MIKA27

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MIKA27   

There's An iPhone 8 That Costs $87,000 And I'll Just Be Over Here Weeping For Humanity

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The iPhone 8 hasn't even been properly announced yet, but there's already a version available to order featuring 250 grams of 22K gold, that costs the equivalent of $87,129 Australian dollars.

The Lux iPhone X Ingot is described by creators Brikk as "a very rare specimen".

Oh, come on.

If dropping a cool $87,000 on a phone seems a tad ridiculous to you - congratulations, you're perfectly normal! For those of us who might baulk at the higher price tags in the range, don't worry, you can still get one of the lower-end luxe models for an entirely reasonable $9,300.

Or you can pickup a diamond encrusted one for $62,000 because this is fine, everything is fine.

I'm done.

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3 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

There's An iPhone 8 That Costs $87,000 And I'll Just Be Over Here Weeping For Humanity

 

All that gold and diamonds will probably screw up cell reception! :lol:

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It's Looking Very Good For Syfy's Adaptation Of George R.R. Martin's Sci-Fi Horror Tale Nightflyers

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We've known since May that Syfy was circling an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's 1980 sci-fi horror novella Nightflyers — and now comes word that the project is moving forward at a rapid pace. Multiple sources are reporting that a straight-to-series order is very close to being announced.

Both Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter shared the news that Nightflyers — an expanded version of which was also part of a Martin short-story collection released in 1985, as well as the basis of a 1987 feature film — will likely get to series with the help of Netflix, which could make a deal to stream the show internationally, as well as stream it once it's aired on Syfy in the US. Nightflyers already has a showrunner (Dan Cerone of The Blacklist and The Mentalist), as well as a director (Mike Cahill of I Origin and Another Earth; he also directed the pilot for another Syfy show, The Magicians) for its currently-in-production (but not-yet-cast) pilot episode.

The pilot script is by Jeff Buhler, who co-wrote the upcoming Jacob's Ladder remake (as well as the Clive Barker adaptation Midnight Meat Train); THR describes the plot thusly:

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It is set in the future on the eve of Earth's destruction and follows a crew of explorers who journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship's artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space.

"Unspeakable horrors in deep space" is one of our all-time favourite genres, so this is very good news indeed, and we're hopeful that the series gets an official greenlight soon. And lest you worry this is yet another project that will distract George R.R. Martin from what should be his sole focus in life at the moment (finishing The Winds of Winter, duh), fear not — his exclusive HBO deal for Game of Thrones means his involvement in Nightflyers would be solely inspirational.

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MIKA27   

Tiny Matt Damon Lives Large In The First Trailer For Downsizing

Imagine a world where $52,000 turns into millions, Cheesecake Factories are around every corner, and one bottle of vodka will last a community for weeks. The only problem is you're basically a living Barbie doll.

The first trailer is out for Downsizing, Alexander Payne's long-awaited sci-fi flick where Matt Damon turn tiny in order to save the world (and his own bank account). Thanks to overpopulation resources are dwindling, so some people are shrinking themselves down in order to conserve them. The process is irreversible, but there's the added benefit that the shrunken get to live like suburban kings and queens.

The trailer presents "downsizing" as a Lilliputian Utopia, but there also come major risks, such as inclement weather, hungry animals and the occasional oversized shoe. Also, while the movie has generally implied that Damon's wife, played by Kristen Wiig, joins him in Tiny Paradise, based on this trailer (including some giant divorce papers) I don't think she goes through with it.

Downsizing comes out December 26.

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MIKA27   

It's Official: J.J. Abrams Will Write And Direct Star Wars: Episode IX

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The replacement for Colin Trevorrow has been found — and it's a familiar face to Star Wars fans. Lucasfilm and Disney have confirmed that Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will return to the franchise to both write and direct the final chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The replacement for Colin Trevorrow has been found — and it's a familiar face to Star Wars fans. Lucasfilm and Disney have confirmed that Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will return to the franchise to both write and direct the final chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

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With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.

Abrams will direct and co-write the latest draft of the script with Argo's Chris Terrio — which suggests that a good chunk is being re-done, given that it was only recently revealed that The Fades creator Jack Thorne was giving the script a re-write.

Star Wars: Episode IX is still expected to hit theatres in the US 24 May 2019.

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS SEARCH ANCIENT PYRAMID FOR CLUES TO MAYA UNDERWORLD

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CHICHÉN ITZÁ, MEXICO - At the spring and fall equinoxes, the setting sun casts serpent-like shadows along the northern stairs of El Castillo, or “the castle.” Built more than a thousand years ago by the ancient Maya, the pyramid towers 100 feet over the ruins of Chichén Itzá, a World Heritage site and popular tourist destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Adventurers and archaeologists have explored the ruins for more than a century, but mysteries endure. Is there a watery labyrinth beneath the great pyramid, as local legends hint? Are there hidden chambers in the heart of the monument, as some archaeologists suspect?

Seeking clues, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers is launching the first comprehensive investigation of Chichén Itzá in 50 years.

Waist deep in a partially flooded cave, archaeologist Guillermo de Anda shines his dive light through the silty water to illuminate a piece of Maya pottery.

