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Black Hole Needs To Hit Big O Tires

from Sky News

Misaligned black hole just 8,000 light years from Earth is behaving weirdly

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter

Artist's impression of V404 Cygni seen close up. The binary star system consists of a normal star in orbit with a black hole. Material from the star falls towards the black hole and spirals inwards in an accretion disk, with powerful jets being launched from the inner regions close to the black hole. Credit: ICRAR
Image:An artist’s impression of V404 Cygni seen close up. Pic: ICRAR

Scientists have discovered a “misaligned” black hole just 8,000 light years from Earth – and it’s behaving in a way that has never been seen before.

Researchers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) published their findings about the V404 Cygni black hole in the journal Nature.

They have never seen a black hole behaving in such a strange way before – with its spewing radio jets rotating with high-speed clouds of plasma that are erupting out of it in different directions.

The study’s lead author, Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, said: “This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I’ve ever come across.

“Like many black holes, it’s feeding on a nearby star, pulling gas away from the star and forming a disk of material that encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity.

“What’s different in V404 Cygni is that we think the disk of material and the black hole are misaligned.”

This misalignment means that the inner part of the black hole’s disk is wobbling like a spinning top, causing the jets to be fired out in different directions as it changes orientation.

[ click to continue reading at Sky News ]

Posted on April 30, 2019 by Editor

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Soderbergh Interviews Coppola

from Deadline

‘Apocalypse Now’ Director Francis Ford Coppola On Marlon Brando, ‘Damn Yankees’ And Managing Chaos – Tribeca

By Dade Hayes

Francis Ford Coppola
Brent N Clarke/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

In a conversation at the Tribeca Film Festival with Steven Soderbergh, who said he saw Apocalypse Now 17 times as a teenager in Baton Rouge, LA, Francis Ford Coppola reminisced about working with Marlon Brando and managing though chaos.

“The fuse had been blown on the circuit,” Coppola said of the 1979 film, whose 40th anniversary “Final Cut” is being celebrated at Tribeca. (A theatrical, on-demand and Blu-ray release is set for August, with newly enhanced sound and 20 minutes shaved from the “Redux” edition of several years ago.)

“In filmmaking as in life, bad things are going to happen,” Coppola told Soderbergh during the conversation at the Beacon Theatre, alluding to the biblical series of events that hit the production, including a typhoon and Martin Sheen’s heart attack. “The good news is that there is no hell. But the quasi-good news is, this is heaven.”

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 29, 2019 by Editor

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The Man Who Ran Out Of Air At The Bottom Of The Ocean

from BBC

Can You Survive If You Run Out Of Air?

Science tells us the human body can only survive for a few minutes without oxygen. But some people are defying this accepted truth.

By Richard Gray

An ROV image of Chris Lemons on the sea bottom (Credit: Floating Harbour)
The crew on the ship watched helplessly from the surface as a remotely operated vehicle sent back live images of Lemons’s fading movements 100m below (Credit: Floating Harbour)

There was a sickening crack when the thick cable connecting Chris Lemons to the ship above him snapped. This vital umbilical cord to the world above carried power, communications, heat and air to his diving suit 100m (328ft) below the surface of the sea.

While his colleagues remember the terrible noise of this lifeline breaking, Lemons himself heard nothing. One moment he was jammed against the metal underwater structure they had been working on and then he was tumbling backwards towards the ocean floor. His link to the ship above was gone, along with any hope of finding his way back to it.

Most crucially, his air supply had also vanished, leaving him with just six or seven minutes of emergency air supply. Over the next 30 minutes at the bottom of the North Sea, Lemons would experience something that few people have lived to talk about: he ran out of air.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on April 28, 2019 by Editor

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XTC Meets The Residents

from Dangerous Minds

THAT TIME WHEN XTC’S ANDY PARTRIDGE SANG FOR THE RESIDENTS

by Oliver Hall

During my childhood and adolescence, XTC was an enigma. When I first heard their minor hit “Dear God,” the band had already long since retired from the stage, and then for years after 1992’s Nonsuch, they seemed to have walked out on the record business, too. They could write a song so anodyne it has now crept into our nation’s drugstores, yet they could also render an apparently note-perfect cover of Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band’s “Ella Guru.” None of the musicians I knew who had the chops to attempt such a feat even liked Beefheart.

