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'Spiral: From the Book of Saw' Trailer: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson Track a Twisted Killer

After bouncing around the release calendar for the past year, a new Saw movie is finally upon us as Lionsgate has released a second trailer for Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which hits theaters on May 14.

Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson star in the horror movie, which hails from director Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed the second, third and fourth entries in the long-running franchise. Though Jigsaw scribes Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger wrote the script, Spiral is actually based on a story by Rock, who plays a cocky detective engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with a twisted killer. Max Minghella co-stars as Rock's rookie partner, while Jackson plays a veteran cop.

Spiral marks the ninth installment of this franchise, and it looks like Rock was eager to shake up the formula a bit while still staying true to its gruesome roots. I've been a fan of this franchise since Day One, when I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after seeing James Wan's original Saw at the Broadway Screening Room in New York. Or maybe it was the Magno Screening Room, I don't know. All I remember is the last-minute twist threw me for a loop, and when I exited the screening, the publicist had put a full-size 'Billy the Puppet' doll on a chair in the back row, as if I wasn't freaked out enough.

This trailer sheds a little more light as to how Spiral ties into the larger Saw mythology, but Lionsgate and Bousman are still keeping some secrets up their sleeve, and I expect there to be surprises aplenty when this film hits theaters. After all, the studio had every opportunity to release Spiral on PVOD over the past year, but it seems like executives are confident in what they have and wanted to get out in front of the summer blockbusters now that theaters are reopening and vaccinated people are returning to theaters.

Spiral arrives in theaters on May 14. 

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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

Retracing a Donner Party Path, Nearly Two Centuries Later

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The 21st-century team encountered snow and cold water—but they had much warmer gear than the folks whose footsteps they were following.

On the second day of their December 2020 voyage through the punishing Sierra mountain range, the four team members of the Forlorn Hope Expedition woke to find six inches of snow had piled on their tents, and more was falling. They made oatmeal on their camp stoves and hustled to get moving. The previous day, they had covered ground that a group of pioneers in the winter of 1846-47 had needed a week to accomplish—and they would ultimately traverse 100 miles in five days, versus the pioneers’ 33. Both parties departed on December 16, with 174 years between them. The difference? Parkas, plenty of daily calories, tents, state-of-the-art snowshoes—and, most importantly, a researched path.

“This is not a re-creation or reenactment,” says Bob Crowley, a member of the 2020 expedition. “It’s a reprise. Our main thrust is to honor those ordinary people looking for a better life in California, who suffered from bad luck and bad karma.”

The original Forlorn Hope members had set out from the larger Donner Party—a group of emigrants traveling from the Midwest to California by covered wagon across rugged terrain—in a desperate bid to get to shelter and food at Johnson’s Ranch in Wheatland, California. The ranch was then the largest outpost between Fort Bridger in what is now Wyoming and Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. Harrowing details abound of this band of 17—the youngest just 12 years old—who traveled with nothing but what they could carry. The sole person who knew the way out, Charles Stanton, succumbed to snow blindness and exhaustion. He sat to smoke his pipe and never rose again.

December is not a gentle month to journey through the Sierras.

December is not a gentle month to journey through the Sierras.

When going forward seemed impossible for the 19th-century group, thoughts of those left behind starving proved inspirational. “Mary Graves said she couldn’t go back to hear the cries of her little brothers and sisters,” says Kristin Johnson, a Donner Party historian and author. “She sort of reminded everybody of what they were doing this for.” For 36 hours, huddled under a dome of blankets, the emigrants sat through a blizzard. They drew lots to kill someone for food but couldn’t bear to follow through. After six hungry days, they turned to the bodies of four that had perished, weeping as they ate. Later, William Foster suggested murdering Luis and Salvador, two Native Americans from Sutter’s Fort pressed into service as rescuers, for food. Tipped off, the two escaped in the night but a week later, Foster tracked them by their bloody footprints and shot them, a well-documented but little talked-of chapter in the tragedy. Assisted by Nisenan Indians in the final stretch, only seven survivors arrived at Johnson’s Ranch.

Crowley and fellow 21st-century expeditioner Tim Twietmeyer sleuthed for seven years to determine the pioneers’ steps, combining a love of history and trail running (all four 2020 participants are ultra-distance athletes). “We assumed there was a map,” Crowley says, “but there didn’t appear to be anybody who knew where they went.”

The two created a spreadsheet for each day of the earlier trip, looking at historic accounts of the trail that sometimes contradicted each other or were unclear. As an ultrarunner, Crowley knows what it’s like to hallucinate from exhaustion and posited that the trekkers would have always chosen the path of least resistance: downhill, including a wrong turn that cost them days. Crowley believes his and Twietmeyer’s course is 85 percent accurate. “One can never be 100 percent because there was no forensic evidence. So 85 is a generally used percentage representing a well informed, research postulate,” he says.

The 2020 trekkers covered 100 miles in five days.

The 2020 trekkers covered 100 miles in five days.