“Something on this scale has never been attempted, but we’re confident that it will help us understand this site in a way that wasn’t possible before,” says Guillermo de Anda, an underwater archaeologist with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History and director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project. “With this data, I believe we will conclusively find out if the local legends of an elaborate underworld are true.”

The site’s Maya inhabitants considered caves, tunnels, and natural sinkholes called cenotes to be thresholds to the realm of the gods, says de Anda, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. “They believed that everything from fertility to rain and lightning originated in this subterranean world. The clues they left behind make it clear that they went to great lengths to appease and appeal to the dwellers of this spirit world.”

Those lengths often included human sacrifice. De Anda examined hundreds of human bones found in the Sacred Cenote (sometimes called the Well of Sacrifice) at Chichén Itzá and found evidence of unhealed wounds and fractures that would have occurred at or near the time of death.

Researchers descend into the heart of El Castillo, Chichen Itza's central pyramid, to search for hidden chambers.

Early archaeologists and treasure hunters at Chichén Itzá and elsewhere often damaged ancient sites to collect and remove artefacts. The new low-impact technology, most of it built or adapted by engineers at National Geographic, allows researchers to locate and study artefacts without disturbing or removing them from their environment.

During the ambitious, multi-year project, the team will use specially modified, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to locate hidden passageways and peek behind interior walls of El Castillo. The team will also employ GPR and other remote imaging technology to identify and map tunnels and caves around the pyramid and elsewhere.

An estimated 3,000 cenotes remain hidden beneath the forest canopy in southern Mexico, many harbouring clues about ancient Maya civilization. The team will use drone-mounted LIDAR (light detection and ranging) and thermal sensors to penetrate the dense foliage and locate the natural sinkholes.

The researchers will also use kayak-mounted sonar to explore known cenotes and locate underwater entrances to caves and tunnels that would have been accessible when the water table was much lower. By mapping the movement of water through subterranean passages beneath the site, they hope to identify connections between underground systems that are referenced in Maya oral history but never confirmed.

Inside El Castillo, the beam of a laser scanner records every detail of a

Laser-scanning and photogrammetry will allow the team to create extremely accurate and detailed three-dimensional renditions of the interior chambers of pyramids and caves.

“In the end, we’ll be able to combine data from these imaging tools and produce a millimetre-scale, 3D ‘super map’ of the entire site, above and below the ground,” says engineer Corey Jaskolski, a National Geographic Fellow who is leading the digital preservation project.

De Anda says the findings will allow researchers to develop a richer understanding of the cultural and climatic conditions that prevailed and gave formation to Chichén Itzá, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Americas.

In its first week of sonar-scanning, the team discovered two submerged caves and several dry caves—one of which contains a female figurine carved in stone. And the initial GPR scans of the pyramid’s temple chamber have revealed what Jaskolski says are “a number of anomalies” behind the walls and below the floor supporting the famed Red Jaguar Throne.

Taking 20,000 measurements a second, a laser scanner gathers data for a highly detailed digital model of the El Castillo pyramid.

“We need to wait for the data to be processed to have a better interpretation of what it all means,” says Jaskolski. “But I believe that this approach will tell us much more about the structure of the pyramid and what may be hidden behind its inner walls.”

The project is supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society and overseen by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

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MIKA27   

2019 HONDA URBAN EV

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At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, Honda revealed a little electric concept vehicle with a familiar silhouette that’s slated to launch in Europe sometime in 2019. Dubbed the Honda Urban EV Concept, it’s a not unlikely candidate for small families here in the not-too-distant future.

On the outside of the vehicle, the car’s low and wide proportions give it a bit of a vintage stance that hints somewhat at the potential here for a more sporty performance. Also, at the front of the car, drivers will be able to display multilingual messages between the headlights that could include greetings, messages to other drivers, or the car’s charging status. Inside, the Urban EV can accommodate up to four individuals, features a large floating dashboard that hosts the steering wheel column, control buttons, and a panoramic display screen while door screens take the place of traditional wing mirrors. Additionally, the EV is slated to include an automated network control concierge that detects the driver’s emotions behind their judgments and works to make future recommendations based on what it has learned. No word on pricing just yet.

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MIKA27   

APPLE WATCH SERIES 3

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Today, at the official opening of the Steve Jobs Theater at the brand’s new campus, Apple unveiled some very cool new tech. One of the more notable announcements, however, was that their wrist-mounted accessory, the Apple Watch, was getting some much-needed enhancements with their upcoming Series 3.

For about as long as the technology has existed, fans and critics alike have wanted a phone-free version of the Apple Watch. The Series 3 delivers that with the new onboard cellular option. That means you no longer have to stay tethered to your iPhone in order to use the smartwatch. This new version also offers on-the-go GPS (for mapping directions and finding your location), as well as the ability to make calls, send texts, and stream music all on its own. It’s even got Siri onboard, can receive app notifications no matter where your phone is, and still offers exercise tracking (with an upgraded heart monitor) and water-resistance. Prices start at $399.