So while I played my tape of Waxworks over and over again in my teenage bedroom, these were among my thoughts: Who was this Andy Partridge guy, anyway? How did he play those weird chords? Why was he so reclusive? Was it all because he was, like, mental?

It wasn’t until I found a copy of the authorized biography Chalkhills and Children that I learned the facts of the XTC story. In the intervening 20 years, I have, of course, forgotten most of these (except that Andy Partridge is not “mental”) and lost the book, but at that time I sort of expected XTC to tour again someday, and I would have given a fucking eye for one evening’s entertainment from the swinging swains of Swindon. Part of the mystique came from listening to bootlegs and watching Urgh! A Music War, and part was this: a stone Residents junkie, I knew that Andy Partridge sang lead vocals on the Commercial Album‘s antepenultimate track, “Margaret Freeman.”

[ click to read full article at DM ]

Posted on April 27, 2019 by Editor

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Lena Scores

from Deadline

Lena Waithe Comedy ‘Twenties’ Gets Series Order At BET

By Denise Petski

Photo by Shayan Asgharnia

On the heels of the second season pickup of Lena Waithe’s critically-acclaimed Boomerang reboot, BET has ordered Twenties, a single-camera comedy series from the Emmy-winning creator/writer/actor.

Created and written by Waithe when she was in her early 20s, the eight-episode half-hour series follows the adventures of a queer black girl, Hattie, and her two straight best friends, Marie and Nia, who spend most of their days talking ‘ish’ and chasing their dreams. Twenties is a scripted show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way.

Waithe executive produces with Susan Fales-Hill, who will co-showrun with Waithe. Rishi Rajani and Andrew Coles also executive produce.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 26, 2019 by Editor

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Notre Dame Hives Survive

from France 24

Bee-wildering! Hives of Notre-Dame in miraculous survival

Some 200,000 bees inhabiting hives in Notre-Dame cathedral survived the inferno that engulfed the heritage landmark in a miraculous escape, their beekeeper said Thursday.

“The bees are alive. Until this morning, I had had no news,” said beekeeper Nicolas Geant who looks after the hives which are kept on top of a sacristry that adjoins the cathedral.

“At first I thought that the three hives had burned but I had no information” after Monday’s fire, Geant told AFP.

“Then I saw from satellite images that this was not the case and then the cathedral spokesman told me that they were going in and out of the hives.”

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on April 25, 2019 by Editor

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They’re Coming

from SPACE

The First Known Interstellar Meteor May Have Hit Earth in 2014

The 3-foot-wide rock rock visited us three years before ‘Oumuamua.

By Christopher Choi

Artist's concept of 'Oumuamua, an interstellar object that was discovered zooming through our solar system in 2017. A new study determined that a small meteor that hit Earth in 2014 came from interstellar space as well.

Artist’s concept of ‘Oumuamua, an interstellar object that was discovered zooming through our solar system in 2017. A new study determined that a small meteor that hit Earth in 2014 came from interstellar space as well.(Image: © K. Meech et al./ESO)

The first meteor to hit Earth from interstellar space — and the second known interstellar visitor overall — may have just been discovered, a new study finds.

Interstellar meteors may be common, and could potentially help life travel from star to star, researchers added.

The first known visitor from interstellar space, a cigar-shaped object named ‘Oumuamua, was detected in 2017. Scientists deduced the origins of the 1,300-foot-long (400 meters) object from its speed and trajectory, which suggests it may have come from another star, or perhaps two.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Editor

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Most Prefer Coke

from Futurism

Pepsi Plans to Project a Giant Ad in the Night Sky Using Cubesats

Pepsi says it’ll use an artificial constellation, hung in the night sky next to the stars, to promote an energy drink.

by Jon Christian

Orbital Billboard

A Russian company called StartRocket says it’s going to launch a cluster of cubesats into space that will act as an “orbital billboard,” projecting enormous advertisements into the night sky like artificial constellations. And its first client, it says, will be PepsiCo — which will use the system to promote a “campaign against stereotypes and unjustified prejudices against gamers” on behalf of an energy drink called Adrenaline Rush.

Yeah, the project sounds like an elaborate prank. But Russian PepsiCo spokesperson Olga Mangova confirmed to Futurism that the collaboration is real.

“We believe in StartRocket potential,” she wrote in an email. “Orbital billboards are the revolution on the market of communications. That’s why on behalf of Adrenaline Rush — PepsiCo Russia energy non-alcoholic drink, which is brand innovator, and supports everything new, and non-standard — we agreed on this partnership.”

