George Kennedy Gone

from Deadline Hollywood

George Kennedy Dies: ‘Cool Hand Luke’ Oscar Winner Was 91


Warner Bros.

George Kennedy, a versatile actor whose long list of credits includes the Airport and Naked Gun films and an Oscar for his supporting role in Cool Hand Luke, has died in Middleton, ID. He was 91. Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris told the Idaho Statesman Kennedy died at 4:35 AM Sunday. The cause of death isn’t known, but DeGeus-Morris says the actor had a history of heart problems.

The burly Kennedy would star alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names — including Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Burt Lancaster and Charlton Heston — and was equally adept at broad comedy and heavy drama. He began his career on The Phil Silvers Show in the mid-1950s and guested on numerous TV shows. Specializing in the Western and war genres, he racked up TV credits including Maverick, Gunsmoke, Route 66, The Untouchables and Rawhide. By the early 1960s, he started landing roles on the big screen in such films as Lonely Are the Brave, Charade and In Harm’s Way.

He cemented his Hollywood cred with a pair of film classics in the late ’60s: playing a mild-mannered Army major in the star-studded war drama The Dirty Dozen and chain-gang leader Dragline in Cool Hand Luke. The latter role won Kennedy an Oscar in his only nomination.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline Hollywood ]

Cleveland Avengers

from Fresh Water Cleveland

Russo brothers ignite rumors about next “Avengers” effort to film in CLE

by Tom Tenant

The Russo Brothers at Wizard World

Didn’t Fresh Water just report on the benefits of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit? Why, yes, we did. And then this pops into our feed from MoviePilot:

“They didn’t share any ‘Captain America: Civil War’ spoilers, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo told fans that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ could land in Cleveland.

‘It’s on the list,’ said Anthony.

The reveal took place Saturday during a Wizard World Comic-Con Cleveland panel titled ‘Let’s Shut Down Some Streets: Bringing the Avengers, Captain America and the Russo Brothers to Cleveland.’

The Russos, who grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Case Western Reserve University, were joined by Ivan Schwarz, director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

[ click to continue reading at fresh water ]

Big Wave Year

from AP News


HALIEWA, Hawaii (AP) — There are two sayings that come along with the Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing invitational: “The bay calls the day” and “Eddie would go.”

For the first time in six years, the bay – and event organizers – gave the nod Thursday as a powerful and sustained swell produced huge surf on Oahu’s North Shore. Eddie, a famed lifeguard and big-wave surfer who once protected these shores, most certainly would have gone.

Before the sun came up over the horseshoe-shaped Waimea Bay, organizers huddled together to make the final call on the event, which has only run nine times in its 31-year history.

Eddie Aikua’s brother, Clyde, announced to a large crowd early Thursday morning that his brother’s namesake surfing contest was on.

“I’ve been riding Waimea Bay for over 40 years, and today has to be one of the best days I’ve ever seen,” Aikau said. “It is a go!” he added as the crowd came alive with whistles, cheers and applause.

They got what they hoped for as huge sets of monster waves crashed onto the outer reef of the bay, producing some waves that organizers estimate were 60 feet tall.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Alex Morgan Rocks

from The Orlando Sentinel

Soccer star Alex Morgan offers lessons in leadership for young girls

by Beth Kassab

Alex Morgan is a powerhouse on the pitch.

She’s put the ball into the back of the net six times since January for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

One of those goals, as Sports Illustrated noted, was the fastest in U.S. soccer history. She scored on Costa Rica earlier this month just 12 seconds after kickoff.

Morgan, who is set to start training next month for the Orlando Pride, is also half of Central Florida’s newest and most internationally known power couple. Her husband, Servando Carrasco, is a midfielder for Orlando City.

But Morgan isn’t just about stats. She is channeling all of that power — on and off the field — into feeding the minds of girls hungry for someone to look up to.

Soccer is one of the most popular youth sports in the country.

“But there wasn’t really anything out there for young girls to watch or to read or to follow other than the women’s national team,” said Morgan, 26.