 

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MIKA27   

Uncle Duke’s Whisky

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BrewDog, known for their wild beer and wilder TV show, offers drinks a bit stiffer than an IPA should you need something stronger. Namely, they make Uncle Duke’s Whisky, a sweet spirit in a bottle with all kinds of old school charm. With an ABV of 40% and notes of honey, vanilla, and sticky toffee, the booze is flavorful yet smooth. Perhaps best of all is how it looks on your bar cart, as the label and bottle shape look pulled from an old saloon. You can order from BrewDog’s overseas shop, or visit one of their outposts for a bottle of your own.

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The History of the Field Watch, the Military’s Most Trusted Timepiece

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The field watch is among our favorite wristwatch styles. You can wear them with nearly any outfit, they’ll survive anything your noncombatant life can throw at them, and they follow in a long tradition of civilian style people adopted from the military. Their dials are designed to be as easy-to-read as possible, their straps don’t stretch out after a day or two, and their movements are so simple they’re nearly impossible to break. The field watch might be the closest we’re ever going to get to a perfect wristwatch. Here’s a little of its story.

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The Original Military Watch

The original wristwatch may have been invented anywhere between 1571 and 1868, but no matter the source, all agree that those were close to three centuries of nearly exclusively female clientele. These watches were seen more as jewelry than functional timepieces and early names for them, like wristlet, montre watch, and bracelet watch, were more suited for delicate accessories than rugged equipment. If a man was wearing a wristwatch, he’d better be demonstrating 19th century appropriate masculinity elsewhere, through bicycling or maybe ballooning. And they were switching back to their perfectly manly pocket watch almost as soon as they were off their bike.

The first wristwatch designed with men in mind that we could find comes from an order by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1879. He bought two series of a thousand watches for his naval officers from Girard-Perregaux, making it the first time the military and wristwatches had officially mixed, though they were still a long shot from the field watches modern men are so proud of.

Parts of the watch were made of 14k gold so they wouldn’t rust, something we can accomplish today with simple stainless steel. And since more durable forms of casings had yet to be invented, these watches protected their dials with metal grids over glass, obscuring quite a bit of the watch face. Finally, these watches didn’t come with the leather, fabric, or rubber bands so many modern watches use. They used chains, much like their pocket counterparts. In fact, from the descriptions we’ve read, if you were a late 19th century gentleman and wrapped your pocket watch’s chain around your wrist, you’d also have invented the wristwatch.

But that single order didn’t guarantee every military was on board with wristwatches. It took another few decades before other countries started outfitting their troops with similar devices. In the meantime, wristwatches remained a woman’s toy.

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World War 1 Makes Watches Cool While It Kills a Lot of People

Traditionally macho pocket watches were not an ideal way to tell time in the trenches. They might be convenient for a stroll in turn-of-the-century London, but a trench in France is cramped, dirty, and fast moving. An officer can’t be fumbling with the pockets on his trench coat while his men are supposed to be going over the top. Granted, this wasn’t something the British military knew going into the war in 1914, so the pocket watch was still standard issue.

Since militaries always seem to learn from the bottom up, the trench officers themselves are the ones who pioneered the switch from pocket watches to wristwatches, or trench or service watches, as they were initially known. Officers would buy trench watches in anticipation of their deployment, either knowing from previous personal experience or from talk amongst comrades that a trench watch was an invaluable tool in the war. Advertisements from 1915 and 1916 took different paths, with the first simply advertising function, while the second attempts to turn the service watch into a symbol of status.

While telling people a product is a status symbol might be an effective way to get the public to buy your product, officers in the trenches found a much more basic use for their watches. Namely, not having themselves blown to kingdom come by friendly fire. During any sort of operation, officers carefully synchronized their watches to those of the artillerymen behind them. This meant they could time their movements down to the second. Men could know the exact time the big guns were going to shift fire, making it theoretically impossible to skip a beat.

But all this wristwatch coordination happened outside the realm of standard issue equipment. The reason the field watch wasn’t invented in the First World War is because everyone was so busy making personal wristwatch purchases that no nation needed to commission one. There isn’t a watch from World War One, because everyone bought what they liked or whatever was on sale. It wasn’t until the tail end of the war when the British were finally looking into creating a standard issue wristwatch.

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World War Two Goes Standard Issue

It’s a good thing world militaries took a few of the right lessons from the Great War, because World War Two was on its way to finish off whatever bits of Europe thought themselves untouched. And it was going to do so thanks, in part, to the precision accuracy of brand new standard issue wristwatches.

The American A-11 is easily the most widespread of the field watches to come from the Second World War, manufactured by four separate companies—Elgin, Bulova, Waltham, and Hamilton. The A-11 is what still sets the production standard for American military watches and where the distinctive style gained popularity. It was sturdy, accurate, dust and waterproof, and was the perfect illustration of function over form (though where the form was still pretty nice). Air and ground forces synchronized their watches much like the artillerymen and trench forces of World War One, allowing the Western Front Allies to exercise near total air superiority later in the war. Some call it the “watch that won the war,” and we’ll point that out to you, but take it with a grain of salt. Nearly everything America fielded during that period has been called the “____ that won the war,” so the phrase has started to lose a bit of its punch.