[ click to continue reading at Futurism ]

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Editor

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The Geeks Should Just Stick To Microwave Burritos, Please

from Vanity Fair

HOW SILICON VALLEY TURNED YOUR BURRITO INTO A CAPITALIST NIGHTMARE

The food-delivery industry wasn’t broken, but venture capital set out to disrupt it anyway. The result is overpriced services that frustrate restaurants, are hated by drivers, and drive customers crazy.

BY NICK BILTON

© 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.

We all rag on Silicon Valley for saying it’s going to make the world a better place. But let’s be realistic: the roughly 50-square-mile area surrounding the San Francisco Peninsula has, indeed, made our lives better in innumerable ways. Look, there’s a machine in our pockets that allows us to take a thousand photos a day, access the world’s information, and do things we never could have dreamed of in the past, like deposit a check without having to go to the bank or drive out of state without getting lost. Thanks to Silicon Valley, you can book flights while you’re sitting on the toilet, get laid while you’re sitting on the toilet, order toilet paper while you’re sitting on the toilet. It’s all pretty magical.

There is, however, one area in which Silicon Valley has made our lives worse: food delivery.

Now, before I go on a vehement rant about how infuriatingly bad food-delivery services are—how sneaky, and self-enriching they are, how they cheat customers, screw over restaurants, and make the world a worse place—I must disclose that I am not just an angry customer here. My first job in high school, after working at McDonald’s for 17 minutes—long story—was delivering food. I worked for Sal’s Italian Restaurant in Florida, zipping pizzas and baked ziti all through Turtle Run and Coral Springs. Later, I was the head delivery driver (yes, head!) for the local wing shop. Here was the thing that was different back then: you picked up the phone, you called and asked for your food, we’d tell you exactly what it cost, exactly how long it would take to get to you, and we’d put it in packaging to ensure it was still blazing hot and fresh when we rang your doorbell.

[ click to continue reading at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on April 22, 2019 by Editor

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Robot Authors

from The Guardian

The rise of robot authors: is the writing on the wall for human novelists?

Artificial intelligence can now write fiction and journalism. But does it measure up to George Orwell – and can it report on Brexit?

by Steven Poole

An industrial robot writes out the Bible. Photograph: Amy Cicconi/Alamy

Will androids write novels about electric sheep? The dream, or nightmare, of totally machine-generated prose seemed to have come one step closer with the recent announcement of an artificial intelligence that could produce, all by itself, plausible news stories or fiction. It was the brainchild of OpenAI – a nonprofit lab backed by Elon Musk and other tech entrepreneurs – which slyly alarmed the literati by announcing that the AI (called GPT2) was too dangerous for them to release into the wild, because it could be employed to create “deepfakes for text”. “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology,” they said, “we are not releasing the trained model.” Are machine-learning entities going to be the new weapons of information terrorism, or will they just put humble midlist novelists out of business?

Let’s first take a step back. AI has been the next big thing for so long that it’s easy to assume “artificial intelligence” now exists. It doesn’t, if by “intelligence” we mean what we sometimes encounter in our fellow humans. GPT2 is just using methods of statistical analysis, trained on huge amounts of human-written text – 40GB of web pages, in this case, that received recommendations from Reddit readers – to predict what ought to come next. This probabilistic approach is how Google Translate works, and also the method behind Gmail’s automatic replies (“OK.” “See you then.” “That’s fine!”) It can be eerily good, but it is not as intelligent as, say, a bee.

Right now, novelists don’t seem to have much to fear. Fed the opening line of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – the machine continued the narrative as follows: “I was in my car on my way to a new job in Seattle. I put the gas in, put the key in, and then I let it run. I just imagined what the day would be like. A hundred years from now. In 2045, I was a teacher in some school in a poor part of rural China. I started with Chinese history and history of science.”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 21, 2019 by Editor

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Books Are Alive!

from TIME

Stop Saying Books Are Dead. They’re More Alive Than Ever

BY LISA LUCAS

/ David Steinberger and Lisa Lucas / Getty Images

Lisa Lucas is the executive director of the National Book Foundation, the presenter of the National Book Awards and a non-profit that celebrates the best literature in America, expands its audience, and ensures that books have a prominent place in American culture

“The book is dead,” is a refrain I hear constantly. I’ll run into people on the subway, in a taxi, in an airport, or wherever I might be and when I tell them what I do, they ask me “do people even still read anymore?” This simple question implies the very work I do at the National Book Foundation may not be worthwhile—or even possible. It’s generally a casual statement, a throwaway remark, a comment repeated so often that it’s taken as fact. The book is obviously dead, or at least dying, right? 

