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Posted on September 30, 2019 by Editor

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Best Fall Films – QUEEN & SLIM

from Teen Vogue

The Best Movies of Fall 2019

From international spies to little women.


The Best Movies of Fall 2019

Teen Vogue is excited to debut its Fall Preview of shows and films that we’re obsessed with. We’re highlighting a diverse range of programming that touches on love, family, friendships, trauma, curiosity, and innovative perspectives about the world around us.

With fall comes cozy sweaters, brown leaves, and a number of fresh films for your viewing pleasure. Instead of spending another evening at home on the couch binging Netflix, consider heading to the nearest movie theater for the slew of premieres this season.

Queen & Slim

Premieres: November 27

Melina Matsoukas’ directorial debut does not spare emotions as she tells the tragic story of two people who forge a bond after getting into a deadly encounter with a police officer. No traditional love story in any form, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) go from two strangers on a first date to fugitives, bound together by their situation.

Written by Lena Waithe (The Chi), we follow the pair across state lines in an uncomfortable, yet cinematically-stunning portrayal of being on the run. From Ohio down to Louisiana and eventually Florida, the melanin-enriched pseudo-Bonnie and Clyde narrowly escape obstacle after obstacle in the hopes of freedom.

“I wanted to give voice to all the nameless faceless men and women of color whose lives were taken unjustly and who didn’t make it home,” Lena told press at ESSENCE Fest in July. “I actually refer to them as fallen soldiers but unfortunately, they were fighting a war they didn’t know they were in. There is so much Black deaths surrounding us … I wanted to turn the tables where we could keep breathing and the opposer didn’t.”

The raw truth is that oppression of Black people in this country is so insidious and innate that every second of the film feels tension-filled. In addition to running from the law, the film is a beautiful love letter to African Americans’ solidarity, particularly in times of great need.

Conscious and convicting, Queen & Slim is by no means an easy watch — but it is a must-watch. — Danielle Kwateng-Clark

[ click to continue reading at Teen Vogue ]

Posted on September 29, 2019 by Editor

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Charlie Hunnam Leads ‘Shantaram’ for Apple


Charlie Hunnam To Headline ‘Shantaram’, Apple Series Based On Novel

By Nellie Andreeva

photo: Brian Bowen Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Former Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam is returning to television as the lead of Apple’s sweeping international drama Shantaram, which has been greenlighted to series by the streamer, I have learned.

Apple landed the project, based on Gregory David Roberts’ best-selling novel, more than a year ago in a competitive situation to develop for straight-to-series consideration.

Shantaram hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, which in early 2018 won a monthlong bidding war for the rights to Roberts’ 2004 novel set in Australia and India that explores love, forgiveness, courage and redemption, as well as for Robert’s sequel novel, The Mountain Shadow.

Written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), Shantaram tells the story of Lin (Hunnam), a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars and underworld of India.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 28, 2019 by Editor

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New Greta Van Fleet for A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Soundtrack

from Alternative Nation

Greta Van Fleet New Song “Always There” Revealed

By Brett Buchanan

Greta Van Fleet have reportedly recorded a new song titled “Always There” for the soundtrack of the film ‘A Million Littles Pieces.’ The film is set for release on December 6th, and is based on the 2005 book by James Frey. Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka squatted in a bathing suit photo yesterday, before later deleting it.

The book is described as, “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” The film is starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Odessa Young, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, and Charlie Hunnam. Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of the film.

[ click to continue reading at Alternative Nation ]

Posted on September 27, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – Trailer 2

Posted on September 26, 2019 by Editor

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Dog Brains

from National Geographic

Centuries of breeding have reshaped dog brains—here’s how

The role for which a dog was bred—say retrieving birds—is reflected in their brain structure, according to a study of 33 breeds.


There are hundreds of dog breeds around the world, from the teensy chihuahua to the massive Saint Bernard—all thanks to centuries of selective breeding by humans. With such a wide range of canine sizes and temperaments, it’s no surprise that, in the process, we have reshaped their brains as well as their bodies.

