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13 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

Exclusive ‘Sea Fever’ Trailer Pits a Deep Sea Fishing Crew Against a Subaquatic Monster


Looks like The Thing in the ocean. I’m interested..... better than those Mega Sharks and Mega Octopus movies

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Many thanks  Yes, I think I started F1 back in 2009 so there's been one since then.  How time flies! I enjoy both threads, sometimes it's taxing though. Let's see how we go for this year   I

China Is Racing Ahead Of The US In The Quest To Cure Cancer With CRISPR On Friday, a team of Chinese scientists used the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 on humans for the se

No, no, no. Please pick it up and give it a poke when taking your vid. Those little guys just love performing for a live audience. Besides, it'd be great for your social media profile. Just imagi

The Duo Who Documented the Birth of NYC’s Subway


For brothers Pierre and Granville Pullis, photographing the sprawling system was intrepid, precise work—not unlike the construction itself.

Pierre Pullis had a photography studio on Fulton Street, in New York City, but he spent a lot of time working outside its walls. For about four decades in the first half of the 20th century, he lugged his camera to some rather inconvenient places around the city—including beneath its boulevards.

His photos “are as interesting as they are difficult to obtain,” the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported in 1901, soon after Pullis undertook his work. “In many cases, Mr. Pullis and his assistants are obliged to place their cameras in perilous positions in order to photograph the face of a rock or the effect of a blast, and taking flashlight pictures knee deep in a twenty-five foot sewer.”

Pullis was an early photographer of subway construction, tapped by the agencies responsible for building the first underground rapid transit line in NYC. Along with his slightly younger brother, Granville, Pierre took tens of thousands of photographs of stations, equipment, construction sites, and the people who built the stations, as well as the pedestrians who would eventually wedge themselves onto the trains.


In 1900, Pierre captured this image of 4th Avenue and 10th Street in Manhattan, where the underground world met the street.

Portions of the brothers’ vast archive are on display at the New York Transit Museum through January 21, 2021. But the survey captures only a sliver of the museum’s holdings of the Pullises’ prints, glass negatives, and film negatives.

“[W]e could do a show of an equivalent size three times a year for the next 10 years and still not show all of them,” says associate curator Jodi Shapiro, who organized the exhibition. “It’s the collection that keeps on giving.”


Willets Point Station, Queens, 1927

The Pullises worked methodically, often revisiting a site several times to keep tabs on its progress, and to inventory how the world was changing, both above ground and below it. They kept careful records in a log book, where they noted the day, location, land use, and other pertinent details. Sometimes they’d walk down a block and stop to take a photograph every 10 or 15 feet. “Especially when construction was in full swing, they’d go back several times within a couple of months,” Shapiro says. Other times they’d return to a building to document it in different states, before and after excavations carved out the ground below.

The project stretched on for years, as Pierre worked through the 1930s (he died in 1942), and Granville photographed until at least 1939. (As the system continued to expand, so did the ranks of photographers, Shapiro says. Because there was so much construction going on, the agency couldn’t reasonably expect one person—or even two—to cover it all.) Along the way, the Pullises and amassed a deep and rich record of what Shapiro calls the “nuts and bolts of subway construction”—an extensive overview of “how the sausage gets made, as it were.”


7th Avenue and 42nd Street, Manhattan, 1914. 

The brothers’ images are technically proficient, but also artistic and tenderly humane. Many of the photographs were bound into books—some in the museum’s collection still have holes punched through one end—as reference documents, or as evidence that could be called forth in the event of a lawsuit (it was, after all, an era when construction was staggeringly dangerous and injuries were commonplace).

They were also impeccably timed snapshots of urban life and work. Pierre and Granville captured signs and businesses and moments of striking symmetry, such as people frozen in mid-stride as they wandered between buildings. “What makes these full of personality [in a way] that other photographs of this type usually [aren’t] is that you can tell both of [the photographers] waited for just the right moment to click the shutter,” says Shapiro.


Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 1911.

Pierre and Granville frequently framed workers in the foreground, showing compassion for the people sweating and straining to build the city’s sunken arteries. The workmen, in turn, appear comfortable in front of the camera, as if they’ve just cracked a joke with the person behind the lens.

“A lot of the people in these photographs, we’ll never know their names,” says Shapiro. “But we know their faces. That’s our privilege—to let people know, these are the people that built this. Somebody photographed them and cared enough about them to make them look dignified in their work.”


Workers in the Greenpoint Tube, 1929.

Pierre and Granville are slightly less anonymous than the unnamed workers in the photographs, but Shapiro says she and her collaborators at the museum are keen to learn more about the duo. “One of the underlying sinister reasons we’re having this show is that we’re hoping … someone who’s related to them will come out of the woodwork,” she says, laughing.

The team scoured old newspapers and other documents, but didn’t find much about the brothers’ lives. With the exception of some court records from when they were called as witnesses, there are very few accounts of Pierre or Granville speaking in their own voices. “I just hope that someone out there knows about them,” Shapiro says. “The archivists and I were like, ‘Somebody—there’s got to be somebody.’”

Shapiro can’t go back in time and talk to the Pullises, of course, or to the men they depicted working below the streets. But if you visit the exhibit, study the subjects’ faces. Then, the next time you’re in the subway, try to remember their work—and the men who photographed it.

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Most watches have curves, so it might seem an odd thing to include in the name, but the material that makes up the curves of Louis Vuitton's latest timepiece is part of what makes it noteworthy. The outer part of the Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon's case is made from CarboStratum, an ultra-lightweight material made by layering 100 sheets of carbon at random and then compressing them to form the curves. The base of the case is titanium, while the lugs are 18ct. white gold; the dial is open-worked with the tourbillon visible at 9 o'clock and the LV logo front and center. Measuring 46mm, the timepiece is powered by the in-house LV 108 hand-wound calibre movement and will be available in standard and diamond-encrusted references.