So when an author she knows approached her a few years ago with the idea to create her own series, she said it was a “no brainer.”

The result was “The Kicks,” now a series of six books Morgan created that are centered on fictional 12-year-old Devin Burke, who had to move cross-country with her family only to find that her new school’s soccer team was lousy.

The book revolves around themes like leadership, friendship and perseverance.

Last year Amazon Prime picked up “The Kicks” as one of its original series.

[ click to continue reading at The Orlando Sentinel ]

Real Fake Baby Mom Artists

from The New York Post

These moms love babies that never throw up or grow up

By Gabrielle Stranieri

It’s 1 a.m. and the baby’s fussing. Stephanie Ortiz rises from bed, groggy, tired. Royal needs his diaper changed. Methodically, and like a good mom, Ortiz takes off her baby’s onesie and diaper. As she lifts Royal’s leg — pop! It comes clean off his body. “You don’t see that every day!” she laughs joyfully into the camera, holding the leg in her hand.

Welcome to the world of Reborn dolls.

The Reborn community is a tight-knit, creative class of mostly women who create, collect and role-play with dolls that look so much like real babies, they’re spooky and beautiful all at once.

Go to YouTube and search “Reborn doll” and you’ll find more than 90,000 videos from people of all ages showing off their incredibly realistic, hand-painted dolls and role-playing with them in ways that feel both playful and intensely intimate.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Death Valley Alive

from The New York Times

Death Valley Is Experiencing a Colorful ‘Superbloom’

Credit: National Park Service

Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth, is currently a riot of color: More than 20 different kinds of desert wildflowers are in bloom there after record-breaking rains last October.

It’s the best bloom there since 2005, according to Abby Wines, a spokeswoman for Death Valley National Park, and “it just keeps getting better and better.”

The flowers started poking up in November, but the particularly colorful display emerged late last month in the park, which is mainly in California but stretches across the Nevada border. On Twitter and Instagram, park visitors have taken to calling it a “superbloom.”

The park gets about two inches of rain annually, so it always sees some wildflowers, though not as many or as varied. But it doesn’t take much more rain than that to completely dye the desert, Ms. Wines said, making last fall’s unusually heavy rains particularly effective.

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Sorta Hilarious

from CityLab

A New York Politician Is Using Spiteful Street Names to Get Revenge on Developers


Image JeremyWhat/

Earlier this month, a New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that the Staten Island Borough President James Oddo could go ahead with plans to give a section of the island some fairly unpleasant street names. A few very lucky New York City residents will now live on Cupidity Drive (“cupidity” meaning “greed”), Fourberie Lane (“fourberie” is “trickery” in French), or “Avidita Place” (from the Latin avidus, which means “eager,” or, you know, “greed”).

If you’re wondering why a public official would saddle residents with such sad addresses, know that this is Oddo’s very official revenge against a housing development he has opposed for some time. In 2013, the Savo Brothers development firm purchased a 15-acre retreat from the Society of Jesus. The land had served as the first laymen’s retreat in the United States. The developers wanted to build 250 condominiums on the $15 million parcel, knocking down the Jesuits’s 1920s-era chapel and some 400-year-old trees in the process. Community efforts to preserve the site or reach a satisfying compromise failed. So when the development company finally submitted potential street names for Oddo’s approval (e.g. Lazy Bird Lane, Rabbit Ridge Road, Timber Lane, or Lamb Run), Oddo got the last word—and picked three names very obviously not on the list.

[ click to continue reading at CityLab ]

They’re Coming

from The San Jose Mercury News

100-foot asteroid to zoom past Earth in two weeks, and ‘it’s gonna be close’

By Paul Rogers

In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) eastIn this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. A meteor that scientists estimate weighed 10 tons (11 tons) streaked at supersonic speed over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, setting off blasts that injured some 500 people and frightened countless more. (AP Photo/AP Video)

An asteroid roughly 100 feet long and moving at more than 34,000 mph is scheduled to make a close pass by Earth in two weeks.>

But don’t worry, scientists say. It has no chance of hitting us, and may instead help draw public attention to growing efforts at tracking the thousands of asteroids zooming around space that could one day wipe out a city — or worse — if they ever hit our planet.