A new study performed MRI scans on 33 breeds and discovered how a dog was bred is reflected in their brain structure. (Read “How to build a dog” in National Geographic magazine.)

For instance, dogs bred to be small—say the lhasa apso—have round heads with similarly round brains that take up most of their skull. A larger breed like a golden retriever has a long, narrow head, and thus a more elongated brain that doesn’t fill all of the skull space.

“The biggest wow moment for me was just looking at the scans,” says study leader Erin E. Hecht, an evolutionary neuroscientist at Harvard University. “It’s really cool in science where you have a result where you don’t have to do any fancy statistics to be able to tell there’s something going on.” (Read more how humans have reordered dog brains.)

This fresh look inside the mind of dogs offers a better understanding of how breeds are hardwired, which in turn helps potential dog owners choose the right breed for their home, adds Hecht, whose study was published today in the journal Neurosci. (See our fun photo gallery of pet dogs.)

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on September 25, 2019 by Editor

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Apologies in advance…

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Editor

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Captain Spaulding Gone

from Entertainment Weekly

Horror icon Sid Haig, actor from House of 1,000 Corpses, dies at 80

Haig also appeared in ‘Jackie Brown’ and blaxploitation films like ‘Coffy’ and ‘Foxy Brown’

By Nick Romano

Sid Haig, a legend of the horror genre from films like House of 1,000 Corpsesand The Devil’s Rejects, died Saturday following an unspecified “accident” two weeks earlier. He was 80.

In a statement shared on the actor’s Instagram account, wife Susan L. Oberg wrote, “My light, my heart, my true love, my King, the other half of my soul, Sidney, passed from this realm on to the next. He has returned to the Universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be.”

Haig got his start in horror with 1967’s Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told. He was then cast in Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses as Captain Spaulding and its sequel The Devil’s Rejects. Haig was meant to have a larger role in this fall’s third installment, 3 From Hell, but Zombie told EW that health issues prevented him from doing so.

[ click to continue reading at EW ]

Posted on September 23, 2019 by Editor

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Charlie Hunnam – ‘Jungleland’


Charlie Hunnam & Jack O’Connell Evoke ’70s-Era Movies In Max Winkler’s 10-Year Passion Project ‘Jungleland’ – Toronto

By Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: “When a reluctant bare-knuckle boxer and his older brother rack up a hefty debt, they are forced to chaperone an unexpected travel companion cross-country for one last fight in search of their fortune.”

That is the simple one-liner description for Jungleland, which has its world premiere Thursday night at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s pretty accurate because that is the plot, but what really works about this compelling character study from director Max Winkler, who co-wrote the script with Theodore B. Bressman and David Branson Smith, is the journey of these three people in a movie that for me harkens back to some of the great actor-driven movies of the 1970s. It has smart dialogue, a terrific trio of stars and a familial sensibility that also makes you care deeply what happens to these three on their journey. Oh and their dog too. I see lots of movies, obviously, and I have seen a ton at this year’s TIFF, but this one — even viewed in rough-cut form in a screener, which is how I saw it — has stuck with me. Watch an exclusive clip above.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 22, 2019 by Editor

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Leo’s Lion

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical lion goes on display in Paris

The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I
The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I (AFP Photo/Thomas SAMSON)

Paris (AFP) – Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mechanical lion on Wednesday went on display in Paris for a month, in a tribute to the Renaissance master 500 years after his death.

The lion, which is two metres (six feet, seven inches) high and three metres long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci.

The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on September 21, 2019 by Editor

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YSL Doc Finally Released

from Showbiz 411

After 20 Years, Documentary about Mysterious Late Designer Yves St. Laurent and Partner Pierre Berge Finally Set for Release

by Roger Friedman

Twenty one years ago, in 1998, French filmmaker Olivier Meyrou filmed Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge for a documentary that was never released.

Now “Celebration” is coming to New York’s Film Forum on October 2nd after much wrangling. It’s been shown twice in the last two decades, the last time in the fall of 2018. A version premiered at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival, but Berge shelved it.

In the interim two narrative films about Saint Laurent appeared, but neither one of them captured the mercurial designer. Some filmmakers have seen the documentary including Paul Thomas Anderson, whose “Phantom Thread” is said to have been greatly influenced by it. (There are said to be similar scenes.)

[ click to continue reading at Showbiz 411 ]

Posted on September 20, 2019 by Editor

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Getting closer…

from The Sun

Mystery object approaching us from interstellar space could be ALIEN spacecraft, top scientist admits

by Harry Pettit

That’s the shock claim made by one space scientist, who has exclusively revealed to The Sun that our incoming visitor could be piloted by hyper-intelligent beings.

Last week, scientists in Germany announced they were tracking a distant object heading in our direction.

Dubbed “C/2019 Q4”, the high-speed body appears to be on a path originating from another star system that will see it fire past Mars in October.

Despite numerous attempts to study C/2019, scientists remain clueless as to what it is. Many speculate the distant mass is a comet.

According to prominent astronomer Dr Seth Shostak, while this is the interstellar traveller’s most likely identity, we can’t say for sure it’s not a flying saucer.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Editor

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Water, water, everywhere.

from NBC News

Strange alien world found to have water vapor and possibly rain clouds

Exoplanet K2-18 b lies in the habitable zone of its host star some 110 light-years from Earth.

By Chelsea Gohd,

This artist's impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system.
This artist’s impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system. M. Kornmesser / ESA/Hubble

In a major first, scientists have detected water vapor and possibly even liquid water clouds that rain in the atmosphere of a strange exoplanet that lies in the habitable zone of its host star about 110 light-years from Earth.

A new study focuses on K2-18 b, an exoplanet discovered in 2015, orbits a red dwarf star close enough to receive about the same amount of radiation from its star as Earth does from our sun.

Previously, scientists have discovered gas giants that have water vapor in their atmospheres, but this is the least massive planet ever to have water vapor detected in its atmosphere. This new paper even goes so far as to suggest that the planet hosts clouds that rain liquid water.

“The water vapor detection was quite clear to us relatively early on,” lead author Björn Benneke, a professor at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal, told in an interview. So he and his colleagues developed new analysis techniques to provide evidence that clouds made up of liquid water droplets likely exist on K2-18 b. “That’s in some ways the ‘holy grail’ of studying extrasolar planets … evidence of liquid water,” he said.

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Posted on September 18, 2019 by Editor

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We Shall Be Enslaved

from RT

Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek

Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek
© Getty Images / Donald Iain Smith

Technologies linking human consciousness to any sort of a cloud computing service could not just open the way for totalitarian mind control, but destroy the very essence of human relations, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says.

A computer that can read the thoughts of many people at once would make normal human life impossible, the Slovenian cultural philosopher told RT in the wake of the World Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference in Shanghai, which saw Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma and Tesla CEO Elon Musk clashing over the future of AI.

While the two technopreneurs engaged in a heated discussion over the possibility of humans being controlled by machines in the future, the senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana shared his thoughts on the issue with RT.

Our brain being connected to a machine is not a utopia

What I am studying now is the so-called phenomenon of wired brains, a possibility of our brains being connected with strong digital machines. And that is not a utopia. In the media lab at MIT, Massachusetts, they already have simple machines like that. It is like a helmet, nothing intrusive, they put it on your head.

And then something horrible happens – I saw the video – you think certain thoughts, you do not say anything, and the machine reproduces them either in writing or with artificial voice.

[ click to continue reading at RT ]

Posted on September 17, 2019 by Editor

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from The Express

Asteroid collision with Earth ruled out by NASA – breaks up in atmosphere above Caribbean

AN ASTEROID which came crashing into Earth and NASA had no idea it was coming reiterates the need to keep a closer eye on the sky in case a massive space rock comes hurtling towards our planet.


NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour” (Image: GETTY)

“This was roughly the equivalent of spotting something the size of a gnat from a distance of 310 miles (500 kilometres).”

Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object (NEO) Studies, said: “Asteroids this size are far smaller than what we’re tasked to track.

“They’re so small, they would not survive passing through our atmosphere to cause damage to Earth’s surface.”

The problem was, NASA said, the space agency could not determine where the space rock was heading.

NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour, which was not enough information to determine where the object came from or exactly where it was headed.”

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on September 16, 2019 by Editor

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The Mandela Effect

from artnet

The Spelling of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Name Is Now the Subject of an Internet Conspiracy Theory About Parallel Universes

It’s an example of what is called the “Mandela Effect.”

by Ben Davis

A bronze plaque honoring painter Georgia O'Keeffe is embedded in a sidewalk in front of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
A bronze plaque honoring painter Georgia O’Keeffe is embedded in a sidewalk in front of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

Quick—what’s the correct spelling, “Georgia O’Keefe” or “Georgia O’Keeffe”? And before you say anything, know this: How you answer may literally depend on which reality you live in.

For the record, the art-historically correct answer is the one with two “F”s. Nevertheless, some people still really, really believe that the famed American painter, pioneer of abstraction, and icon of the Southwest is “Georgia O’Keefe.” And not only that: They believe that the co-existence of the two names is evidence of parallel dimensions, or a sinister conspiracy of mass mind-control. Or something.

The “O’Keefe/O’Keeffe” question has recently bubbled up in internet chatter as a cardinal example of the “Mandela Effect,” a term coined in 2009 by Fiona Broome, an author of several “how-to books about ghost hunting.” After a speaking engagement at the annual sci-fi convention Dragon Con, she realized that several people in her circle had similar memories of South African political leader Nelson Mandela having died in prison. He was, at that time, still very much alive. (He passed away in 2013.)

The “Mandela Effect” became, in Broome’s use, the name for “what happens when someone has a clear memory of something that never happened in this reality,” as her official website dedicated to the phenomenon puts it. Online communities have sprung up around documenting examples where collective memory seems to disagree with recorded fact.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on September 15, 2019 by Editor

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Bowie’s Tintoretto

from The Observer

David Bowie’s Prized Tintoretto Masterpiece Will Go on View in Venice

By Helen Holmes

The Angel Foretelling Saint Catherine of Alexandria of Her Martyrdom by Tintoretto at the Sotheby’s Bowie auction. Wolfram Kastl / picture alliance via Getty Images

David Bowie‘s long and multifaceted career redefined how audiences interpreted the boundary between musical and visual art, so it stands to reason that The Man Who Fell to Earth cultivated a big collection of landmark works during his lifetime. Bowie was a prolific fan of contemporary art, but one of his most treasured pieces was much older: an altarpiece made by the dramatic Italian master Tintoretto entitled The Angel Foretelling Saint Catherine of Alexandria of Her Martyrdom, which Bowie bought from a dealer in London in 1987. This week, Saint Catherine is going on display in Venice after having recently been purchased by Marnix Neerman, a Belgian collector who elected to place the altarpiece in a show devoted to Flemish and Italian Old Masters that will open at the Palazzo Ducale on September 5.

The altarpiece was purchased by Neerman for 191,000 pounds at a record-breaking Sotheby’s auction held in 2016 that featured a vast array of Bowie’s collection. The musician had pieces by Winifred Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, David Bomberg, Frank Auerbach, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alan Davie, Marcel Duchamp and many others; he even collaborated with some famous stars like Damien Hirst on original works that were both kaleidoscopic and psychedelic.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on September 14, 2019 by Editor

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Tesla Serta Version

from CBS Boston

‘Bizarre’ Video Shows Tesla Driver Apparently Asleep On Mass Pike

by Tiffany Chan

NEWTON (CBS) – It was a frightening scene for one witness on the Mass Pike Sunday – a Tesla driver apparently asleep at the wheel. Video posted to Twitter seems to show the car on auto-pilot, without an alert person in the driver’s seat.

“It was just so strange and baffling” said Dakota Randall, who shot the video while driving through Newton on the highway. “I thought I saw somebody asleep at the wheel, but I wasn’t sure so I did a double-take. Sure enough there was somebody with his head right between his legs.”

In the video, the driver is hunched over and seemingly fast asleep. A person in the passenger seat doesn’t look to be awake either.

Randall said he tried to wake them up by honking his horn, but it didn’t work.

[ click to continue reading CBS Boston ]

Posted on September 13, 2019 by Editor

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Books As Art

from Roadtrippers

The art of traditional bookmaking lives on at the Book Club of California, a quiet paradise for bibliophiles

San Francisco’s century-old book club has more than 10,000 rare and letterpress-printed volumes on display

By Molly Fosco

The Albert Sperisen Library at the Book Club of California
The Albert Sperisen Library at the Book Club of California. | Photo: Molly Fosco

When I pick up a new book, I try to decide if the story is worth reading. Are the characters relatable? Is the plot exciting? Typically, I’m not checking whether the book was printed on a letterpress or if the end papers are hand-tipped. At the Book Club of California, however, it’s a very different story. 

No longer the exclusive members-only club it once was, the Book Club of California is a non-profit open to the public. It supports the art of bookmaking, typography, design, and literature about California history and the American West. Located in San Francisco’s bustling Union Square neighborhood, the club is housed inside the World Affairs Council Center, a place where people gather to discuss global issues. 

The rather unassuming building facade is easy to miss, but walking through the entrance of the wooden double doors on the fifth floor transports visitors back to early 20th-century San Francisco. 

Books as art

Thousands of books in glass-doored cabinets line the walls. Victorian-era couches, lamps, and dark wood tables decorate the room, and there’s even a working 19th-century Columbian printing press. A swanky bar that looks like it belongs on the Titanic sits in the corner. This isn’t a coincidence—the club was founded in 1912, the same year the ill-fated ship ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Luckily, the Book Club of California has fared much better.

[ click to continue reading at Roadtrippers ]

Posted on September 12, 2019 by Editor

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Posted on September 11, 2019 by Editor

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from The New Yorker

The Book of Prince

Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live.

By Dan Piepenbring

“Funk is the opposite of magic,” Prince said. “Funk is about rules.”
© The Prince Estate

On January 29, 2016, Prince summoned me to his home, Paisley Park, to tell me about a book he wanted to write. He was looking for a collaborator. Paisley Park is in Chanhassen, Minnesota, about forty minutes southwest of Minneapolis. Prince treasured the privacy it afforded him. He once said, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that Minnesota is “so cold it keeps the bad people out.” Sure enough, when I landed, there was an entrenched layer of snow on the ground, and hardly anyone in sight.

Prince’s driver, Kim Pratt, picked me up at the airport in a black Cadillac Escalade. She was wearing a plastic diamond the size of a Ring Pop on her finger. “Sometimes you gotta femme it up,” she said. She dropped me off at the Country Inn & Suites, an unremarkable chain hotel in Chanhassen that served as a de-facto substation for Paisley. I was “on call” until further notice. A member of Prince’s team later told me that, over the years, Prince had paid for enough rooms there to have bought the place four times over.

My agent had put me up for the job but hadn’t refrained from telling me the obvious: at twenty-nine, I was extremely unlikely to get it. In my hotel room, I turned the television on. I turned the television off. I had a mint tea. I felt that I was joining a long and august line of people who’d been made to wait by Prince, people who had sat in rooms in this same hotel, maybe in this very room, quietly freaking out just as I was quietly freaking out.

A few weeks earlier, Prince had hosted editors from three publishing houses at Paisley, and declared his intention to write a memoir called “The Beautiful Ones,” after one of the most naked, aching songs in his catalogue. For as far back as he could remember, he told the group, he’d written music to imagine—and reimagine—himself. Being an artist was a constant evolution. Early on, he’d recognized the inherent mystery of this process. “ ‘Mystery’ is a word for a reason,” he’d said. “It has a purpose.” The right book would add new layers to his mystery even as it stripped others away. He offered only one formal guideline: it had to be the biggest music book of all time.

[ click to continue reading in The New Yorker ]

Posted on September 10, 2019 by Editor

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Captain Ketchup

from NPR

Meet The Man Who Guards America’s Ketchup


Hector Osorno is the Kraft Heinz Ketchup Master, whose job it is to make sure around 70% of the ketchup sold in America tastes the way it should. Dan Charles/NPR

My search for the secrets of American ketchup began in a sun-baked field near Los Banos, Calif.

The field didn’t look like much at first. Just a wide, pale-green carpet of vines. Then Ross Siragusa, the head of global agriculture for the company Kraft Heinz, bent over, lifted up some of the vines, and revealed a mass of small, red fruit, too many to count.

Each acre of this field, Siragusa tells me, will produce about 60 tons of tomatoes. That’s up from about 40 tons per acre just 15 years ago. The tomatoes themselves are a mix of tomato varieties that are specially bred to produce red, thick ketchup.

A mechanical harvester approaches at the pace of a brisk walk. It’s a giant machine, a factory on wheels. It collects a swath of tomato plants, shakes fruit loose from the vines, and sends a stream of bright red tomatoes into a big truck driving alongside. The scale and speed of the operation boggles the mind.

Within a day, a processing plant in Los Banos will turn these tomatoes into paste. Weeks or even months later, the paste will become the central ingredient in ketchup.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on September 9, 2019 by Editor

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Decoding Space Bursts

from MSN

Mysterious radio bursts from space may soon have an explanation

by Seth Shostak

The CHIME telescope
© CHIME The CHIME telescope

Just when you think you’ve cataloged all the beasts of the cosmos, a new one howls to us from the celestial savanna. Fast radio bursts are now one of the hottest topics in astronomy. In less time than an eye blink, these mysterious objects can release enough energy to power the world for three centuries.

And the race is on to figure out what the heck they are.

Last month, a consortium of five dozen astronomers reported the discovery of eight new bursts that may lead to an answer. The objects were found with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME. This unusual-looking radio telescope, about the size of a football field, consists of four metal mesh cylinders — like skateboard half-pipes — that collect and focus incoming radio waves. CHIME is in a sparsely populated, mountainous region of British Columbia about 30 miles north of the U.S. border.

While CHIME is leading the pack today in discovering radio bursts, the first such burst was found a dozen years ago by a West Virginia University astronomer sitting at his desk in Morgantown. Duncan Lorimer was combing through data obtained from a radio telescope in Parkes, Australia — half a world away — when he noticed a short burp of static, the kind of signal you’d produce by firing up a transmitter and then turning it off a few milliseconds later.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on September 8, 2019 by Editor

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Bojack Angeleno

from Curbed

‘BoJack Horseman’ is the only show that really gets my city

Tucked into the often-bleak narrative are disarmingly familiar glimpses of Los Angeles life

By Alissa Walker

This is a still from the Netflix series Bojack Horseman. The still is of apartment complex in Los Angeles. There is a sign on the side of one of the buildings that reads: Le Triste apartments. A blue car is parked outside of the building. It is night.
From the dingbat apartments to the ever-present freeways, BoJack Horseman nails the tiniest details of LA’s urban streetscape. Netflix

To live in Los Angeles means forever catching glimpses of your street or favorite restaurant staged as a stand-in for someplace else. Moving around town becomes an exercise in avoiding those film shoots, a constant reminder that we reside on a giant soundstage, where at any given moment, a beloved block or building is being carefully snipped from the surrounding context.

In the last few years, however, shows have been set in actual LA neighborhoods, with characters referencing real places, sometimes with stunning geographic accuracy. There’s the show Love, which takes place in a well-known apartment complex in the Valley. In Transparent, the neighborhoods where the family members live, from Silver Lake to Marina del Rey, provide cues about their characters. LA’s noir past intersects with present-day addresses in the thriller Bosch. Issa Rae’s Insecure is probably the best example of the genre, offering a look at everyday life in South LA with locations as mundane as a Rite-Aid pharmacy.

But BoJack Horseman—the animated Netflix show by writer Raphael Bob-Waksberg and artist Lisa Hanawalt, who were high school friends—is the first show to create an entire Los Angeles universe that feels like it was made for people in LA.

For people who don’t live here, BoJack Horseman might appear to be an endless string of cliches: a narcissistic washed-up sitcom star (who is also a horse) voiced by Will Arnett, colonnades of palm trees, candy-colored convertibles, and jabs at celebrity culture. But tucked into the narrative are disarmingly familiar glimpses of actual Los Angeles—well, Los Angeles if it were mostly occupied by animals.

Every street scene sends me scrambling to hit pause. There are LA landmarks like Chateau MarmosetFred SeagullParrotmount Studios, and Moose-O & Frank Grill, but it doesn’t stop with obvious parodies—next door to Moose-O’s is Garcetti & Meatballs, the winkingest nod to our Italian-Jewish-Mexican American mayor. Billboard icon Angelyne is portrayed as an angelfish. Even small neighborhood businesses get cameos, like l.a. Aye-AyeworksSecret Hindquarters and confusingly named local grocery chains. A dutifully updated Instagram devoted to the hidden jokes has become the best way to catch the ones I’ve missed.

[ click to continue reading at Curbed ]

Posted on September 7, 2019 by Editor

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Pedro Bell Gone

from The New York Times

Pedro Bell, Whose Wild Album Covers Defined Funkadelic, Dies at 69

His vivid imagery, hypersexualized and full of futuristic themes, helped create the mythology of George Clinton’s groundbreaking group.

By Neil Genzlinger

Pedro Bell in 2009. His psychedelic album covers for the pioneering band Funkadelic featured topless women, space imagery and mutants and, as one curator put it, “placed African-American reality in the context of a science fiction future.”
Pedro Bell in 2009. His psychedelic album covers for the pioneering band Funkadelic featured topless women, space imagery and mutants and, as one curator put it, “placed African-American reality in the context of a science fiction future.” Credit: Jean Lachat/Chicago Sun-Times

Pedro Bell, whose mind-bending album covers for the band Funkadelic gave visual definition to its signature sound in the 1970s and ’80s, died on Tuesday in Evergreen Park, Ill., near Chicago. He was 69.

George Clinton, the brains behind Funkadelic, announced his death on his Facebook page. Mr. Bell had been in poor health for many years.

Mr. Bell created his first cover for Funkadelic, the pioneering band that merged funk and psychedelic rock, in 1973. The album was “Cosmic Slop,” and it featured a topless woman, space imagery and mutants. Though Funkadelic and its sister act, Parliament, had been around for several years, Mr. Bell’s artwork and the liner notes he wrote under the name Sir Lleb (“Bell” spelled backward) helped define Funkadelic and its elaborate mythology.

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Posted on September 6, 2019 by Editor

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Space Chicken

from Fast Company

SpaceX is playing a game of chicken with its Starlink satellites


SpaceX is playing a game of chicken with its Starlink satellites
[Photo: Flickr user Official SpaceX Photos]

Elon Musk’s SpaceX apparently doesn’t play well with others when it comes to space traffic. As Forbes reports, on Monday the European Space Agency (ESA) said it had to perform collision avoidance maneuvers with its Aeolus Earth observation satellite when it detected that it had a 1 in 1,000 chance of hitting “Starlink 44,” one of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

While those odds of a collision might seem slim, they were actually 10 times higher than the threshold that requires a collision avoidance maneuver. The thing is, when the ESA realized its satellite was on a potential collision course with Starlink 44, the agency contacted SpaceX and asked it to move its satellite out of the way. But SpaceX refused to, turning the incident into a game of chicken in space.