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Before the United States could join the fight against Germany in WWII, it had to get troops and material to Europe — and that meant crossing the Atlantic. 2,710 Liberty cargo ships were built between 1941 and 1945 to ferry that industrial output, and Germany responded with Operation Drumbeat, swarming shipping routes with their superior u-boats — and it was carnage at sea. Greyhound stars Tom Hanks as Commander Ernest Krause of the USS Keeling, code-named Greyhound, as he leads an escort against the German wolf pack.

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Journey To The Bottom Of The Mariana Trench In A Titanium Submarine

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Last year EYOS Expeditions and Caladan Oceanic joined forces for an incredibly ambitious mission, embarking on a total of 39 deep-sea dives in a manned submersible in “The five Deeps” — Malloy Deep; the Puerto Rico trench; South Sandwich trench; Java Trench; and Mariana Trench — the exploration of the latter of which resulted in a new record for the deepest manned dive of 10,898 meters (more than 6.75 miles).

Christened the “Limiting Factor,” the submersible was built by Florida’s Triton Submarines, features a full-titanium hull and seating for two, and is the first-ever submersible to receive a “Depth Unlimited” classification. With the successful mission now in their rearview, EYOS — which currently more than 1,200 completed expeditions under its belt — for the first time ever is allowing deep-pocketed members of the public to partake in exploring the Mariana Trench, or, as the sea below 6,000 meters is often called: “Earth’s Final Frontier.” Organized to help fund future research and scientific expeditions, each of the public sub-sea adventures will travel more than 7 miles beneath the waves over a 14 hour period, eight hours of which is spent ascending and descending. For more information or to reserve your place aboard, check out the company’s website.






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TAG Heuer Connected Smartwatch

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TAG Heuer has updated its smartwatch with four new styles, the new Connected features a 45mm case that is 13.5mm thick and has 2 pushers with a crown. Powered by Wear OS by Google, the sleek smartwatch is aimed at sporty types and features a 1.39" OLED display (454×454, sapphire glass), 430mAh battery, 5ATM water resistance, GPS, heartrate monitor, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and WiFi. The custom sports app from TAG includes sports metrics, haptic feedback, timing information, workout reviews and other info, and the user has the option to connect the watch with third-party apps such as Strava and Apple Health. The case comes in 3 different stainless steel variants with ceramic black or metal PVD bezels. There is also a full matte black titanium version with black ceramic bezel. $1,800+

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The Most Badass Movie Character of the Year Is a Surly Chinese Grandma


Tsai Chin delivers a powerhouse turn as a gambling grandma taking on the Chinatown triads in “Lucky Grandma,” filmmaker Sasie Sealy’s impressive debut.

A relative of neither the repulsively crass Dirty Grandpa nor the inappropriately goofy Bad Grandpa, director Sasie Sealy’s Lucky Grandma (now available on VOD) is an alternately salty and sweet tale of a strong, silent widow who, through providence and her own bold choices, finds herself in criminal trouble. Led by an irresistibly charming performance by Tsai Chin (best known stateside for The Joy Luck Club), it’s a genre film that exudes the spirit of its elderly protagonist: modest, sharp, and full of delightfully defiant piss and vinegar.

In the wake of her husband’s passing, Grandma Wong (Chin) continues to live alone in New York City’s Chinatown, even though her son Howard (Eddie Yu) and daughter-in-law Lynn (Ali Ahn) would prefer that she relocate to their suburban home. A cigarette perpetually wedged in the corner of her mouth, Wong is a hilariously ornery matriarch whose aged countenance generally defaults to one of two expressions: annoyance or fury. Despite the fact that she moves at a slow shuffle, her steely eyes make clear that she’s not to be taken lightly (much less for granted), and at the outset of Sealy’s directorial debut (co-written by Angela Cheng), she receives some auspicious news from her trusty fortuneteller (Wai Ching Ho): “Your lucky day is coming!”

The actual date of her prosperity is October 28, and when it arrives—this after trudging through her usual day-to-day chores, and struggling to blow out the candles on her birthday cake—she responds by cleaning out her bank account and taking her life savings (all $1,757 of it) on a bus trip to a casino. There, providence smiles down upon her, at least until she finally loses at cards and decides to call it a night. As it turns out, though, her fortunes aren’t done improving. On the bus ride home, the passenger sitting beside her has a heart attack and dies, and at the moment Wong realizes this has taken place, the deceased gentleman’s bag falls from the overhead compartment and lands straight in her lap—containing, she realizes with wide-eyed astonishment, stacks upon stacks of cash.

Having apparently never seen A Simple Plan, No Country for Old Men, or any other noir-ish fable about the trouble that comes from pocketing “found” money that doesn’t belong to you, Wong views this as a sign from on-high. She promptly returns home with the loot, stashing it away in one of the many bags of rice she’d previously won at her local bank, and lighting incense at a shrine for her spouse—which, amusingly, is now also decorated with the porno mag she found in the bag of dough. The following morning, Wong does some shopping, and when a glistening chandelier catches her eye, she doesn’t hesitate to make it her own.

Back at her modest apartment, though, two Red Dragon gang members—smooth-talking Pockmark (Woody Fu) and psychotic Little Handsome (Michael Tow)—are waiting for her. They let her know she was seen sitting next to the man who died, and they suspect she has his missing bounty. Wong, naturally, feigns ignorance, but her outlandish purchase doesn’t help sell her case, and upon extricating herself from this encounter, she goes to Red Dragon’s triad rivals, the Zhongliang gang, and hires a bodyguard: gentle giant Big Pong (Hsiao-Yuan Ha).