This one, known as 2016 TX68, is larger than an 18-wheel tractor trailer truck, and is expected to fly as close as 19,245 miles to Earth at 4:06 pm Pacific time on Monday, March 7. For comparison, that’s less than one-tenth as far as the moon is from Earth, or 238,900 miles.

[ click to continue reading at SJMerc ]

Umberto Eco Gone

from NPR

Italian Author And Philosopher Umberto Eco Dead At 84


Italian writer Umberto Eco attends an event at the Paris Book Fair on March 30, 2010.Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Internationally acclaimed Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco has died at age 84. His death was confirmed by his American publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Born in a small Italian town in 1932, Eco is perhaps best known for his 1980 mystery novel The Name of the Rose, which is set in a monastery in the 14th century. It was an unexpected international bestseller, launching his career as an author.

Eco didn’t publish his first novel until he was 48, when a friend suggested he write a detective story. Before that, his focus was medieval studies and semiotics. And even after he published novels, he said “I am a philosopher … I write novels only on the weekends,” the BBC reported.

Here’s how Eco described his transition into fiction in an interview with The Paris Review:

“I have long thought that what most philosophical books are really doing at the core is telling the story of their research, just as scientists will explain how they came to make their major discoveries. So I feel that I was telling stories all along, just in a slightly different style.”

He told NPR’s Scott Simon last October that several of his novels like Foucault’s Pendulum and Numero Zero focused on characters that he affectionately termed “losers” — because “they are more interesting than the winners.”

“They have a more complicated philosophy,” Eco told Scott. “And then in the world, there are more losers than winners, and so my readers can identify themselves with the characters.”

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Harper Lee Gone

from The Washington Post

Harper Lee, elusive author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is dead

By Emily Langer

Harper Lee at the White House in 2007. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view,” Atticus Finch tells his daughter, Scout, in one of the most memorable passages of the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” — “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Few people in the world could claim to really understand Harper Lee, the novel’s elusive author, who has died at 89 in Monroeville, Ala.

She withdrew from public life shortly after her book was published in 1960, only to reappear in old age with the sensational release of “Go Set a Watchman,” a manuscript identified as a long-lost early draft of the book that decades earlier had vaulted her to literary renown.

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” a coming-of-age story set in the Depression-era South where Ms. Lee grew up, received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 and sold more than 40 million copies, becoming one of the most cherished novels in modern American literature. One oft-cited survey asked respondents to name the book that most profoundly affected their lives. Ms. Lee’s novel ranked near the top, not far behind the Bible.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Thank you, Sun, for protecting us from the evil space-rocks.

from TIME

How the Sun Protects Earth From Getting Clobbered By an Asteroid

by Jeffrey Kluger @jeffreykluger

Duck: The Chelyabinsk meteor lights up the Russian sky, in 2013Marat Ahmetvaleev / Duck: The Chelyabinsk meteor lights up the Russian sky, in 2013

A trick of heat and light makes space rocks self-destruct

The Earth grew up in an awfully rough neighborhood and it’s always needed the help of powerful friends. This was specially true in the early days of the solar system, during the so-called heavy bombardment phase, when asteroids and comets turned the region near the sun into something of a free-fire zone.

One of the things that prevented us from getting blown to smithereens was the fortuitous location of Jupiter which, with its powerful gravity, intercepts some of the incoming ordnance before it can reach us. That still leaves a lot of debris on the loose—witness the 66-ft (20 m) meteor that exploded in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. All the same, according to a new study in Nature, it appears that we’re more protected than we knew—thanks to the powers of the sun.