For the British, they went with the W.W.W., which stood for Wrist. Watch. Waterproof. and it took every bit of creativity British High Command could muster. It was less common than the A-11, but still very similar. It was a watch built to withstand battlefield punishment while maintaining accuracy and integrity, though it did have a leg up on the American watch in at least one aspect. Namely, the W.W.W. came with luminous hands, meaning no more risking life and limb to try to get your watch hand into a little bit of light. Though, since it was Radium-226 that made the watch glow, people started destroying them for fear of radioactivity, making these watches much more rare than other Second World War field watches.

Germany and Japan both built respectable field watches as well, but since few people are enthusiastic about wearing standard issue Rising Sun or Nazi gear, their designs didn’t do much to influence the modern field watch. Most field watches you’ll find today follow the Allied designs more than anything else.

The Vietnam War saw a few tweaks and introductions, as well as some disposable plastic construction, but the war’s field watches mostly followed the same specs as the A-11. It had the same production standard to follow, the same general display format, and the same need to stand up to demanding battlefield conditions.

A Few Options for the Modern Civilian

As with virtually every product any military ever uses, field watches are plentiful on the civilian market at almost every price point. If you want to drop $500 on what your uncle wore in the jungles of Vietnam, you can do that. If you have a handful of loose change and love the look of the W.W.W., you can probably find yourself a knockoff. These designs are so ubiquitous we wouldn’t be surprised if McDonald’s started handing out A-11’s with Happy Meals this Veteran’s Day.

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Timex Expedition

Remember last paragraph where we said loose change could buy you a great field watch? We kind of wrote that with Timex in mind. They might be making the most faithful modernization of the field watch, because they’re cheap, reliable, and they’d probably be able to shrug off a bullet. And looking at their selection, you could probably buy one of each and wear them all for years before anyone noticed you only had one model of watch. For a field watch, we like to keep it traditional, so our first pick has to be the Green/Gray model, but Blue and Red Buffalo Check adds some nice color, and the straight up Blue would be a great weekend watch. $39

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1960s US Vietnam Military Watch

Vietnam didn’t get a whole lot of copy space up in the main body of the article, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into getting yourself a watch from the era. Vietnam designs improved a lot of what came before, so you can get yourself a WWII-looking watch with a clearer dial or more functional layout. You can pick between Olive and Black, either of which works well as an accompaniment to anything from nudity to business casual (which, if Vietnam movies are anything to believe, is pretty much what those guys wore anyway). $60

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Victorinox Infantry

For not being one of the original manufacturers of a World War Two field watch, Victorinox has a great handle on why we like them. Giant numbers, a bright face, clear calendar window, and large but unobtrusive hands make this one of the easiest to read watches we’ve ever seen. They’ve also held close to that original case shape, which is one of the most attractive we’ve ever worn on our wrists. It’s a solid watch from a solid company, so we don’t mind shelling out a bit extra if it means we’ll get a watch that’ll last us through whatever personal conflicts we might have. $199

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I skipped over this in the main part of the article, but the G10 has an interesting history that we’ll try to make brief. If a soldier in the United Kingdom’s military wants a watch, they’d have to fill out form G1098. Since everyone is lazy, regardless of profession, soldiers started referring to the watches as G10s. At this point, G10 describes a style and strap more than a specific form or watch, since the official manufacturers for the British military have changed so frequently.

All that’s a long way to say, if you’re particularly taken with the W.W.W., look into getting yourself a CWC G10. They were the official supplier of the British forces for a considerable amount of time and the influence of the Second World War watch design can still be seen in their model, while most of the other watches look more toward the American A-11. $222

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Hamilton Watch Field Line

Hamilton was one of the original manufacturers of the A-11 and their designs haven’t strayed much from that first production standard, at least in a big picture way. They still have the big clear dials and distinctive case shape, though when they brought the design into the civilian market, they started adding metal and leather straps, along with calendar windows, automatic movements, and some serious internal upgrades. Of their offerings, our favorite is their upcoming Officer Mechanical with olive drab canvas strap. It’s the perfect mix of old and new design and a great watch to wear everyday. The price tag is admittedly high, but to get a military watch from Hamilton, you used to have to freeze your ass off in a European foxhole, so maybe it’s not that bad. $395

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MIKA27   

SIDE PROJECT DOUBLE BARREL DERIVATION BEER

Side Project Double Barrel Derivation Beer

True to its name, the line of beer from Side Project Brewing known as Derivation becomes something entirely new after time spent in barrels. The most sought after beer in this line is arguably Double Barrel Derivation, an Imperial Stout aged for two years in Willett 12-year-old barrels before being racked to Port barrels for three months of finishing. It's then bottled and naturally conditioned for eight months before being released to the public.

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BRIPE COFFEE BREW PIPE KIT

Bripe Coffee Brew Pipe Kit

Brew up a tasty shot of coffee anywhere you go with the Bripe Coffee Brew Pipe Kit. This all-in-one package includes everything you need (except coffee), including a butane-powered quad jet torch, the brewer with patent-pending inner cone and integrated straw, thermometer, a copper cooling stand, a stainless-steel filter, and a test tube-like canister for your grinds. To use it, add coffee and water to the brewer, heat the mixture to at least 185 degrees, let it cool to your preferred temperature, and sip. The suction automatically extracts an ideal shot from the brewer, providing barista-quality results miles away from the nearest cafe.