Over the course of their ensuing odyssey together, Wong and Big Pong grow closer, she gruff and brazen, he a big softie and loyal protector. They’re a thoroughly odd couple, and Lucky Grandma alternates its time between scenes in which they quietly develop their friendship—at the salon, where Big Pong is awkward and distracting, or at home, where she invites the hungry goliath to eat with her and her grandson David (Mason Yam)—and more action-oriented shenanigans involving their Red Dragon enemies. No matter what register the film is operating in, however, Chin is a grim-faced riot. Her Wong has a scowl for just about every occasion, and they boast just enough minor variations to keep her surprising. Far from a one-note performance, Chin employs her silent frowns to convey an impressively wide range of emotions that deepen her characterization, which is steeped in loneliness, anger, bitterness and stubborn determination.


Rarely turning her camera’s gaze away from the formidable Wong, director Sealy situates her protagonist in a Chinatown brimming with inviting cultural and social details. Like last year’s The Farewell, she brings her Asian-American milieu to life in bold, distinctive strokes. That’s in keeping with her overall stewardship of the material, which is elevated by quick, concise Edgar Wright-ish mini-montages that are as self-possessed and forceful as Wong herself. The first five minutes of Lucky Grandma alone are a master class in storytelling efficiency, as Sealy establishes her main character, environment and narrative premise with a minimum of dialogue (including almost none from Wong) and a raft of succinct, jaunty sequences. She’s further aided by a bouncy, brassy, horn-heavy Andrew Orkin score that—married to Chinese pop songs—contributes to the proceedings’ humorous atmosphere.

Lucky Grandma can’t quite sustain its initial spryness; the more it mires Wong in underworld conflicts, the less it feels tethered to the real world. That’s too bad considering the authenticity of its early going, replete with arguments between Wong and her skeptical son about her reliance on a “doctor” who apparently cured her friend’s diabetes and, for her own ailments, prescribed “chrysanthemum leaves and one gold fish.” Knife fights, shootouts, chases through the streets and kidnappings eventually factor into the equation, not to mention the age-old sight of a person falling backwards during a skirmish, conking their head on the edge of a table, and dying instantly—an unexpectedly fatal turn of events that happens approximately one million times more frequently in the movies than it does in real life.


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A Concise History of Bourbon Street’s Cocktail Culture


This episode of the award-winning podcast Life Behind Bars focuses on Bourbon Street’s infamous drinks.

From the Hurricane to the Hand Grenade to the Shark Attack, some of the world’s most potent cocktails call Bourbon Street home. 

On this episode of the award-winning podcast Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum discuss the drinking culture of this famous New Orleans street. They are joined by acclaimed Half Full columnist and NOLA resident Wayne Curtis to discuss these infamous drinks and their creators. 

So fix yourself a cocktail and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!


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How the Ice Cube Lost Its Mystery


Ice has gone from a mythological substance that captured the minds and imaginations of explorers and bartenders, to an everyday staple.

I’m isolated in my apartment in Portland, Maine, during a global pandemic. In my tumbler of rye whiskey there floats a large, square ice cube. Outside my window, the ice has retreated with the onset of spring, that renowned Maine ice which at one time—not so long ago—was among the Pine Tree State’s most profitable commodities, like timber, like lobster.

It’s rare that I look at the ice in my glass. Or, better, it’s rare that I see the ice. Few of us do, not in the way that someone two centuries ago would have. We don’t think of the mysteries of frozen water; we don’t ponder its provenance. Indeed, we know where it came from: it came from a plastic tray in the freezer, or it dropped into our glass when we pushed the lever on the refrigerator.

With convenience comes familiarity. But in this case, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; it breeds blindness. We’ve lost sight of the beauty, the majesty of ice. We take it for granted, this cube, this small reminder of a substance that was once feared and revered. And our world is much the worse for it.  


For ages we had been attacking the ice, slicing into it and carting it southward for urbanites to drop into their Manhattans. Indeed, the very state where I now sit (ice further melting in my glass) once stood at the very center of the 19th century ice trade. Even as Texas cowboys in the 1870s drove their herds northward for slaughter, 25,000 men would amass each winter on the Kennebec ice fields to carve up the river and store it for shipment to cities in the South.

But those who made their livings by chopping up lakes only seemed to enhance the romance. We knew the ice would not be so easy to control. It had been here far longer than us. It had, in fact, ruled this continent long before humans arrived. And when the glaciers, those ancient behemoths, receded back to the north country, they left only riddles for us to solve, claw-marks in the shorn cliffs, where some Old-Testament goliath had swiped the sides from mountains. To those who first laid eyes on them, these glacial remnants must have been stupefying. The Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. The singing sands of Indiana and the waterfalls of Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park. El Capitan. 

When humans first came to the North American continent, one can assume they maintained great respect for the power and mystery of ice, even as the frozen monoliths were making their way northward. The Iroquois believed that the ice spirit Flint—also known simply as “Evil”—helped to form the Earth, along with his twin brother, the creator god Sky-holder (“Good”). The Ojibwe told of the wendigos: malevolent, ice-coated giants who devoured men. The Cree, too, believed in cannibalistic ice giants, as did many other tribes: the Micmac, the Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy, the Abenaki and the Penobscot.


Many of the Europeans who arrived to displace and demolish those tribes sought peace through brutally enforced religious enlightenment. They found in the roughhewn landscape of America a New World that had been largely formed by ancient ice. These new arrivals learned to let the land guide them, and they imbued these lands with their own spiritual fervor. A new sort of religion developed, Transcendentalism, wherein it was taught that divinity pervades every aspect of nature. Belief and nature merged. Today, even still, the small mountain lakes braided together by a single stream—those pristine ponds formed ages ago by glaciers—are called “paternoster lakes” due to their resemblance to a Catholic rosary.   