[ click to continue reading at Fast Company ]

Posted on September 5, 2019 by Editor

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Forest Bathing

from The Daily Beast

Forget Weed. Colorado’s Hottest Trend is Forest Bathing.

The Japanese practice has become popular around the world, and the Rocky Mountains in particular are experiencing a surge in interest.

by Cassandra Brooklyn

Leona Campbell

If you’re like me, maybe you’re thinking: ‘Forest bathing? Sounds like a bunch of hippies skinny-dipping in the woods.’ 

Wrong. Contrary to my own initial reaction, forest bathing has nothing to do with bathing and it doesn’t even have to take place in a forest. Rather, the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere,” emphasizes the importance of slowing down to connect with nature. It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in modern Japanese medicine.

My first “forest bath” was in Colorado, a much slower (and less exhausting) alternative to the hiking, mountain biking, and skiing the region is best known for. The practice has gotten so popular in the Rocky Mountain state that guides are available in half a dozen cities and a forest therapy guide training program in Colorado this September filled up many months in advance. Forest bathing is growing in popularity around the world and guides can even be found in major metropolitan cities like London and New York City. That said, the blue spruce, Ponderosa pine, white fir, quaking aspen, and other stunning and aromatic trees native to Colorado make it an excellent place to get your nature bath on.  

[ click to continue reading at TDB ]

Posted on September 4, 2019 by Editor

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The Novacene Coming

from NBC News

Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says

‘Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end.’

By Corey S. Powell

Illustration of robots and human walking together in a futuristic city.
Tim Peacock / for NBC News

For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet’s only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely.

That’s the jarring message of a new book by James Lovelock, the famed British environmentalist and futurist. “Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he says in the book, “Novacene.” “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Posted on September 3, 2019 by Editor

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Cyborg Pole Dancing – Yea, Novacene!

from The Daily Mail

Gyrating ROBOTS debut at French pole dancing club, with the androids performing alongside human counterparts


A French nightclub has caused a stir after it exhibited pole-dancing robots donning high heels.

The gyrating robots had CCTV cameras for heads and were interspersed among their human counterparts at the Strip Club Cafe (SC-Club) in Nantes on Friday night. 

The androids moved their hips in time to the blasting music while on elevated platforms, in front of a male-dominated audience. 

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on September 2, 2019 by Editor

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Not with a whimper…

from Greenwich Time

The many ways our world could end

by Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

The man-made fires ravaging huge expanses of the Amazon rainforest have – if only for a brief moment – trained global attention on a looming calamity facing the planet. More people now understand that a series of alarming environmental developments are all linked: A spike in carbon emissions, the rapid melting of Arctic ice, the steady rise of global temperatures, the increasingly erratic and extreme storms assailing coastlines. Every day, we are living in a “dramatic climate emergency,” declared U.N. Secretary General António Guterres this week.

But it’s not just an evolving climate that poses an existential challenge to humanity. “End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World,” a new book by veteran science writer Bryan Walsh that published this week, is a harrowing chronicle of a range of threats that could bring about human extinction in the not-so-distant future. These include eternal dangers to the planet, such as supervolcanoes and asteroids, but also distinctly modern perils – from killer robots and artificial intelligence to civilization-ending nuclear war to weaponized bioengineered super viruses. And then, of course, there’s the inexorable toll of man-made global warming, whose effects we’re already feeling around the world.

Walsh’s book isn’t all gloom, taking us to the front lines where researchers and scientists are seeking new ways to protect humanity. 

[ click to continue reading at Greenwich Time ]

Posted on September 1, 2019 by Editor

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