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RENOVO X GLENMORANGIE ORIGINAL BICYCLE

Renovo x Glenmorangie Original Bicycle

It's no secret that the wood from whisky barrels is versatile. But the Renovo x Glenmorangie Original Bicycle shows just how versatile a barrel can be. The collaborative effort from the bicycle maker and Scotch Whisky distiller is the first of its kind and gives new life to Single Malt casks that once held Glenmorangie Scotch. The hollow frame is created from 15 staves to reflect the curvature of the casks, and take more than 20 hours to create. The finished product weighs around 18 pounds, are individually numbered, and are finished with Glenmorangie's Signet icon.

 

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John Wick 3 Is Happening, And It's Out In 2019

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The third chapter in the John Wick franchise has been confirmed. Start the clock: there's 20 months to go until we get more Keanu Reeves on-screen shredding.

International distributor Lionsgate has confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the third movie will be the first to get a US summer release, a time usually reserved for big-budget flicks expected to make bank.

Collider makes the point that that the third Wick flick will come a fortnight after the new Avengers and a week before Minecraft and Aladdin — all quite different films, but all ones we're excited to see. Director Chad Stahelski said back in May that John Wick 3 was in the middle of writing, but hadn't been greenlit for production by a studio yet; it isn't clear who'll be directing just yet.

John Wick 3 will be out on May 17, 2019 internationally. There's no word just yet on an Australian release date; we'll keep our cards close to our chest on that one after John Wick 2

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Scientists Discover Vampiric ‘Hell Ants’ with Metal Jaws

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If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to step in a nest of fire ants, you know how painful bites from even the tiniest of insects can be. No matter how bad fire ant bites might be, they’ve got nothing on the bites from a recently discovered species of hell ant. Scientists have discovered the hellish new species inside a 98-million-year-old piece of amber mined in amber-rich Myanmar. The new ant has been named Linguamyrmex vladi, the species name coming from Vlad the Impaler, infamous 15th-century ruler who inspired the Dracula legend. The ant belongs to a group of Cretaceous-era ants known as haidomyrmecines, or “hell ants.” Unlike modern ants, these species had mandibles that opened and closed vertically rather than horizontally.

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Close-up of the ant’s vertical jaws.

The ant’s jaws are truly terrifying looking, sharp and long and covered in trigger hairs that initiate an involuntary closing response any time the hairs come into contact with prey. What really makes this ant unique – and terrifying – is the fact that its massive spiked jaws are made of metal.

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CT scans revealed the ants jaws to be coated in a layer of metal.

No ant orthodontists were needed to create these metal jaws. Instead, researchers believe the ant’s diet was rich in various minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium and that the ants’ bodies created the metal coating on their own. According to the published study of the ants, these metal reinforcement allowed the ants to snap their jaws shut around prey with terrifying strength and speed, likely enough to punch right through the rigid bodies of insects much larger than the ants themselves,

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Based on the shape and location of their teeth and a special hollow channel running along the ants’ mandibles, the researchers believe the ants instead had an all-liquid diet. This means these hell ants fed exclusively on the blood and other precious bodily fluids which leaked from their poor impaled prey; hence the ant’s vampire-inspired name. While I don’t wish extinction upon any animal, this is one species I’m glad is long gone.

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How to Make Mulled Wine

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Bonny McKenzie won't make or serve mulled wine until it's very cold outside, not even for her favorite customers. The delightful Australian behind the bar (and managing partner) of New York's bibi has to have standards; she's been running one of the best wine bars in the East Village since 2014. Mulled wine remains a winter favorite—a sweet, spicy, and boozy concoction to cozy up to during the frostier months—and best of all, it's easy to make at home.

The key to fixing up a good pot of mulled is finding the right tempranillo or cabernet. "You're adding so much spice, you need to use a really dry wine," says McKenzie, who shared her go-to recipe below. Add it to your cold-weather cocktail lineup to get in the holiday spirit.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c. raw sugar
2 star anise
3 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, peeled
1 orange, juiced and peeled
nutmeg, grated
2 bottles dry red wine

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring all ingredients except wine to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes (toss in a splash of wine if reduces too low).

2. Add the wine and keep it on very low heat. (Tip: If you want something stronger, add a 1/2 cup of brandy.)

3. Serve in glass mugs and garnish with fat orange twists.

 

 

 

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HERE’S WHAT FUTURE WHISKY COULD LOOK & TASTE LIKE

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If James Bond can sip on his Martini across twenty-five different films then surely Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard of Blade Runner fame can also have his signature drink of choice. Whisky neat, of course.

Blade Runner officially landed in theatres 35 years ago and during that feature there was a small cameo from a Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Fast forward to 2017 and Blade Runner 2049 is now at our doorstep, with Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto at the helm whilst Ford returns alongside his trusty drop which now looks cooler than ever being toted around by the retired cop.

That bottle is more than just a prop though. To truly honour the iconic film, Johnnie Walker wanted to create a blend that gave a nod to the future palate as well as its dystopian aesthetic which reflected the new film.

The result? Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut, a limited-edition version of Black Label created by master blender Jim Beveridge along with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.