Astronomers around the world keep a close watch on what they call near-Earth objects (NEOs)—asteroids that orbit through the solar system within 121 million miles (224 million km) of the sun, which brings them dangerously close to the Earth’s own 93 million mile (172 million km) orbit. Much of that census-taking is done by the Catalina Sky Survey, a program conducted principally by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Arizona.

Recently, a team of investigators led by research scientist Mikael Granvik of the University of Helsinki began looking at the population of known NEOs and noticed something strange: While the mix of dark asteroids and brighter, more reflective ones is more or less even throughout the solar system, in the vicinity of the sun, many of the dark ones go missing. What’s more, in this case, the solar “vicinity” can be pretty huge. Smaller bodies often get torn apart gravitationally as they approach what’s known as the Roche limit of a larger body like the sun or a planet—a distance of about 2.5 times the radius of that body. But the dark asteroids start falling apart at about ten times the solar radius, or about 4.3 million miles from the sun.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Protect Your Assets

from InsideHook


You’ll need: One of these travel bags + one Faraday cage

We recently told you how to spend $344,511.

Now, we’re going to tell you how to hide it.

With a little assist from SDR Traveller, makers of “ultra light, ultra strong, discreet luggage for the global traveller.”

Meaning: durable, lightweight bags that can transport up to $1 million in U.S. currency without leaving a trace, thanks to some ingenious tech and a magical material called “Cuben Fiber.”

Cuben Fiber is a waterproof, lightweight and ripstop laminate four times stronger than kevlar at half the weight (as well as resistant to UV light and 100% waterproof).

A stiff material, it gets a bit crinkly over time, offering the bags an interesting, well, patina. But also safety.

This fiber makes up all the stealthy duffels and carry-ons offered by SDR, a company run by Studio D, aka Studio Dradiodurans, an SF-based international research institute named after Deinococcus Radiodurans, an “extremophilic bacteria that can survive acid, drought and has extraordinary tolerance to radiation.”

[ click to read full article at InsideHook ]

Global Warming

from The New York Daily News

Upstate New York mountain reaches minus 114 wind chill at its summit


On Sunday morning, the wind chill on Whiteface Mountain's summit was colder than the windchill in Antarctica.THE WILD CENTER

While New York City had its coldest start to Valentine’s Day in 100 years on Sunday, it would seem balmy compared with the wicked wind chill at upstate Whiteface Mountain.

As temperatures dropped across the Northeast from the blast of a polar vortex, the wind chill at Whiteface, near Lake Placid, made it feel like a body- and mind-numbing minus 114 degrees late Saturday and into Sunday. Central Park could only muster a minus 1 degree.

The Wild Center, which works with the Atmospheric Science Research Center at SUNY Albany, recorded the frigid temperature from a research station at the mountain’s summit.

[ click to continue reading at NYDN ]

How The West Was Won

from Priceonomics

How a Basket on Wheels Revolutionized Grocery Shopping

by Zachary Crockett

by Zachary Crockett, Priceonomics

The shopping cart leads a sad, under-appreciated existence.

He is pushed around. He is battered by cart collectors, and mauled by unattentive parking lot drivers. He is left for dead in dark alleyways, drowned in the sludgy tides of levees and bays. Occasionally, small children poop on him.

We take him for granted. After all, how would we pull off our Thanksgiving shopping, or buy a 16-pound bag of jumbo shrimp at Costco without the assistance of his sinewy, steel arms? How would we keep our children from wreaking havoc on the soup can aisle without his handy baby seat? More broadly, how would we — as over-consuming, gluttonous Americans — manage to carry our selections from the 44,000 items that typically line a supermarket shelf?

Few inventions have so profoundly shaped consumer habits. With the exception of the automobile, the shopping cart is the most commonly used “vehicle” in the world: some 25 million grace grocery stores across the U.S. alone. It has played a major role in enriching the forces of capitalism, increasing our buying output, and transforming the nature of the supermarket — and for its role, it has been dubbed the “greatest development in the history of merchandising.”

Rarely comes the time when we sit back and consider the history of the shopping cart. But gather, friends: that time has come.

By the late 1930s, major changes were happening in the way that food was consumed: Freon, synthesized in 1930, led to the spread of the commercial refrigerator (by the late 1930s, more than 50% of Americans had one in their home). At the same time, preservatives increased the number of canned goods in grocery stores. As a result, consumers were not only buying more food per shopping trip, but bulkier, heavier items.

There was one big problem with this: at the time, self-serve grocery stores (including Goldman’s) only provided small wire-woven baskets to put groceries in. “When the housewife got her basket full, it was too heavy for her to carry and she stopped shopping,” Goldman recalled in a 1970 interview. “I thought if there was some way we could give the customer two baskets to shop with and still have one hand free to shop, we could do considerably more business.”

Goldman came to the realization that “[his] problem as an entrepreneur was no different than the problem [his] customers faced while shopping”: in order to sell more food, he’d have to figure out a way for his customers to carry less food.

At first, the solution didn’t come so easily. “When a clerk would see a customer’s basket practically full, he would hand them another basket and tell them they could find their first basket by the checkout stand,” wrote Goldman — but this required clerks who were constantly alert, and it wasn’t exactly scalable. Next, he considered re-arranging the goods into an “M” shape,  attaching baskets to a tiny, parallel railroad track, and having customers shuffle along in an assembly line as their carts moved automatically. This proved to be a bit too complex.

[ click to read complete article at ]

Cascadia Coming To Kill Us

from CNN

The quake-maker you’ve never heard of: Cascadia

By Michael Martinez, Stephanie Elam, and Rosalina Nieves, CNN

The fault line called the Cascadia subduction zone lies in coastal waters spanning 700 miles.

Mother Earth slowly reveals her secrets, and this time, it’s a fault line deep in the belly of the planet.

Its name is a whopper: The Cascadia subduction zone.

Its gargantuan size and potential power amaze earthquake experts, who say it could cause the worst natural disaster in the history of North America — if it ruptures entirely.

This quake-maker sits at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, where the seabed meets the North American tectonic plate. In all, it stretches 700 miles along the Pacific Northwest, from British Columbia’s Vancouver Island to Washington to Oregon to northern California’s Cape Mendocino.

In fact, “the Cascadia” already has made history, causing the largest earthquake in the continental United States on January 26, 1700. That’s when the Cascadia unleashed one of the world’s biggest quakes, causing a tsunami so big that it rampaged across the Pacific and damaged coastal villages in Japan.

Now it’s a question of when the Cascadia will strike again, scientists say.

That big one could “hit at any time,” and there’s even a website called Aftershock that allows Oregonians to enter their address for a custom report on seismic risks. If the Cascadia were to experience a large-magnitude earthquake, the temblor and resulting tsunami could kill more than 11,000 people and injure more than 26,000, according to one FEMA model.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]


from The Hollywood Reporter

CBS’ ‘American Gothic’ Adds ‘Once Upon a Time’ Alum (Exclusive)

by Kate Stanhope

Elliot Knight will play the husband of Megan Ketch's character, Tessa.Getty Images

Elliot Knight will play the husband of Megan Ketch’s character, Tessa.

American Gothic is adding a spellbinding new series regular.

Elliot Knight, best known for playing Merlin on Once Upon a Time, has joined CBS’ murder mystery drama, The Hollywood Reporterhas learned.

American Gothic follows a prominent Boston family attempting to redefine itself in the wake of a chilling discovery that ties their recently deceased patriarch to a string of murders spanning decades, amid mounting suspicion that one of them may have been his accomplice.

The project hails from writer Corinne Brinkerhoff (The Good Wife), who will executive produce alongside Amblin’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank (The AmericansUnder the DomeExtant), James Frey and Todd Cohen. Fellow Good Wife grad Matt Shakman is set to direct the pilot.

American Gothic is one of two new series coming to CBS this summer — the other being the comic-thrillerBrainDead from The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King.

[ click to read complete article at THR ]