an average kid who has some extra baggage in life and is struggling to cope.

With an estimated 2.3 million Americans behind bars, the U.S. incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than any other nation on Earth. As a result, one out of every 28 children grows up with a parent in jail—an average of one child per classroom.

These numbers are the reason why Sesame Street Workshop has created Alex the Muppet, the first Sesame character to have a father in prison. He’s an average kid who has some extra baggage in life and is struggling to cope.

Q: One of your most memorable scenes had Skyler getting up from dinner with Walter, Hank, and Marie and walking into the swimming pool. What was it like for you to shoot that scene? Can you swim?

A: I’m a decent swimmer, thank God, but I never thought I’d be able to do that kind of thing, because it required me having to be trained with scuba equipment, with a regulator. Going under the water and staying under the water for periods of time gives me claustrophobia.

But I also like a good challenge. The boys always got to do a lot of stunts on the show. So when I got to do something that was stuntlike, I thought, okay good. Now I finally get to do something.

It was hard to tell from the shot, but I actually had to walk into the pool, and then there was a cut after I walk down into the water. Our wonderful special effects people and our stunt people had to build a wire cage, and they rigged that blue skirt I was wearing onto the wire cage so that the effect of the skirt billowing around my head was created.

They placed that wire cage in the deep end of the pool. That’s why they had to train me to go underwater and breathe with a regulator.

More: Anna Gunn on the art of playing Walter White’s wife in ‘Breaking Bad’

Internet recommendations from Sarah Kessler, Fast Company's Associate Editor:
1. The “Can Men Wear Shorts?” debateThe Pacific Standard was the only publication I saw bring an academic into this debate, which is exactly what it needed.
2. Kristin Wiig as Michael Jordan with Jimmy Fallon. Perfect
3. The Pixar Theory John Lasseter, Disney’s chief creative officer, recently told mewhile I was reporting an upcoming story that mixing characters from different Pixar movies has always been taboo. And after reading Jon Negroni’s “Pixar Theory,” I finally understand why: Putting Pixar characters together would make it far too obvious that all the studio’s movies are actually part of the same story—beginning with the witch in Brave experimenting with giving animals the ability to speak. I can’t believe we didn’t see this before.
Here, a few more staff recommendations for you! 

[Image: Flickr user JD Hancock]

Internet recommendations from Sarah Kessler, Fast Company's Associate Editor:

1. The “Can Men Wear Shorts?” debate
The Pacific Standard was the only publication I saw bring an academic into this debate, which is exactly what it needed.

2. Kristin Wiig as Michael Jordan with Jimmy Fallon. Perfect

3. The Pixar Theory 
John Lasseter, Disney’s chief creative officer, recently told me
while I was reporting an upcoming story that mixing characters from different Pixar movies has always been taboo. And after reading Jon Negroni’s “Pixar Theory,” I finally understand why: Putting Pixar characters together would make it far too obvious that all the studio’s movies are actually part of the same story—beginning with the witch in Brave experimenting with giving animals the ability to speak. I can’t believe we didn’t see this before.

Here, a few more staff recommendations for you! 

[Image: Flickr user JD Hancock]

The news that former Xbox chief Don Mattrick was leaving Microsoft to help revive the social gaming company Zynga has people wondering if Steven Spielberg will stick with Microsoft’s planned TV series based on the video game Halo.
The Halo series will, of course, proceed without Mattrick, but given that Mattrick’s close relationship with Spielberg was key in signing the deal, one has to wonder whether new snags might arise now that he’s gone. 
[Image courtesy of 343 Industries]

The news that former Xbox chief Don Mattrick was leaving Microsoft to help revive the social gaming company Zynga has people wondering if Steven Spielberg will stick with Microsoft’s planned TV series based on the video game Halo.

The Halo series will, of course, proceed without Mattrick, but given that Mattrick’s close relationship with Spielberg was key in signing the deal, one has to wonder whether new snags might arise now that he’s gone. 

[Image courtesy of 343 Industries]

"I think it validates the model in a lot of ways. I think it also blurs the line forever about what is television. Television is what’s on the screen, no matter what size the screen or how the content got to the screen. Television is television is television." 

—Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos talks about the Emmy nominations for Netflix shows: House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Hemlock Grove.

Do Netflix’s Emmy nominations blur the line forever about what TV is?

Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Good day to youTumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 
An Australia-based firm has developed wetsuits that make you invisible to sharks.
A small Colorado town is considering granting drone hunting licenses and even offering bounty to citizens who shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles.
A technical glitch led PayPal to temporarily ban a book for having “Iranian” in the title. 
Today’s most innovative company: Hot Pockets, which celebrated its 30th birthday by showing it’s still hip.
63 tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, signed a letter asking the NSA for increased transparency regarding security-related surveillance. 
Dismal first quarter results reveal that Nokia’s smartphone plan isn’t working.  
The .Amazon domain name may go to the river instead of the ecommerce giant. You’re next Patagonia.
Rolling Stone is standing its ground after several retailers including, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Roche Brothers, refused to carry its newest issue
This teddy bear monitors a child’s vital signs and then sends the data to their parent’s smartphone… creepy.
The Emmy nomination of Netflix’s original show House of Cardsis evidence that the way we watch TV is changing. 
Have a great day!
—M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

Daily Fast Feed Roundup

Good day to youTumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 

  • A small Colorado town is considering granting drone hunting licenses and even offering bounty to citizens who shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Today’s most innovative company: Hot Pockets, which celebrated its 30th birthday by showing it’s still hip.
  • The .Amazon domain name may go to the river instead of the ecommerce giant. You’re next Patagonia.

Have a great day!

M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

Daily Fast Feed Roundup

Hello Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:

The French court ordered Twitter to hand over names of racist and anti-semitic tweeters to the French Union of Jewish Students.
U.N. put the official death toll of the Syrian conflict around 93,000. This number includes 6,561 children.
MTV has launched a new digital content-creation lab called MTV Other.
A flying bike built in the Czech Republic had its first successful test flight.
Lululemon Chairman Dennis ‘Chip’ Wilson sold $50 million in stock right before the CEO’s surprise departure this week. 
Watch out Snapchat, you’ve got a copycat. Clipchat is an app that does the same exact thing… only maybe better?
Facebook has opened its first international data center in Sweden. It is apparently ”one of the most efficient and sustainable data centers in the world.”
TV startup Boxee is looking for around $30 million or a buy out from investors.
Perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate its advertising potential (and potentially gain new revenue streams), Twitter is letting everyone use its data-analysis platform.
An activist’s parody shows what may happen if the LA Times and a number of other papers are ‘Kochified.’

Have a great day! —M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Hello Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:

Have a great day! —M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger