Bubbles Breaks Free

from The Dallas Morning News

Old horse joins pack of mini donkeys to escape slaughter, president of Frisco nonprofit says

by Liz Farmer

An old gray horse headed for slaughter in Mexico recently orchestrated his escape by slipping into a pack of mini donkeys being rescued by a Frisco-based nonprofit, the group’s president said.

Staff members of Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue were down at a “kill lot” to rescue several donkeys, which is part of their mission to save abused, neglected or abandoned livestock. Bubbles, the horse, walked right up to their trailer as they tried to load the donkeys, according to a Facebook post from the nonprofit published Dec. 16.

“He was intent that this was his ride out of there,” the post said. “We stood there staring as this old guy with crumbled ears from frostbite waited patiently for the group of mini donkeys to catch up so he could jump on the “freedom trailer” out of there.”

[ click to continue reading at TDMN ]

Mickey Back In The Ring in Moscow

from TASS

Hollywood star Mickey Rourke may hold boxing bout in Russia next year

Mickey Rourke © Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. World’s famous Hollywood star Mickey Rourke might again return to boxing February or March next year as he ponders of holding a bout in Russia’s Urals, his agent told TASS on Tuesday.

We are currently in work on organizing a bout for Mickey in the Urals,” Vadim Kornilov said in an interview with TASS. “This may happen in February or March next year.”

“Mickey is now practicing every day, he is looking forward for the bout and keeps asking when he would be fighting in Russia,” Kornilov added.

The 64-year-old actor, screenwriter and retired boxer, whose professional boxing career boasts a record of eight bouts (six victories with four knock-out wins and two draws), is currently training for his return to the ring at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, the United States.

[ click to continue reading at TASS ]

Space Miners

from NBC News

The Next Frontier: Space Miners Are the Universe’s Future Tycoons

byDYLAN LOVE

The next gold rush will be intergalactic.

In 2009, a collection of astronauts, academics, and aerospace industrialists convened to review NASA’s present and future plans for manned space flight. Informally dubbed the “Augustine Commission,” the more-stuffily named Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee determined that our ultimate goal ought to be nothing less than “to chart a path for human expansion into the solar system.”

Considering that Earth’s resources are finite and that the well of human desire knows no bottom, a continued future for our species will likely require robust manned spaceflight to leave the planet. But it remains incredibly expensive and logistically complex to see humans break the planet’s escape velocity, let alone with any regularity. The ostensibly modern spacecraft of today carry all their fuel with them from the start — a lot of that fuel is required simply to transport other fuel. It’s comically inconvenient.

Contemporary spaceflight is impractical by virtue of being unsustainable; it’s a pursuit for governmental agencies and rich visionaries. Now an industry with its roots in prehistory is changing that tune, summoning up a modern set of incentives for people to get more intimate with outer space. “Space mining” presents itself as a killer technology for interstellar travel and exploration — the miners are due to inherit the stars as we set their sights beyond our planet to harvest geological resources from the universe itself.

Related: Are Humans the Real Ancient Aliens?

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Baba Booey Gone

from USA Today

Joey Boots from ‘Howard Stern Show’ dies at 49

by 

(Photo: Jamie McCarthy)

Joey Boots, who helped introduce America to the expression “Baba Booey” on The Howard Stern Show, has died at 49.

The radio personality, whose real surname is Bassolino, was found unresponsive in his Bronx apartment Friday, report TMZ and  CNN.

The NYPD later confirmed his death to the Hollywood Reporter.

Bassolino, who was part of the rogue’s gallery known as the Wack Pack, grabbed attention by shouting “Baba Booey” on Stern’s show and during live TV reports. He even managed to successfully defend his right to do so in a New York court.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Rural Hollywood

from KCET

L.A.’s Lost Valley: When Hollywood Was ‘the Pride of the Cahuenga Valley’

by Nathan Masters

Panoramic view of Hollywood showing Orchard Street and Orange Drive, ca.1905Panoramic view of Hollywood showing Orchard Street and Orange Drive, circa 1905. Courtesy of the USC Libraries – California Historical Society Collection. [source]

The Santa Monica Mountains loom large in L.A.’s cultural topography, dividing the city into “the Valley” to their north and a sprawling coastal plain to their south.

Residents of the coastal plain in Hollywood or Beverly Hills would never mistake their homes as valley communities.

A century ago, however, they were.

From the early 1880s through the 1910s, the broad drainage basin of the Ballona Creek between the Santa Monica Mountains and Baldwin Hills was commonly known as the Cahuenga Valley.

Likely invented by area boosters, the Cahuenga Valley name first entered the regional lexicon when farmers discovered a frost-free belt along the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Soon, Cahuenga Valley became renowned as a horticultural wonderland where bananas ripened, lemons glowed, and delicate vegetables were harvested early in winter for frostbitten markets in Denver and Boston.

Later, after the real estate boom of the 1880s deposited townsites like HollywoodColegrove, and Sherman in the area, “Cahuenga Valley” became shorthand for a suburban subregion, an equal of the San Fernando, San Gabriel, and Pomona valleys. As with these other valleys, agricultural riches inspired the boosters’ suburban dreams.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Bowie’s Basquiats

from artnet

What David Bowie’s Basquiat Painting Teaches Us About the Art Market

The painting has come to auction twice before, with illuminating results.

Brian Boucher

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Air Power (1984), from the collection of David Bowie. Courtesy Sotheby's London.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Air Power (1984), from the collection of David Bowie. Courtesy Sotheby’s London.

The holdings of pop superstar, art collector, and artist David Bowie are headed to auction November 10 at Sotheby’s London, and the prize lot is a canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Air Power (1984). It is estimated to sell for as much as £3.5 million ($4.3 million).

Showing a grimacing, full-length figure at the left and a masklike face at the center above a hatchet, among other imagery, the painting stands five and a half feet high; it has been exhibited in public just three times.

The painting has come to auction twice before, according to the artnet Price Database, and the ups and downs in its price might offer a lesson about holding on to prized works. Even as today’s art market has softened, this painting’s story may make you want to take the long view.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Hollywood Babylgun

from The Hollywood Reporter

LOCKED & LOADED: The Gun Industry’s Lucrative Relationship With Hollywood

By Gary Baum & Scott Johnson

The NRA and the entertainment industry interact publicly as mortal enemies. But as the number of weapons shown in movies and TV steadily increases — and stars like Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie make fortunes wielding guns onscreen — a co-dependence that keeps both churning is revealed: “making the liberal bias a lot of money”

BURNISHED BY THE LOW LIGHT OF GLASS-WALLED DISPLAYS, THEY seem like ancient artifacts, but the objects here are beloved contemporary icons. One case houses the massive Smith & Wesson Model 29 wielded by Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan in the 1973 film Magnum Force. In another rests the Beretta 92F used by Bruce Willis in Die Hard. All the great shoot-’em-up classics — The Bourne IdentityPulp FictionThe Wild Bunch — are here. This exhibit, celebrating cinema, isn’t in Hollywood; it’s thousands of miles away, in a museum at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Va.

The NRA is proud of its “Hollywood Guns” exhibit. It’s the most popular of more than a dozen rooms and multiple showcases, which include the gun that Theodore Roosevelt took on a 1913 expedition to the Amazon. The shiny allure of the Hollywood gun room comes last in the museum tour — “like a reward,” says an NRA official.

The exhibit highlights the sometimes uneasy but fruitful partnership between the gun industry and Hollywood, where firearms are an integral part of life and storytelling. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers say that there’s no better way to brand, market and sell a weapon than to get it placed in a big Hollywood production. And most of the time, it’s free — product placement at its finest.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Paris In East St. Louis

from Ars Technica

Finding North America’s lost medieval city

Cahokia was bigger than Paris—then it was completely abandoned. I went there to find out why.

A thousand years ago, huge pyramids and earthen mounds stood where East St. Louis sprawls today in Southern Illinois. This majestic urban architecture towered over the swampy Mississippi River floodplains, blotting out the region’s tiny villages. Beginning in the late 900s, word about the city spread throughout the southeast. Thousands of people visited for feasts and rituals, lured by the promise of a new kind of civilization. Many decided to stay.

