OPEN THREAD: Hang on baby, Friday’s coming.

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Trans-identified male violently beats female student in Oregon middle school: video.

RIP: Michael Gambon was so much more than Professor Dumbledore.

Gambon was predominantly a stage actor until middle age, working in a mixture of classical roles and with contemporary writers such as Harold Pinter and Alan Ayckbourn — with whom he collaborated frequently. But then around the early Nineties, his inimitably craggy looks saw him cast in a range of parts in both television and film as everything from dissolute aristocrats to crime bosses. The parts were often beneath him, but Gambon, who was a keen collector of everything from antique weapons to complex timepieces, was indiscriminate about the work he took on, working for everyone from Tim Burton to Wes Anderson. He also voiced the character of Great Uncle Pastuzo in the Paddington films; his inimitably rich tones, which had hints of his Irish and working-class London ancestry, meant that he was always in demand for voiceover work.

Gambon was often an outrageously untruthful interviewee, making up absurd stories about everything from his past homosexuality (he claimed to give it up because “it made my eyes water”) to his former career as a ballet dancer: abandoned, in his telling, because one evening, during a particularly complicated move, he overbalanced and fell into the orchestra pit. Few took him over-seriously, but he was a remarkably successful actor who made a very consistent living in a difficult profession and whose death leaves us all considerably poorer as a result.

So many great roles, but for me, this will always be his finest moment:

LOTS OF PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW: What the Heck Was Fox News Thinking? “Not to say some candidates didn’t acquit themselves very well, including Ron DeSantis, Doug Burgum, and Vivek Ramaswamy (in my opinion), but it is to say that the overall production hovered somewhere between a dumpster fire and testicle cancer. All of that can be traced back to the moderators. As was mentioned in my post-debate article about Univision’s Ilia Calderón, who was inexplicably allowed to be a moderator by Fox News and the Ronna McDaniel-led RNC, it felt like you were watching an MSNBC primetime show at points.”