The blend uses Johnnie Walker Black Label as its base but adds a contemporary twist to it with distinct notes of dark, rich, and smooth with “clouds of smokiness and a touch of femininity”.

Furthering the whisky maker’s homage to the film is an ABV level of 49% (2049) and a futuristic bottle which is an exact replica of the one used in the latest film.

Those keen to score a piece of cinematic history will need to move quick though as only 39,000 bottles will be produced with an American retail price of $89.99.

 

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MIKA27   

‘Better Watch Out’ Trailer Cues up a Twisted Holiday Home Invasion

It’s a very merry Christmas in the new trailer for the upcoming home invasion horror Better Watch Out, with all the requisite holiday jingles, snowy settings, and Home Alone inspired hijinks. Ok, murder. By hijinks I mean murder. I caught this film at Fantastic Fest last year and passed on reviewing it because it was almost impossible to do so without revealing some of the major twists and turns. Now in a strange promotional move, the latest trailer has decided to give a lot of the film’s big moments away pretty much point blank. So, spoiler warning y’all.

Better Watch Out offers an interesting spin on the rather tired home invasion genre and an always-welcome new entry into the catalogue of holiday horror films. The movie follows a babysitter who finds herself in a perilous predicament when deadly intruders lay siege to the suburban home and she must team up with the kids under her charge to bring them down… until it becomes clear things aren’t quite what they seem.

Directed by Chris Peckover from a story by Zack Kahn, Better Watch Out stars Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton. Well Go USA will release the film in theaters and on VOD October 6th.

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VILLA LOS LEONES

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Ingrained in the Pointe Milou cliffside, the Villa Los Leones brings Mediterranean architecture to the middle of the Caribbean. The property occupies over an acre on the St. Barts coastline. Its white stucco facade is reminiscent of the homes that dot the coastlines of Greece's Cyclades islands, while both Croatian and Moroccan influences can be seen throughout its four bedrooms An eastern orientation takes advantage of the incoming breeze and sweeping seaward views.

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RED SPARROW

Undercover spy. Blonde bangs, Licence to kill. Jennifer Lawrence is giving us major Atomic Blonde vibes in her first reunion with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, Lawrence is a prima ballerina turned deadly assassin after being recruited for Sparrow School. Set for theaters March 2, 2018.

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James Cameron's True Lies Is Being Turned Into A TV Show

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The 1994 James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzengger and Jamie Lee Curtis blockbuster hit True Lies may be coming back... to a TV screen near you.

Fox will attempt to turn the action film into a television show, with Cameron aboard to produce and McG, director of Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation, potentially directing the pilot. Prolific TV producer/writer Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Flashforward, Legends of Tomorrow) will write the first episode, which will offer a modern take on the movie's story.

True Lies is about a seemingly mundane suburban family in which the wife (Curtis) and teenage daughter have no idea that the father (Schwarzenegger) is actually a super spy. By the end — spoilers — the wife character becomes a secret agent, too. If it wasn't already a movie, the plot already sounds like a TV show. I've been a huge True Lies fan since it was first released and still quote some of its weirder moments (most of which involve Bill Paxton) regularly. I never considered it as anything but a movie, but this makes perfect sense; the whole thing just has a simple, adaptable structure. Plus, there are a ton of quirky side characters, action, spy-gadget stuff and humour. It could almost be a sitcom, actually.

True Lies has a put-pilot deal with Fox, which means at least the first episode will make it on air (if the first episode gets made, of course). And for us True Lies fans, since we'll never get a sequel, this sounds like the next best thing.

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Jamie Lee Curtis Will Reprise Her Iconic Role As Laurie Strode In The New Halloween Movie

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Well, here's a welcome surprise. Blumhouse just announced that legendary scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis will reprise her role as Laurie Strode when the new Halloween movie opens in the US on 19 October 2018.

There's a lot to unpack here. The simplest thing is that the new Halloween, co-written by Danny McBride and directed by David Gordon Green, has a US release date, perfectly timed for next Halloween. But bringing back Curtis means so much more.

It's a nod to the original films, of course. But it's also a very strong statement to everyone that that while this new Halloween is a reboot, it's also a sequel. Yup, it's one of those very en vogue sequel-reboots.

Curtis has played Strode in multiple Halloween movies, including the first two as well as the last two (the seventh and eighth films) in the first series of films. Of course, the character died in the last one — but McBride cleared that continuity problem up a few months ago, explaining that the film won't take into account Halloween: H20 or Halloween: Resurrection.

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You know, it's not a remake. It's actually, it's gonna continue the story of Michael Myers in a really grounded way. And for our mythology, we're focusing mainly in the first two movies and what that sets up and then where the story can go from there.

Instead, the press release says she'll "come to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago".

The release continues: "Inspired by Carpenter's classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film."

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Nothing But Water Powers This Tricycle That Goes From 0-100km/h In Half A Second

Remember that feeling of terror when a five-year-old version of you climbed aboard your tricycle before careening down a giant hill? That's nothing compared to what François Gissy must have felt climbing aboard this adult-sized trike powered by a water tank pressurised to 6,000 PSI.

When the valve holding back 132l of pressurised rain water inside the carbon fibre-wrapped tank was released, the tricycle accelerated to 100km/h in just over half a second. But by the time that tank was completely emptied, the tricycle, built from motorcycle and go-kart parts, reached a top speed of 261km/h. Somehow a motorcycle helmet just doesn't seem like enough safety equipment.

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Posing Captain Kirk And Mr. Spock 1/6th Scale Figures

The latest episode of How To Be A Poser focuses on two figures, the QMx 1/6th scale figures of Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. The designs are based on the original 1966 Star Trek series based on the roles as portrayed by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

These are the classic uniforms, with Kirk in his yellow tunic and Spock in blue. I find it interesting that the Spock figure comes with the Vulcan Lyre. I have to say, the face sculpts on these figure are very good. I haven’t seen many of QMx’s figures so far, but these are remarkable detailed and accurate.

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In the video, we see that the figures are being posed in such away to not only give the feel of an old movie poster, but also show the difference in personalities between the two characters. Kirk and Spock couldn’t be more different, yet they are good friends. They choose to have Spock using the tricorder to examine and get information while Kirk is standing in a more action pose with phaser in hand, read to react. That’s a pretty accurate depiction of the two characters.

As the 1/6th scale figures improve and grow in variety, the art of posing the figures and creating artistic images becomes more and more popular, with a handful of coffee table-style books already out on the market.

You can check out the figures from Sideshow and QMx right here. They also have Dr. McCoy, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a Captain’s chair available.

 

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History’s Most Dangerous Games

Sports today are tame by history’s standards. Ancient societies didn’t seem to think twice about spending blood and lives in the pursuit of great athletic entertainment. People have been hacked, poked, drowned, punched, cut, smashed, and skied to death, all in some of history’s greatest games. The good news, depending on your viewpoint, is a few of these games are still around, in one form or another. If you know where to go, you can still see these games play out the way they would have half a millennium ago, sometimes more.

A quick note. If you’ve come here for great Roman games, we’re sorry to disappoint, but we figured everyone knew about those. Putting them on this list would just be wasting your time. We went looking for games outside the Coliseum, since those were the ones most people probably don’t know about. And in our research, we found Romans actually lacked creativity. Historical games can get super weird. Here are history’s most dangerous games.

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Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico is the sport that first inspired to write this feature. We needed to know more about it and find other sports with the same sort of cultural roots.

For most of the players, it seems like their motivation for playing is to honor Florentine tradition, as well as test their own personal limits. And test them they will, because in terms of rules, there aren’t many. They were established in 1580 and haven’t changed much. You can’t sucker punch or kick anyone in the head. Otherwise, you can punch, headbutt, trip, wrestle and choke your way across the field.

Players do seem adamant that Calcio Storico isn’t a sport, it’s a game. They might distinguish between the two by saying there isn’t really a season for the game. Players can only participate in a max of two games a year, so you don’t really have the multi-month processes of seasonal sports. Instead, you get a massive, energetic display of violence and tradition that pits the four quarters of Florence, Italy, against each other.

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Bo-Taoshi

It’s a shame that modern Japanese culture’s reputation is so dominated by general weirdness and unsettling cartoons, because the small nation has some truly badass traditions, Bo-Taoshi being just one of them. When it comes to rules, Bo-Taoshi is surprisingly simple. For one team, it’s defend a pole for two minutes. For the other, attack it and bend it to a 45 degree angle. Where the complications come in is in practice. Both teams attack and defend at the same time and contain 150 players, meaning there’s 300 guys beating each other to a pulp for two minutes. For protection, all you get is a padded helmet. Otherwise, it’s you and your clothed body smashing one human wall against the other.

There’s no exact date for the first ever game of Bo-Taoshi, but it’s thought to have started sometime in 1945 with Japanese military cadets. That’s plausible enough for us, as the initial chanting and cries of the attacking charge sound a lot like the Japanese soldiers of World War Two. Plus, we imagine the game would be an excellent way to teach soldiers to work together in large groups, as well as withstand serious physical punishment. Not that we’re hoping the Army military starts using Bo-Taoshi at West Point. Just that it’s easy to see there might be some benefits here.

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Mesoamerican Ball Game

The Olmecs were the first people to record playing the Mesoamerican Ball Game and by all indications for them, it was a fairly ordinary game. It was similar to volleyball, but with a solid rubber ball and where you used your whole body and wore thick padding and a helmet. It wasn’t until the Mayans got their hands on it that it got weirdly hardcore. Presumably, they played it the same, but definitely amplified the mythos. Mostly, the first game was between humans and the lords of the underworld. Under the Mayans, the game could be used to settle territorial and hereditary disputes, stood in for traditional warfare, and could even predict the future. The Mayans would also frequently sacrifice the losing team, who were usually prisoners of war.

The Aztecs kept up the more gruesome aspects of the game, even adding where they thought it needed it. Carvings have been found that depict the game being played with the heads of the previous game’s losers and Spanish observers reported horrific injuries and deaths from unprotected contact with the ball.

If you want a taste of the game, modern Mexicans tamed it and renamed it Ulama. If you find yourself in Mexico and want to experience ancient sporting events, it’s worth looking up or asking around.