Ice had a profound effect on the 19th-century American imagination. Before Charles Darwin turned the scientific world on its ear with his theory, it was glaciers that dominated the conversation surrounding the Earth’s age and Biblical truth. In the early 19th century, many great European thinkers had become obsessed with ice, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (who, along with being the father of German literature, was also a glaciologist before the term existed), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he of the ice-riddled “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Here’s Coleridge on glaciers: “Motionless torrents! silent cataracts! / Who made you glorious as the Gates of Heaven / Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun / Clothe you with rainbows?” Coleridge, here was a guy who knew how to appreciate ice. 

Meanwhile it was a Swiss geologist, Louis Agassiz, who first disseminated the notion that Europe, Asia, and North America had once been frozen lands. After the 1840 publication of his two-volume work Études sur les glaciers (Studies on Glaciers), Agassiz began reporting on his findings to the Geological Society of London. In doing so, he ignited a firestorm. 

The prevailing belief, pre-Agassiz, was that the Earth’s stunning land formations had been formed some 6,000 years previous by the Biblical flood. But Agassiz and the glaciologists who came after him were able to show striations in the ice that proved these leviathans had been around far longer than the Earth’s supposed age. 

Then, Agassiz set out for America, and the famed geologist—and by extension ice—entered full force into American discourse, mainly through connections Agassiz formed with his New World contemporaries. After turning Europe upside down with his theories, Agassiz settled at Harvard University, where the Swiss geologist was welcomed into the “Saturday Club,” an elite circle whose members included the poets James Russell Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the botanist Asa Gray, the mathematician Benjamin Peirce, the novelist William Dean Howells, and the philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson—perhaps the most important thinker in America. At Harvard, Agassiz would go on to teach some of America’s brightest young minds, including Henry Adams and William James, and ice began to appear in the works of these luminaries. 

It was largely because of Agassiz’s celebrity that frozen water was imbued with a sense of cheeky rebellion against received theology. Amid the flowering of the Romantic Age, America’s keenest minds became fixated on the notion that the Earth’s past stretched back untold eons, into times when everything between here and the horizon had been covered with a white, pristine sheen. The image was enough to make even the most hardened New England Brahmin giddy with awe. 


Over time, the American fascination with ice deepened. It was only a century ago that the great age of polar exploration came to an end. For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans had ice on the brain. Urban factory workers and housewives in the heartland marveled at the exploits of Byrd, Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton and Peary. In their minds, they traveled up into those icy climes, shivering with those men, fearing the cold with them, and, alongside them, falling in love with the sublime beauty of the frozen world.  

As everyday readers followed these polar adventures, ice dreams filtered into our entertainment. In 1936, the science horror writer H.P. Lovecraft published At the Mountains of Madness, which recounted a disastrous 1930 expedition to Antarctica. In the book, the explorers find that the ice at the bottom of the world holds terrors of such magnitude that their feeble human brains can barely comprehend them. And readers believed. Because, over many centuries—even since the dawn of humankind—we’d been trained to fear ice. 


Lovecraft himself had, as a boy, become obsessed with the polar reaches—not for their scientific qualities, but for what the ice at the ends of the Earth represented. For centuries, frosty mountaintops and polar climes had been revered within the human psyche as unknowable places, sites inhabited by ghosts and monsters—even gods. Thus, Lovecraft was following in a grand tradition. Edgar Allen Poe’s only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, ends as the narrator disappears into the ice at the South Pole, where “a chasm threw itself open to receive us.” A decade after the novel’s publication, life would echo fiction, as the explorer Captain Sir John Franklin and his expedition would vanish into the ice, never to be heard from again—thus sparking one of the most extensive and romanticized search efforts in history.

But of course, Lovecraft and Poe were taking their cues from the greatest horror novel of them all. It is no coincidence that, when Frankenstein’s monster tells his story, he does so from within a glacial cave. The “dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice, which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me.”


Today, as we are all too aware, the Earth’s literal ice is melting. But the romantic idea of ice has long been moribund, dying a slow death by a million cuts. It died a bit when Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary squabbled over who had first discovered the North Pole. It further succumbed when Roald Amundsen stabbed his flag into the South Pole. It withered when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Everest. It dies a little each time we intimately photograph it from outer space, each time a strand of new tourists traipses across Everest’s peaks, each time we poke another drill bit into the tundra.  

But the true demise of ice’s power came with the invention of refrigeration. 

While humans have been able to make fire since the beginning of civilization, the ability to create ice eluded us until relatively recently. Before refrigeration, the nature of ice forced us to respect it, frequently killing those who dared explore it or attempted to mine it. Hearty souls took their lives into their hands, trudging into the northern realms to saw into the beast and cart pieces of it back to civilization, as if the frozen blocks were rhino horns or leopard pelts. 

But today, even as icebergs the size of Boston break free from Antarctic glaciers and float away like cubes in a colossal cocktail, we find ice ready at hand in our homes. Perhaps, we pour too many pellets into our cup at the 7-Eleven, so we dump the surplus out and hit the lever again. Sometimes, in our freezers, we can hear the ice creaking and cracking, as Shackleton must have. We may detect its rumblings in the top of the machine at the movie theater. When we push the lever and the ice doesn’t obediently drop into our cup, we grow frustrated. We tell the manager. Then we go sit in the air-conditioning. 

And it is that air-conditioning that is killing the ice most of all. By midcentury, the Earth is expected to have nearly 6 billion air-conditioners, humming softly into the night. As we sit by the window unit and sip our Manhattans, the ice at the ends of the Earth groans in pain. And another city-sized chunk drops into the sea. 


As a young man, growing up among the glacial plains of Wisconsin, John Muir, the great American naturalist and future founder of the Sierra Club, was obsessed with productivity. The young Muir invented all kinds of clocks and contraptions, including a desk that rotated the book in front of the reader after an allotted time of studying, and an alarm-clock bed that tipped the sleeper onto the floor when it was time to awaken. Later, in his twenties, Muir would travel to Indiana to become what we would now call an efficiency expert in a carriage-wheel factory, where he continued meticulously counting minutes and seconds. 