At the city’s apex in 1050, the population exploded to as many as 30 thousand people. It was the largest pre-Columbian city in what became the United States, bigger than London or Paris at the time. Its colorful wooden homes and monuments rose along the eastern side of the Mississippi, eventually spreading across the river to St. Louis. One particularly magnificent structure, known today as Monk’s Mound, marked the center of downtown. It towered 30 meters over an enormous central plaza and had three dramatic ascending levels, each covered in ceremonial buildings. Standing on the highest level, a person speaking loudly could be heard all the way across the Grand Plaza below. Flanking Monk’s Mound to the west was a circle of tall wooden poles, dubbed Woodhenge, that marked the solstices.

Despite its greatness, the city’s name has been lost to time. Its culture is known simply as Mississippian. When Europeans explored Illinois in the 17th century, the city had been abandoned for hundreds of years. At that time, the region was inhabited by the Cahokia, a tribe from the Illinois Confederation. Europeans decided to name the ancient city after them, despite the fact that the Cahokia themselves claimed no connection to it.

Centuries later, Cahokia’s meteoric rise and fall remain a mystery. It was booming in 1050, and by 1400 its population had disappeared, leaving behind a landscape completely geoengineered by human hands. Looking for clues about its history, archaeologists dig through the thick, wet, stubborn clay that Cahokians once used to construct their mounds. Buried beneath just a few feet of earth are millennia-old building foundations, trash pits, the cryptic remains of public rituals, and in some places, even, graves.

[ click to continue reading at Ars Technica ]

Neanderthal Gigolos

from New Scientist

Oldest early human footprints suggest males had several ‘wives’

By Colin Barras

Footprints clearly imprinted in ancient rockRaffaello Pellizzon

Three has become five. Laetoli in northern Tanzania is the site of iconic ancient footprints, capturing the moment – 3.66 million years ago – when three members of Lucy’s species (Australopithecus afarensis) strode out across the landscape.

Now something quite unexpected has come to light: the footprints of two other individuals.

“Our discovery left us without words,” says Marco Cherin at the University of Perugia, Italy.

The find looks set to transform our understanding of the Laetoli site and the social dynamics of australopiths, as well as their style of walking.

The original Laetoli footprints were discovered in 1976. Nothing quite like them had ever been found before. They remain by far the oldest hominin footprints we know, fortuitously preserved because a group of australopiths walked across damp volcanic ash during the brief window of time before it turned from soft powder into hard rock.

“Geologists say this hardening process must have occurred in just a few hours,” says Cherin.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Lyndsy Fonseca to “THE HAUNTED”

from Deadline

‘The Haunted’: Lyndsy Fonseca To Star In Syfy Pilot, Elizabeth Cappuccino Also Set

by 

lyndsy-fonseca-3Courtesy of Syfy

Former Nikita star Lyndsy Fonseca and up-and-comer Elizabeth Cappuccino (Jessica Jones) have been cast as two of the leads of Syfy’s supernatural horror drama pilot The Haunted.

Written by Noga Landau (Tau, The Magicians)The Haunted centers on four siblings – Juno (Fonseca), Virgil, Eliis and Hester (Cappuccino) — who reunite following their parents’ deaths. As they try to overcome their fractured personal relationships they find that they must also face the literal ghosts from their past in order to survive.

James Frey and Todd Cohen of Full Fathom Five executive produce and Landau co-executive produces for Universal Cable Productions.

[ click to read full article at Deadline.com ]

Alogrithm X

from BBC

Algorithms Are Making Us Small-minded

Your life is mapped out for you but, not in the way that you think. How predictive algorithms narrow your perspective – and ultimately your choices.

By Sydney Finkelstein

(Credit: Getty Images)Online retailers like Amazon offer us products based on our previous browsing habits – but that can add to the echo chamber (Credit: Getty Images)

We live in a world of curation. The internet — aided by algorithms that predict what we search, buy, listen to, read, watch and even who we want to date and marry — expertly helps to us find what we want.

Well, as long as it’s similar to whatever we’ve liked in the past.

And there’s the rub. The ubiquity of incredibly powerful algorithms designed to reinforce our interests also ensures that we see little of what’s new, different and unfamiliar. The very things that are at the heart of learning, understanding and innovation. Rather than taking us out of our comfort zone, the digital revolution is enabling each of us to live happily in our own worlds, and in the process closing down opportunities for originality, spontaneity and learning.

The best part of all: we love it this way.

How do I know?

Because we flock to Amazon to buy what their algorithms say we should buy. Because we read news that reinforces what we already believe. And because we even rely on dating sites that specifically seek to match us with similar people.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Henry Heimlich Gone

from The LA Times

Henry Heimlich, doctor who invented lifesaving anti-choking procedure, dies at 96

by Steve Chawkins

When he was a 21-year-old camp counselor, Henry Heimlich saved a life and had his first brush with fame.

On the way back to New York City from Massachusetts at summer’s end, his quick thinking in a train wreck helped save a critically wounded crew member. It also landed the handsome medical student on the front page of the New York Times. A month later, the Greater New York Safety Council gave him a gold watch.

Never one to shy away from the limelight, Heimlich would go on to a level of fame — and controversy — that astonished even him.

Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon who developed the lifesaving Heimlich maneuver after experimenting on anesthetized beagles, died Saturday in Cincinnati, his family said. He was 96.

[ click to continue reading at LA Times ]

Rock Beyoncé, Amadeus

from Atlas Obscura

Mozart Has Sold More CDs in 2016 Than Beyoncé

By Eric Grundhauser

Jealous?Jealous? JOHANN NEPOMUK DELLA CROCE/PUBLIC DOMAIN

The artist who sold the most CDs in 2016 hasn’t toured in over 200 years, but is still more famous than Drake. According to a report on Billboard, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made a massive comeback this year with a career-spanning box set that left other CD sales look weak in comparison.

Released in October, Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition is a 200-disc collection of Mozart’s entire musical catalogue. From his symphonies to his concertos, down to little scraps and fragments of his work, the set is one of the most comprehensive collections of Mozart’s music ever released. And at just over $300, it’s not even that expensive (considering the amount of music it contains).

The box set itself is a fascinating collection, and now it has the modern honor of moving more CDs than Beyonce, Kanye West, Adele, or David Bowie. While the set has sold just over 6,200 units, thanks to the hundreds of CDs it contains, it means that Mozart has sold 1.25 million discs. Pretty damn impressive for a long-dead composer.

[ click to continue reading at Atlas Obscura ]

Rock, Paper, Holy Shit!

from Kotaku

Japan’s Most Intense Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition

by Brian Ashcraft

[GIF via Nippon Channel]

Leave it to Japan to make a friendly game of rock-paper-scissors into an event, complete with cosplay, cheering, and crying.

Since 2010, members of idol group AKB48 and its sister groups have duked it out in paper-rock-scissors competitions or “janken taikai” in Japanese.

“Janken” means paper-rock-scissors (“taikai” means “tournament”), and while I played this growing up in the U.S., I certainly never did as much as Japanese people do. Even grown-ups play janken, using it to decide trivial things among friends that people in the U.S. might decide with a coin toss.

[ click to continue reading at Kotaku.com ]

Hidden City @ The South Pole

from The Sun

Shock claims massive ancient civilisation lies frozen beneath mile of Antarctic ice – and could even be Atlantis

Conspiracy theorists believe that there is a secret city which has frozen over – and it could even be the Lost City of Atlantis

BY JENNIFER HALE

An artist's view of what an ancient civilisation could look like on the continent of Antarctica An artist’s view of what an ancient civilisation could look like on the continent of Antarctica

THERE could be a hidden city frozen underneath Antarctica, according to shock claims.

The huge continent is an icy mass, and is currently only inhabited by scientific researchers and penguins thanks to its freezing temperatures.

Rumours of a hidden city have been floating about for years, as conspiracy theorists and even some scientists claim the freezing continent is actually the home of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis.

One scientific theory claims that once upon a time Antarctica was ice-free and home to an ancient civilisation.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

National Asteroid Day decreed by QUEEN

from PASTE

Thanks to Queen’s Brian May, We Now Have “International Asteroid Day”

By Monica Hunter-Hart

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The fact that an asteroid could easily and suddenly obliterate Earth is something people usually try not to think about. But Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May would caution against blissful disregard; thanks to him and three co-founders, the U.N. Committee On The Peaceful Uses Of Outer Space have approved an annual awareness campaign in the form of “International Asteroid Day.”

In regards to this cosmic threat, May has stated, “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it became that the human race has been living on borrowed time.” He added that asteroids hit Earth “all the time.”

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]