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Polo

Polo, along with cricket, has to be the most pretentious, upper class sport we’ve ever seen, so to find out polo started as a way to train mounted fighting units is like finding out Marine Recon units invented knitting to train fine motor skills. Although it does start to get more believable once you learn about the numbers involved in those ancient Persian matches. Where today’s polo matches put four fancy Englishmen on each team, Persian matches could have upwards of two hundred mounted units galloping around swinging mallets. There was potentially 700 years of this hardcore version of polo maintaining its military edge undulled, as polo’s on Persian records between the 7th century BC and 1st century AD.

Eventually the game spread out in both directions, reaching China and Japan on one side and England on the other. For the English, it quickly became the high falutin pastime we know today. But it was in China faster and Emperor A-pao-chi took it a little more seriously. When a relative he was particularly fond of died in a match, he beheaded the surviving players. And apparently whoever recorded that incident didn’t feel the need to distinguish between teams, which makes us think the emperor killed anyone and everyone involved in that unfortunate match.

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Buzkashi

You have to respect people who look at a sport like polo (in its early days) and decide there’s not enough blood. Then you have to respect them more when they solve the blood deficit with a headless corpse. Not human, granted, but a headless goat carcass shouldn’t be scoffed at. There’s a third level of respect due when you realize people have been playing buzkashi since Turkic tribes invented it as a way to train cavalry units (just like polo). It only took a few years for American football to thicken up its helmets and pads, yet Afghani athletes never once looked at their decapitated herd animal and thought to replace it with a stuffed counterpart.

We’re sure there’s some nuance to the game we’re not grasping here, but basically players have to carry the goat carcass from one end of the field to the other and back, then drop it in the scoring circle. Those are rules that even the most casual observer can understand. This is also the national sport of Afghanistan and personally, we hope it continues to be. It can be disheartening to watch countries lose parts of their national identity just because some people get uncomfortable, so here’s to another few centuries of Afghanis slinging dead goats like polo mallets.

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Egyptian Fisherman Joust

We haven’t had much cause to research Egyptian naval activities, so the Egyptian Fisherman Joust is really our first exposure to the ancient empire’s waterborne happenings and we’re alarmed to say the least. The only reason this qualifies as a sport is because archaeologists and historians haven’t found any examples of actual military forces using these techniques to solve problems. If they had, those problems would have stayed solved.

Basically, a bunch of guys stood up in a small boat, each one of them carrying a long pole. Some of them would use the poles to pilot the boat, while a few of them used their poles to hit the people in the other boat. And these weren’t playful jabs. Carvings regularly depict the matches as extremely violent and malicious, most, if not all of them, drawing blood. If the other crew successfully knocked you into the water, it probably didn’t matter if you could swim or not, as the blood in the water had already attracted crocodiles and hippopotamuses. Your chances of becoming a meal were high, so we’d love to know how popular this game actually was. Did they play it once and learn their lesson? Or was this a Roman Coliseum situation, where you just make slaves go out and get cut up and eaten?

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Octopus Wrestling

Surprisingly, the craziest part about octopus wrestling isn’t the activity. The sport itself is straightforward. Get in the water, find an octopus, and wrestle it to shore. We would be lucky if more sports had such simple objectives. What’s weird is that this sport was played by modern people in the Pacific Northwest. There are articles from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, all detailing the lively cephalopod combat sport, with some events drawing crowds that numbered in the thousands. Granted this is also around the time when cramming people into phone booths was a huge event on college campuses, so maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised when we hear about people doing weird stuff in the postwar decades. Also, octopus wrestling is illegal now, so if you go diving into the Puget Sound looking for a fight, you’re better off having one with a human.

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Viking Swimming Competitions

When Vikings decided to race each other in the water, they did it in their own special way. Basically, they turned Michael Phelps’s career into a contact sport. If Vikings were swimming competitively, assume they were hitting and shoving each other or dragging their opponent under the water in an attempt to slow them down. And sometimes all this was fully decked out in weapons and armor too, which means they’ve added a whole bunch of soaking wet cloth and leather, as well as pounds of metal to an already far too dangerous sport.

There are even reports, albeit hard to confirm, that sometimes Vikings would strike the swimming altogether. If they did, the competition was to try and hold your opponent under the water for longer than he held you. It’s either an insane sport or Norsemen trying to force each other to develop gills and from what we know of the Vikings, they weren’t super concerned with evolution.

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Hee Holua

The most dangerous activity we’ve ever associated with Polynesian cultures is crossing oceans in wooden canoes. Not to downplay that, because that’s insanely dangerous in its own right, but it’s tame compared to the Hawaiian tradition of hee holua (sled riding). Hee holua is most closely related to bobsledding, only these Hawaiian sleds don’t speed down cushy tracks of soft snow, but enormous paths created by old lava flows or constructed out of lava rocks. Sledders routinely hit speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour coming down the stone paths, which is enough to shred faces, which is exactly what it’s done.

As far as we can tell, the longest paths that exist went from the top of Hawaii’s volcano down to the ocean. From that, we can only assume Hawaiians only invented enough of the holua to go fast. There aren’t any descriptions of brakes or mechanisms for slowing down, which might be why the paths go to the ocean. The Pacific is the only thing Hawaiians could think of that would stop them after skiing on lava.

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