False. When people tell me that fighting for books is fighting a futile battle, that’s the moment my optimism kicks in. That’s the moment I power up my very deepest belief in literature. A person who wants to challenge or lament the death of reading with me is a person looking for a fight and, I think, a person who wants to be convinced otherwise. This gives me hope. I’m here for this fight.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on April 20, 2019 by Editor

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Another Pilfered Picasso

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Stolen Picasso unearthed by ‘Indiana Jones of art’

Courtesy of ARTCOPS.COM

The Hague (AFP) – A Dutch art detective dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Art World” has struck again, finding a Picasso painting worth 25 million euros stolen from a Saudi sheikh’s yacht on the French Riviera in 1999.

Arthur Brand said he had handed back the 1938 masterpiece entitled “Portrait of Dora Maar”, also known as “Buste de Femme (Dora Maar)” to an insurance company earlier this month.

The discovery of the rare portrait of Maar, one of Pablo Picasso’s most influential mistresses, is the culmination of a four-year investigation into the burglary on the luxury yacht Coral Island, as she lay anchored in Antibes.

Two decades after its theft and with no clues to its whereabouts, the French police were stumped — and the portrait, which once hung in the Spanish master’s home until his death in 1973, was feared lost forever.

But after a four-year trail which led through the Dutch criminal underworld, two intermediaries turned up on Brand’s Amsterdam doorstep 10 days ago with the missing picture.

“They had the Picasso, now valued at 25 million euros wrapped in a sheet and black rubbish bags with them,” Brand told AFP.

It was yet another success for Brand, who hit the headlines last year for returning a stolen 1,600-year-old mosaic to Cyprus.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on April 19, 2019 by Editor

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ABBC / CBBS / NBBC

from Vox

How long before big media companies become big sports-gambling companies?

Sooner than you think. But AT&T, which owns HBO, TNT, and CNN, says they won’t be taking your bets.

By Peter Kafka

As sports betting becomes legal in more states, big companies are becoming interested in getting a piece of the action. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sports betting in the US used to be illegal, for the most part. Now it’s up to individual states to decide if they want it. Besides Nevada, which has always had legal sports betting, a handful of states have authorized it, with only New Jersey jumping in completely. But with estimates of US sports gambling hovering around $150 billion annually, it won’t be long before many states decide they want a piece of that action. 

So here’s the question for media companies that are hoping to profit in some way from the billions of dollars gamblers are going to bet on sports: How do we get a slice?

I’ve been talking to people who make money in sports betting and media, and this looks like the way it’s going to play out:

[ click to continue reading at Vox ]

Posted on April 18, 2019 by Editor

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Delphi Discovered

from National Geographic

Once sacred, the Oracle at Delphi was lost for a millennium. See how it was found.

Relying on clues from the past, a team of 19th-century archaeologists uncovered Delphi, the site where ancient Greeks asked questions, and Apollo answered them.

BY MARÍA TERESA MAGADÁN

Greek myth holds that the thunder god Zeus once dispatched two eagles flying in opposite directions across the sky. Where their paths crossed would be the center of the world. Legend says that the birds met over Delphi, seated on the slopes of Parnassós. Zeus marked the spot with a stone called the omphalos (navel), to signify the location’s centrality.

According to another myth, this impressive spot in central Greece (about 100 miles northwest of Athens) was originally sacred to Gaea, mother goddess of the earth, who placed her son Python, a serpent, as a guard for Delphi and its oracle. Apollo, god of light and music, slew the serpent and took over the site for himself. Priestesses who served Apollo there were called the “Pythia,” named in honor of Gaea’s vanquished son. Throughout the classical world spread the belief that these priestesses channeled prophecies from Apollo himself. (Read about the science behind the Delphic Oracle’s prophetic powers.)

The cult of Apollo seems to have been functioning in Delphi as early as the eighth century B.C. About two centuries later, leaders from all over Greece were consulting the oracle on major issues of the day: waging war, founding colonies, and religious rituals. Since it was a place used by different—and often rival—Greek states, Delphi soon became not only a sacred space but also a place where a city-state could exhibit its status to the wider Greek world.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Editor

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Mark Millar’s ‘Space Bandits’

from Deadline

Netflix And Image Comics: Mark Millar’s ‘Space Bandits’ Brings Howard Chaykin Aboard

By Geoff Boucher

Image Comics

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix and Mark Millar announce their latest in-house creation, Space Bandits, a female-led sci-fi story, described by Millar as “a female Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid set in space with a massive and exciting cast of characters.” Image Comics, publisher of The Walking Dead, Happy! and Saga, will handle the tie-in comic book iteration of the Netflix property and artist Matteo Scalera will illustrate the space-faring adventures on the page.

Thena Khole and Cody Blue are outlaw queens who lead notorious heist gangs that hop from starship to starship taking whatever they want whenever they want it. But when both Khole and Blue are betrayed by mutineers in their own crews, the two bandits are united in their thirst for revenge.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Editor

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A tragedy so terrible, it’s best just to laugh.

Posted on April 15, 2019 by Editor

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Liquid Solid Found

from National Geographic

Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at the same time

The mind-bending material would be like a sponge made of water that’s leaking water.

BY ADAM MANN

SOLID, LIQUID, GAS … and something else? While most of us learn about just three states of matter in elementary school, physicists have discovered several exotic varieties that can exist under extreme temperature and pressure conditions.

Now, a team has used a type of artificial intelligence to confirm the existence of a bizarre new state of matter, one in which potassium atoms exhibit properties of both a solid and a liquid at the same time. If you were somehow able to pull out a chunk of such material, it would probably look like a solid block leaking molten potassium that eventually all dissolved away.

“It would be like holding a sponge filled with water that starts dripping out, except the sponge is also made of water,” says study coauthor Andreas Hermann, a condensed matter physicist at the University of Edinburgh whose team describes the work this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 14, 2019 by Editor

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Flash You Were Here

Posted on April 13, 2019 by Editor

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Sex Pot

from Metro UK

People are putting cannabis up their bums and vaginas to have better sex

by Jasper Hamill

This packet contains a cannabis suppositry (Image: Foria)

Here in the UK, most cannabis users eat, smoke or vaporize weed to get high.

But in US states where it’s now legal, a very different method of using weed is emerging.

Marijuana is slowly shedding its image as a drug used by munchy-crazed potheads and becoming a medicine for people suffering from chronic pain and even a ‘wellness’ product believed to enhance healthy living.

In California though, people are using placing cannabis-based products inside their bums and vaginas to enhance sex or tackle soreness caused by medical conditions.

We spoke to a company called Foria which makes the world’s first cannabis suppository, as well as a woman who has used weed to help overcome a history of sexual trauma and discover the joy of sex and sensuality.

[ click to continue reading at Metro ]

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Editor

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Welcome Back, Carter

from The Hollywood Reporter

Graydon Carter: Life After Vanity Fair and Embracing the Future (Guest Column)

Graydon Carter

E. Charbonneau/WireImage
Graydon Carter (right) with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s.

Sure, the perks, pleasures and expense accounts of a vanishing print business have been replaced by digital churns and dubious Facebook ads, but the legendary magazine editor — who turned down an offer to run Time — retains his zest for journalism with a new newsletter and an occasional trip to the neighborhood newsstand.

New York was always a magazine city for me. And in some ways it still is. I grew up in Canada, and magazines — Life, Esquire, Time — more than anything else, told me the story of this city, its industry, its might and the people who made it the center of just about everything I was interested in. When I finally made it to New York in the ’70s, the magazine influence was still potent. Time Inc. had its own building. So did Condé Nast and Hearst. Even Newsweek and Forbes did.

There was a huge billboard in the main room of Grand Central, and from time to time one of the newsweeklies booked it. When I would take the train to visit friends up in Westchester County, the platforms were lined with smaller billboards for Time and Newsweek and magazines I’d never heard of, such as Grit (an agricultural supplement that was included in the weekend section of small-town newspapers). My guess was that those billboards were intended to catch the eye of advertising-agency account executives for such brands as Chesterfield cigarettes and J&B scotch as they headed home to bedroom towns like Salem and Bedford.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on April 11, 2019 by Editor

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Armageddon Map

from France 24

Mapping Armaggedon: Earth’s looming tsunamis and mega-quakes

A landslide from Anak Karkatau triggered a tsunami that killed 437 people and injured 30,000 in December 2018A landslide from Anak Karkatau triggered a tsunami that killed 437 people and injured 30,000 in December 2018 AFP/File

As villagers along the Sunda Strait were finishing their meals on the evening of 22 December last year, they had no idea of the cataclysmic event that awaited them.

After bubbling on and off for months, the active volcano of Anak Krakatoa erupted, triggering a 0.3-kilometre-cubed sized chunk of rock to plunge into the unusually deep waters off the coast of Indonesia’s west Java and South Sumatra regions.

The resulting tsunami, which hit the coast just minutes after the landslide, killed 437 people and injured 30,000 more.

The killer wave was the most recent of a geological phenomenon that has led to around a quarter of a million deaths in the last two decades alone.

And it won’t be the last.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Editor

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Miles Millar & Alfred Gough in conversation w/ James Frey

Posted on April 9, 2019 by Editor

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Baseball Is Dead. (Yeah, right!)

from The Guardian

Why baseball spent more than $1bn on three players in a month

Three of the richest contracts in sports history would appear to bust the baseball-is-dying narrative, but underlying trends have exposed a rot within the mechanics of the sport’s economics

Posted on April 8, 2019 by Editor

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Spooky Golightly

from The New York Post

Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn was a WWII resistance spy

By Reed Tucker

She was one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses. But Audrey Hepburn had a role that few knew about: spy.

And unlike the characters that she portrayed on screen, playing this part could literally mean life or death.

The maddeningly private actress, who died in 1993, had dropped hints about her work with the Dutch Resistance during World War II, and now a new book puts the whole story together, providing an in-depth look at her life during the conflict.

Robert Matzen, author of “Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II” (GoodKnight Books), combed secret files, talked to Hepburn’s family and tracked down diaries to uncover new information.

The biggest surprise to many will be Hepburn’s work with the Dutch Resistance against Nazi occupation. She certainly seemed an unlikely hero.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on April 7, 2019 by Editor

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Plague Again

from MSN

Deadly germs, Lost cures: A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy

by MATT RICHTEL and ANDREW JACOBS

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious.

Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.

Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa .

Recently C. auris reached New York , New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.”

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on April 6, 2019 by Editor

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Megalopolis

from Deadline

Francis Ford Coppola Ready To Make ‘Megalopolis’ And Is Eyeing Cast

By Mike Fleming Jr

EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of his 80th birthday, Francis Ford Coppola is ready to embark on one of his dream projects. He plans to direct Megalopolis, a sprawling film as ambitious as Apocalypse Now, that he has been plotting for many years. Coppola revealed this to me today. He has his script, and he has begun speaking informally to potential stars. I’ve heard Jude Law’s name among those who might potentially be in the movie. I have much to report about Coppola’s dream project, and I got to view some of the second unit footage he shot after announcing the project in Cannes, before the terror attacks of 9/11 — the film is set in New York and is an architect’s attempt to create a utopia in the city, combated by the mayor — ground progress on the film to a halt.

“So yes, I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve titled Megalopolis,” Coppola told me today. “It is unusual; it will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and in fact encouraged, to begin production this year.”

This comes after Coppola has locked Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, a version of the film that most pleases the storied director, and which will premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.

“By having a record of all old cuts on Betamax, I was able to see what steps had been made toward the final version released,” he said. “Interesting, even though I’ve had ‘final cut’ since Godfather‘s success, I always tried to be reasonable about ideas or suggestions made by the ‘finance’ partners, distributors or studios. However, their unanimous comment of ‘too long’ often led to trimming things out, whereas in retrospect the solution can often be to put more in. Also changes often beget other changes and you don’t quite realize then the road you are following.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 5, 2019 by Editor

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XFL Ain’t No AFL – No Worries.

from Inside Hook

To Avoid AAF’s Fate, XFL Must Have a Better TV Deal

Vince McMahon has promised fans will be able to find XFL games “consistently.”

BY EVAN BLEIER

The Alliance of American Football, which suspended all football operations yesterday with two games remaining, began its season with games airing on CBS.

The debut was strong and many had hoped the relatively strong TV ratings meant the league would last, but inconsistency in where the AAF could be found on the dial  – be it CBS Sports Network, TNT or NFL Network – following its first few weeks at least partially led to its downfall.

That’s something the XFL – which is set to kick off in 2020 – is hoping to avoid.

In a statement following the AAF’s closure, XFL founder Vince McMahon said the XFL is “well-funded” and that “the success or failure of other leagues will have no impact on our ability to deliver high-quality, fast-paced, professional football.”

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on April 4, 2019 by Editor

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Consent Condom

from The Sun

New ‘consent’ condoms can only be opened by two people

The condoms can only be opened when four hands simultaneously press special pressure points on the side of the packet

By Molly Rose Pike

A BIZARRE new pack of condoms that can only be opened by two people at once have been launched to promote consent.

‘Consent Pack’ condoms open only when four hands simultaneously press special pressure points on the side of the packet, it’s claimed.

Argentinian contraceptive firm Tulipan say the product will make consent during sex clearer, though it’s not clear how effective this will be.

The company plans to give the condoms away for free in bars and at events in the Argentinian capital city of Buenos Aires.

Joaquin Campins, the general director of the BBDO agency, which cooperated with the condom brand on the special pack, said: “If it’s not a yes, it’s a no.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on April 3, 2019 by Editor

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The Simulation Hypothesis

from Digital Trends

Are we living in a simulation? This MIT scientist says it’s more likely than not

by Dyllan Furness

we spoke to an mit computer scientists about the simulation hypothesis medrez riz play labs august 2017 phan 05Rizwan Virk, Play Labs’ Executive Director

What if I told you that physical reality is an illusion and we all live in a computer simulation?

That hypothesis, famously probed in the 1999 film The Matrix, is the subject of a new book by Rizwan Virk, a computer scientist and video game developer who leads Play Labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his book, The Simulation Hypothesis, Virk endeavors to unpack the heady arguments that call our physical world into question.

[ click to continue reading at Digital Trends ]

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Editor

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HEATHERS

from The New Yorker

“Heathers” Blew Up the High-School Comedy

The 1989 cult classic ushered in a darker, weirder, more experimental era for teen movies.

Text by Naomi Fry

“Touchstones” is an ongoing interactive series in which New Yorker writers guide us through the works that shaped them as critics and as people.

In the course of the eighties, nothing formed my understanding of what it meant to be a teen-ager, and particularly an American teen-ager, more than the movies of John Hughes. I was an Israeli kid who occasionally, thanks to my dad’s job, spent time in the United States, and Hughes’s œuvre—especially “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Sixteen Candles”—served, for me, as both an anthropological document and a how-to guide. For American teen-agers, I learned, daily life was a battleground: their parents pushed them around or ignored them; their teachers were bored and boring; they were confused about sex, and even more so about love; race was rarely a problem (the American teen-ager was almost always white), but class, and especially money, was; and class and money translated into the chief issue seemingly dogging every American teen-ager’s life—high-school cliques, and one’s ability to break free of their constraints in order to discover who one really was.

No matter how difficult these issues were to deal with, however, teens were able to overcome them by the end of Hughes’s movies. No problem was unmanageable, no adversity insurmountable. The movies’ redemptive arc guaranteed that the burnout and the prom queen could set their conflicts aside—as could the rich guy and the poor girl, and the jock and the weirdo—and the result was a new, more perfect union, which was more often than not sealed with a kiss.

The Hughesian Ending

“Make a wish,” Jake tells Samantha in the last scene of “Sixteen Candles.” “It already came true,” she replies.

The constancy of this teen-movie template was likely why “Heathers”—directed by Michael Lehmann, written by Daniel Waters, and the feature-film début for both—came as such a shock. Though the movie was released in the States in 1989—where it was, for the most part, a critical hit, though a box-office flop—it had not come out in Israel, and I saw it only in 1990, which I spent in Seattle. That year, I had fashioned myself as a sophisticated outsider, and had begun going to see movies alone, as sophisticated outsiders tend to do. (Making friends was a little bit of a struggle.) And so I settled down alone in a cinematheque-style theatre to watch what I believed would be another Hughes-style comedy. “Heathers,” I imagined, would focus on two attractive young people, played by Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, who would, against the odds, fall in love, come to resist the cliquishness of their school—embodied by a trio of popular mean girls, all named Heather—and bring on an improved, quasi-utopian social order.

But about twenty-five minutes into the movie I experienced a strong cognitive dissonance: I watched as J.D. (Slater) and Veronica (Ryder) gave Heather Chandler, the cruellest, most powerful member of the Heathers, a poisonous concoction. Had they just killed her? A teen movie couldn’t include murders, could it?

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on April 1, 2019 by Editor

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