And then, during a rare total solar eclipse in 1867, tragedy struck—and Muir’s life changed forever. While tightening a belt on a shop machine, he lost his grip and sent a metal awl flying like a dart into his eye. As fluid from his eyeball dripped down his cheek, Muir turned calmly to a fellow worker and said: “My right eye is gone, closed forever on all God’s beauty.”

Hours later, Muir’s other eye failed too. He lay in a dark room for a month and a half, until he became transformed. He vowed that if he ever saw again, he would travel the Earth looking upon God’s creation. When he finally—and miraculously—regained sight in both eyes, he was a different man. He no longer thought in minutes and seconds—now he thought in epochs. He left Indiana and walked all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Then he sailed to Cuba, and then onward to California, where he made a life among some of the oldest living things on Earth, the Golden State’s redwoods and sequoias. 

In California, Muir shunned short-lived humanity and began to think about glaciers, whose striations counted far more years than even those ancient redwoods. He became convinced—before anyone had conceived the idea about the region—that his new home had been formed by ancient glaciers. And he wrote of them, with his mind turned away from life’s minutia and focused on the slow and gentle passing of millennia, wherein he was but a mote:


In the waning days of this mountain ice, when the main river began to shallow and break like a summer cloud, its crests and domes rising higher and higher, and island rocks coming to light far out in the main current, then many a tributary died, and this one, cut off from its trunk, moved slowly back amid the gurgling and gushing of its bleeding rills, until, crouching in the shadows of this half-mile hollow, it lived a feeble separate life. Here its days come and go, and the hiding glacier lives and works. It brings boulders and sand and fine dust polishings from its sheltering domes and cañons, building up a terminal moraine, which forms a dam for the waters which issue from it; and beneath, working in the dark, it scoops a shallow lake basin. Again the glacier retires, crouching under cooler shadows, and a cluster of steady years enables the dying glacier to make yet another moraine dam like the first; and, where the granite begins to rise in curves to form the upper dam, it scoops another lake. Its last work is done, and it dies.

Maybe we, too, can stop for a minute to think of the ice tinkling in our glasses. Think of how hard it has been to come by, how many centuries it took to conquer it and relieve it of its romance. Perhaps, as we sip our Manhattans, we might think of how this translucent stuff once ruled this continent. We might think of how the substance within this tiny cube has the power to move mountains, how staying cool has come at the expense of something grand—something eternal, even. 

Next time, we push that lever on the refrigerator, maybe we will think about the cubes that come clattering out. Maybe we will think of those lost souls, long-ago frozen on the poles, and of the monsters and witches that once inhabited the Earth’s ice caves. Maybe we will turn off that window unit and listen to the evening, sipping our cocktails in silence. And maybe, in our minds, we will once again travel northward. 

MIKA: This still comes to mind and gives me a laugh! ;) 


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This BMW x ESMC Ebike Concept Gives A Sneak Peek At The Future Of Off-Roading


Back in 2017, renowned custom motorcycle outfit, El Solitario MC embarked on an ambitious multifaceted project that saw three Harley XR1200 Roadsters transformed into heavily-modified dual-sport bikes before being ridden some 2,500-miles through the Moroccan desert. Known as the “Desert Wolves,” the bespoke ADV bikes from ESMC’s off-road adventure have now inspired Spain’s Iago Valiño to combine elements of the trio of bespoke Harleys with some of the futuristic design language of BMW’s (2019) Vision DC Roadster Concept to create a conceptual off-road-ready electric motorcycle with a removable sidecar.

Powered by an 18.7kWh “Bosch” battery, the bike boasts angular lines with round edges throughout, with a sleek take on a traditional scrambler seat and a futuristic girder-inspired front-end. The use of ultra-beefy Kineo-style 14-spoke rims further blends contemporary aesthetics with visual themes of yesteryear. There’s also vertical and horizontal LED strip lighting at both ends, a unique brake fluid reservoir design, and transparent fenders, as well as numerous nods to David Borras’ Desert Wolves in the form of PIAA LED spotlights, hole-punched skid-plate, and a number of attachment points and straps for securing survival or camping gear. To see more of the project (or the on-road version), check out the link below.






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Forget Inception or Interstellar. Christopher Nolan has dubbed his latest film his most ambitious project yet. Starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, the mind-bending film will center around an international spy, traveling through a twilight world and armed with a single word. Possibly the most bizarre part of the latest trailer is that the film still plans to debut in theaters on its original release date of July 17, 2020.

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Xbox Just Made a Compelling Argument to Buy a Xbox Series X at Launch… If You Have the Right TV

Xbox Just Made a Compelling Argument to Buy a Xbox Series X at Launch… If You Have the Right TV

In a press release this morning, Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X, said that the company’s next-gen console will launch with thousands of compatible games — going all the way back to the original Xbox — all thanks to backwards compatibility. Not only that, but many of those games will also get a significant performance boost, up to 120 frames per second, and added HDR. Some of those older games could get their resolutions bumped up to 4K, too. I’ll admit, that changes my mind a bit about waiting to buy a next-gen console, regardless if you have an extensive library of Xbox games or not. Older Xbox games that not only perform better but look better? Sounds like a sweet deal.

But whether or not you can actually take advantage of playing those older games at 4K 120Hz once the console launches depends on the HDMI standard in your TV and the actual HDMI cable.

The Xbox Series X is outfitted with HDMI 2.1 support, which includes the ability to run games at 4K 120Hz. If your TV can already do that, then you’re set. Unfortunately, most TVs made in the last few years and available on the market now don’t have HDMI 2.1 support. It is currently only on expensive high-end TVs. So if your TV has the 2.0 standard or lower, you’ll have to invest in a new TV at some point to take full advantage of everything the Xbox Series X offers.

HDMI 2.1 was announced back in November of 2017, but most TVs currently in people’s homes have still have HDMI 2.0, or 1.4 even. Both versions can do can do 120Hz at 1080p easily, which is fine for any older or current games that only top out at 1080p, but both can barely do 4K at 60fps. Additionally, 1.4 doesn’t support HDR nor a wide colour gamut. If you’re still on the 1.4 standard, not only will you miss out on the lovely upgrades to all of these old Xbox games, but you might have already realised that you’ve been missing out on those things for a while now.

On the other hand, HDMI 2.0 does support HDR and a wide colour gamut, thanks to double the amount of bandwidth in the cable. But as I previously mentioned, you still won’t get 4K at 120Hz with 2.0. You’ll get 60Hz, tops, which is fine for the older games that Xbox is able to increase the frame rate from 30 to 60, but games that go from 60 to 120 are out on the HDMI 2.0 standard.

But all this doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right HDMI cable, and it’s not easy to figure out which standard of cable you already have, or need to buy. Gizmodo previously went into detail about that, but instead of looking for the resolution or refresh rate in the description, look for the cable bandwidth. A HDMI 2.0 cable will have a max bandwidth 18Gbps, and a HDMI 2.1 cable will have up to 48Gbps.

If you want to throw down on a good HDMI 2.1 compatible TV, be prepared to spend as much, or more, than the Xbox Series X itself. The PC enthusiast in me generally says build your own rig at that point, but depending on what processor and graphics card you have, you won’t get 4K 60fps out of every game. 1080p on high graphics settings is where you’re guaranteed to get over 60fps in every game, regardless if you’re using a HDMI or DisplayPort cable. If you’re playing on a console with a 4K TV, you want the 4K resolution, not 1080p.

At the very least, the hardware in the Xbox Series X, particularly the console’s custom NVME SSD, will make loading times much faster for those older games. Xbox is also making its Quick Resume feature work with its older, backwards compatible titles, too. The company hasn’t said what older games will be available at launch yet, and I’m sure that will be another huge reason for some people to decide if they want to pick up an Xbox Series X at launch. I’ve bought a console just to play a specific game before, and if Fable II is on the list of backwards compatible games that gets a makeover, that could be enough to tempt me — but not if I have to go out and buy a new TV.

MIKA: I'll wait for PS5

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Of Course John Cho Gets to Be ‘Super Cool’ in Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop' Live-Action Remake On Netflix Will Be “Strange ...

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop adaptation has seen its share of delays, and not just because of the novel coronavirus. Last October, star John Cho suffered a knee injury that set the production back at least seven months. But according to the adaptation’s co-writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, replacing Cho was absolutely out of the question. Because John Cho is Spike Spiegel.

“You’ve seen him in comedies. You’ve seen him in dramas. The guy can do anything,” Grillo-Marxuach told Gizmodo. “To see John Cho bring his wonderful mastery of acting to this character, and then also to see the level of physical preparation that he’s done for this, is stunning.”

Speaking with Gizmodo via a video call, Grillo-Marxuach shared his thoughts on Cho as Spike, the suave bounty hunter with the disheveled suit, wild hair, and a perfect retort for every situation. The writer and Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance executive producer said that when Cho was in talks to accept the role, he was “jumping up and down with joy” because he knew this was the role the Star Trek and Searching actor was born to play.

“[Co-writer] Chris Yost and I wrote this on a notecard and tacked it up to our whiteboard in the room. His motto for Spike Spiegel was always: Spike Spiegel is super fucking cool,” Grillo-Marxuach said. “Is he tortured? Yes. Does he have a lot of tragedy in his backstory? Yes. Is he somebody who’s not the most sort of effusive with his emotions kind of guy? Yes, you know this. But he’s super fucking cool. So, I think more than anything else, Spiegel’s super fucking cool. John brings that to it in spades.”

Grillo-Marxuach first met Cho all the way back in 1998 when he appeared as a ghost in the season one Charmed episode “Dead Man Dating,” which he’d written. He said he was immediately blown away by Cho’s talent and dedication, and knew he was an actor to keep an eye on. However, except for his turn as Sulu in the Star Trek films, Cho hasn’t really been involved in big budget action projects — and he’s certainly never been a leading man in one. It’s what prompted the viral 2016 hashtag campaign #StarringJohnCho, which imagined the Asian-American actor as the leading man in key blockbusters.

It’s a fact that isn’t lost on Grillo-Marxuach, who has wanted to see Cho starring in a project like this for years. “I think that everybody who participated in that meme of putting John Cho’s face on James Bond, or the character from Fast and the Furious and all that, and asking: ‘Why isn’t this guy doing this?’ Finally, we’ve brought this to you,” he said. “It’s kind of great to be part of a show where you’re finally going to give the audience something that — not just a Cowboy Bebop audience, but a segment of the audience that hasn’t been represented this way — not just this guy, but this character.”

Right now, there’s no word on when production on Cowboy Bebop will resume. Cho is still recovering from his injury, and there’s that whole pandemic to consider. In the meantime, Grillo-Marxuach confirmed that work has started on season two, while everyone waits to find out when they can go back to set. We’ll have more from our interview with Grillo-Marxuach soon, including his thoughts on how they’re keeping Cowboy Bebop weird, especially when it comes to the clothes and hair. Luckily, that’s another thing Cho’s got covered.

“You know, John Cho is not exactly an unattractive dude, but he’s never looked better,” he said. “We have maximum, maximum John Cho here.”

The first season of Cowboy Bebop is expected to come out sometime in 2021.

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Ancient Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss Dwarfs Modern Melting, Study Finds

Ancient Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss Dwarfs Modern Melting, Study Finds

More than a year ago, researcher Julian Dowdeswell boarded a research vessel at the edge of the Fimbul ice shelf to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula. He and six other scientists with the University of Cambridge were setting off as part of an expedition to study the ancient patterns of ice sheet retreat along the peninsula, what is one of today’s most vulnerable ice shelves.

The team analysed the data gathered on that trip and has published a study in Science on Thursday. They have found that ice sheet retreat rates 10,000 years ago make today’s rate of retreat look like baby steps. This period saw ice shelves retreat more than 10 kilometers (10 km) each year along the Larsen C shelf. That’s three to five times greater than the rates we’ve seen via satellite data over the last 25 years. These findings can improve how scientists’ model the future of ice and what it means for sea level rise.

“We can show that sometime in the relatively recent past, retreat rates in excess of 10 kilometers per year are possible
,” Dowdeswell, the paper’s author and director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, told Earther. “That has implications for the future.”

To reach these conclusions, the team spent six weeks from January to February in the Antarctic. The researchers used a remotely operated underwater vehicle to assess a nearly 10-square-kilometre (4 square-mile) area of sediment deposits. Dowdeswell said the deposits remain in “almost pristine condition” because humans have had little influence on the seafloor there.

“That’s why it’s such a remarkable record of a place that today is almost impossible to get to,” he said.

In the past, ships decked out with echo sounders would map the seafloor using sonar technology. However, given the distance from the actual seafloor, these maps were of a lower resolution. The underwater vehicle is able to get a lot closer and provide higher resolution mapping, including under the ice shelf. That allowed the scientists to capture the detailed sediment patterns that tell an ancient history of ice retreat.

“We are now able to map the seafloor at a sub-metre scale,” Alastair Graham, an associate professor of geological oceanography at the University of South Florida who was not involved in this study, told Earther in an email. “It’s really like looking at something under the microscope for the first time.”


What’s going on under ice shelves — floating extensions of inland ice sheets that feed them — is of utmost importance. When warm water cuts under them, it thins the ice shelf by melting it from below. As the ice thins, it can lift off the seafloor and begin to bob with the tide. That up and down motion can form ridges on the seafloor close to where ice meets the seafloor, an area known as the grounding line. The team identified up to 90 ridges to paint an incredible story of ice melt over the past 10,000 years.

“The grounding zone of ice sheets and the processes that occur there are ‘holy grails’ for glaciologists and glacial geologists because they are so hard to access and image,” Graham said. “The methodology is robust.”

The space between the ridges helps scientists determine how old they are. Using the ridges as a proxy for ice shelf retreat, the study estimates that ice could have pulled back up to 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet) per day. That has profound implications for what the future could hold. Warm water is currently wreaking havoc both along the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctic. The risk of rapid ice shelf collapse could raise sea levels 3.05 m or more, and researchers are trying to understand just how fast the retreat could be.

The main limitation of this analysis is determining the age of these ridge formations. It’s hard to know when exactly they happened or over how long a period of time. In the Antarctic, carbon dating is tough. Most of the organic material that informs this method doesn’t survive in Antarctic waters. The team did, however, take sediment cores with the hopes of dating the material.

“The only weak point is the determination of the retreat rate,” Frank-Oliver Nitsche, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, wrote in an email to Earther. “It is really difficult to determine the exact age and timing of the ridge formation.”

Despite this limitation, the paper can help scientists better understand — and prepare for — the melting to come. What happens to Antarctica’s ice has everything to do with what comes next for the coasts. The more ice the falls into the ocean, the higher seas will rise. The more they rise, the higher the stakes for coastal communities that will face increased flooding and disaster as a result. Now, we can set more realistic expectations of what’s possible in Antarctica. These findings should serve as a warning: The current situation sucks, and it could get a lot worse.

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Chinese State Media Introduces Animated Character Aimed at Americans, Terry-cotta

Chinese state news outlet Xinhua has introduced a new social media character in an effort to counter criticism of China in English-language media during the coronavirus pandemic. The cartoon character is called Terry-cotta, who explains that using face masks during a pandemic is good, that China isn’t hoarding PPE, and that Americans are very thankful for China’s donations of medical supplies.

The new character appears in an animated video that’s made to look like a Periscope livestream, complete with comments by viewers and little hearts fluttering to denote approval of the message being conveyed. The name Terry-cotta is a play on the Chinese terracotta warrior sculptures that date from the third century BCE.

“I don’t like masks either, but you know, with the virus out there, we better be cautious,” Terry-cotta says in a new YouTube video responding to an imaginary comment about masks being “stupid.”

Another segment of the new video shows Terry-cotta addressing complaints that masks which have been shipped out of China in recent months were defective, a huge scandal in Spain, which has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with over 236,000 covid-19 infections and more than 27,000 deaths.

“Hola from Spain,” the imaginary Periscope comment reads. “Some of our hospitals complain your exported masks of poor quality. They could not protect medicos.”

Terry-cotta sets the record straight, from the Chinese government’s perspective, insisting that the masks were never intended to be N95 quality. Instead, Terry-cotta insists, those masks were lower quality for everyday use on the street and shouldn’t have been ordered by a hospital.

“Actually, what masks this company exported to Spain were masks for daily protection,” Terry-cotta says. “They are not up to the protective level of surgical masks, not to mention N95. Cases like this also happened in the Netherlands. Doctors and nurses, please ask your admin guys to get you the right kind of masks.”

In reality, it’s not just the Netherlands and Spain which have complained of faulty masks from China. Finland, India, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Canada have also imported faulty masks from Chinese distributors. Many of the faulty masks were supposedly N95 quality, according to Canadian news outlets, and China’s medical device regulators have reportedly cracked down on exports of faulty PPE.

Terry-cotta also addresses questions about the “hoarding” of PPE, which the cartoon character denies by pointing out how much China is exporting at the moment. Terry-cotta also urges people who say tests kits made in China are faulty to “please follow instructions,” suggesting that medical professionals in other countries don’t know what they’re doing.

A fictional Periscope commenter called “GunGene” writes, “don’t buy anything from Terry. There are viruses on his stuff.” The comment echoes xenophobic and racist sentiments in many western countries against people of Asian descent. The name GunGene is clearly a nod to lax U.S. policies on firearms.

“You can say whatever you like,” Terry-cotta responds to GunGene, chuckling. “You’re welcome to stay away from our masks. Like going out into a crowd, and stay away from our ventilators if you’re hospitalized.”

The video ends with an imaginary commenter from Oregon thanking China for a donation of medical supplies. The comment is based on the actual donation of 50,000 masks from Fujian Province to the state of Oregon last month.

“Terry, I’m here to thank you for your donation of masks,” says Andrew in a Periscope-like comment. “I am from Oregon State Emergency Management Office. We received a batch of masks donated by Fujian Province and gave them to people fighting against COVID19 across the state.”

“Well, thank you, Andrew. Good to know that our donations helped,” Terry-cotta says. “Please, do take care there, buddy.”

The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, tweeted about the donation on April 28, thanking “Oregon’s sister state in China,” insisting that the state would “pay it forward” in the future.

Notably, YouTube is banned in China, so the audience for this video is the English-speaking world, with a clear emphasis on the United States. The animation is just one of many new videos released by Chinese state media over the past few months that seeks to change the narrative about China’s role in the pandemic. American politicians like President Donald Trump have insisted that China should be punished for the pandemic under the theory that it didn’t do enough to stop the outbreak which originated in Wuhan.

The effort by Chinese state media is clearly an attempt to sway American opinion and ironically takes a page out of the American playbook of exerting soft power through popular media channels. In the 20th century, the U.S. dominated the world as much through popular media like movies and TV as it did through physical force and guns — though there was plenty of the latter, to be sure.

Now it appears to be China’s turn to exert that same soft power in the 21st century, using new tools like YouTube, Facebook, and Periscope to get its message out during the New Cold War, even if those same platforms are banned in China. Terry-cotta may or may not take off as a popular media figure, but the idea behind Terry-cotta is going to be with us for a long time.

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Trailer For Sci-Fi Film Volition Debuts, Available To Watch July 10th

Volition is a new sci-fi thriller from Giant Pictures that will hit streaming services, including Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video, on July 10th. The film stars Adrian Glynn McMorran, Magda Apanowicz, John Cassini, Frank Cassini, Aleks Paunovic, and Bill Marchant. It is directed by Tony Dean Smith, who also wrote the film with Ryan W. Smith. It involves precogs and what role having that power would have in your life, starting all the way back in childhood. It looks intriguing, and should probably be on your radar when it is released.

Volition Synopsis and Poster

"When you know your world is predetermined, it's hard to care about your choices. This is true for James Odin. On a rain-soaked night in 1991, two cars collide, leaving all drivers dead on the scene, including the mother of the lone survivor — a child — James Odin. It's a tragedy. But what's more tragic is that seven-year-old James foresaw the accident happening two months prior. He tried to prevent it, but who's going to believe a kid who claims to see the future?"

Trailer For Sci-Fi Film Volition Debuts, Available To Watch July 10th

"Twenty-plus years later, James is a product of the failed foster care system. Knowing that the events of his future are predestined, he's getting by, using his ability for petty crime and cheap thrills. But when a pre-sentient vision reveals to him his own imminent murder, James must go on the run. Together with a new friend, Angela, he must change the fate he knows is fixed. VOLITION is directed by Tony Dean Smith, written and produced by Tony Dean Smith & Ryan W. Smith, and executive produced by Paly Productions Inc. in association with Smith Brothers Film Company."

Again, this looks like it could be a solid little watch. Genre stuff like this can be a little hit or miss, but Volition may buck that trend. Seek it out on July 10th.

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Square Enix Shows Off A New Outriders Gameplay Video

This morning, Square Enix treated players to a brand new video for their upcoming game Outriders, showing off more gameplay. Along with developer People Can Fly, this first video shows off a demo for the first major city you explore on the new planet. As you may recall from our report back in February, you're part of a colony of people from Earth trying to find a new place to live. You come across a planet thinking it will be a paradise, but a strange property on the land changes everything, including your existence. Now you have to find a way to survive in a world you left behind ages ago in cryogenic sleep. Enjoy the video below as we wait for the game to be released sometime this holiday season.



Set in an all-new, dark sci-fi world, Outriders is a true genre hybrid that combines the depth and story of an RPG and the intensity of third-person shooter combat with awe-inspiring powers. Deep character progression and itemization allow for a wide variety of creative class builds, and evolve People Can Fly's trademark over-the-top, skill-based gameplay to create a brutal RPG-shooter experience.

"We are making the game we always wanted to play. The team at PCF are all gamers and we love shooters. Shooters are in our DNA and we have been making them for decades. At the same time, we also love RPG's," said Bartek Kmita, Creative Director of Outriders at People Can Fly. "We always wanted to play a deep RPG, with an epic story and the flexibility to create lots of interesting character builds, but we also wanted a skill-based, challenging and intense real-time combat system in our RPG. When the opportunity to create it ourselves came along, it was like a dream come true."



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4 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

Of Course John Cho Gets to Be ‘Super Cool’ in Cowboy Bebop


But who's playing Radical Ed? And more importantly, will Ein be in the show?!

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On 5/29/2020 at 1:48 PM, Fuzz said:

But who's playing Radical Ed? And more importantly, will Ein be in the show?!

You would assume Radical Ed would be in the movie. Such an integral person IMHO

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4 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

You would assume Radical Ed would be in the movie. Such an integral person IMHO

You never know. They may go for a movie based on the early episodes of the anime, before Ed joins the crew (hoping to get another movie or two, if it succeeds). In the anime, Ed doesn't join the crew of the Bebop until about a third of the way into the series. You can easily get a trilogy out of the material available.

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