One reason it’s hard to retrace the 19th-century route is that the 1800s journeyers traveled atop snow that then melted. But people have made efforts to reconstitute it, as well as that of the larger Donner Party. Starting in the 1920s, amateur historian Peter Weddell spent his vacations mapping and marking the Emigrant Trail with wooden signs, most of which are now gone. In the 1940s, trails enthusiast Wendell Robie nailed signs to trees while on horseback. “They’re so danged high nobody took them down,” says Crowley. Others have been erected by local groups.

However, not all signs are trustworthy. One purports to mark where Charles Stanton sat down for that last draw on his pipe. “The Donner Summit Historical Society doesn’t know who erected the sign, nor is there any indication as to the source,” says Crowley. “What we do know, based on numerous historical accounts, is that it’s miles from the correct location at Yuba Bottoms.” Nonetheless, the recent expedition paused there to read a poem Stanton wrote his deceased mother.

Johnson’s Ranch—the group’s final stop, which saw 100 wagons a day in 1849—is itself a transitory marker. The remote ranch sits on private land that is slated to become a housing development. Bill Holmes, project manager at the Wheatland Historical Society, Trails West, and Oregon-California Trails Association, hopes that at least its historic sites can be preserved. Those include the location of the adobe where the Forlorn Hope received first aid, the Bear River crossing, a hotel site, remains of Camp Far West—a military outpost created to protect Gold Rushers—and its cemetery and two miles of wagon train ruts. The ranch and hotel sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A monument at Donner Memorial State Park in California, unveiled in 1918.

A monument at Donner Memorial State Park in California, unveiled in 1918

Over the years, Holmes and interested buddies Bart Johnson and Joe Waggershauser have hired archaeologists, brought out cadaver dogs to detect human remains, and engaged a master’s student to design interpretive panels. A guerrilla historian, Holmes also cut up a redwood table to create signs that he installed at Johnson’s Ranch—without permission. “When we put up these signs, we’re kind of sending a signal: ‘We’ve got your signs up; where’s your road?’” he says. Holmes works with the National Park Service and the National Forest Service to ensure they know where the landmarks are, “but there’s lots of turnover,” he says. The ranch’s land manager, Francisco Paredes, has been an ally. When farm equipment was set to plow a field that held wagon ruts, Paredes alerted Holmes so the work could be stopped. Holmes designed a public access road, parking lot, and one-mile trail connecting the sites that could be established if the ranch owner agrees. “So far, he hasn’t said no,” says Holmes.

Like their predecessors, the modern expedition faced trouble. Landowners reneged on access, leaving them without a place to pitch their tents one night until they placed frantic phone calls. Falling snow soaked their clothes, “a little hint” of what the prior folks endured, says Crowley.

For Twietmeyer, the worst obstacle was something the emigrants did not face: whitethorn, “a miserable shrub with thorns.” This bush—which only grows after fire—caught their snowshoes and tripped them. “Every ten minutes, we’d hear [fellow expedition member Elke Reimer] yell, “Man down!’” he says. Bison and cows chased them, a circumstance the starving 1800s party would have welcomed.

The recent trekkers hauled tribute cards honoring their predecessors.

The recent trekkers hauled tribute cards honoring their predecessors.

Fording the American River, thigh-deep in icy water, made Reimer think of her historic counterparts in petticoats. “Are you going to strip down to nothing to have dry clothes on the other side, or deal with freezing clothes [that are] heavy and cold?” she wondered. She battled toe cramps and heel blisters, but notes that the contemporary group had it better than the first trekkers, whose footwear actually disintegrated. “We thought of them the whole way.”

The 2020 group carried tribute cards with an image and biography of each Forlorn Hope emigrant. At Johnson’s Ranch, they laid them on the ground at the adobe site, constituting a reunion of sorts for the people who went separate ways afterward and never returned. “We felt a presence with us and a responsibility to finish the mission,” Crowley says. Descendants of almost every survivor have contacted them, and Crowley hopes the expedition website can forge further connections.

The team took an approach to the Donners that is empathetic rather than ghoulish, and reprising the route provided partial insight into the horrors that the 19th-century travelers encountered. As 2020 expedition member Jennifer Walker Hemmen says, “Until you lie down in the snow in cotton and wool, there’s no way to understand.”

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17 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

Retracing a Donner Party Path, Nearly Two Centuries Later

 

“This is not a re-creation or reenactment,” says Bob Crowley, a member of the 2020 expedition.

It had better not be, otherwise somebody is gonna be eaten. :P

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Are there any gamers on the forum?

If so, does anyone remember the GTA series radio shows, classic talk and absolutely hilarious.

I remember listening to the below on the Sony PSP, I still sometimes listen to these shows.

 

 

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1 minute ago, MIKA27 said:

If so, does anyone remember the GTA series radio shows, classic talk and absolutely hilarious.

I mainly listened to the music channels. Came across a bit of the talk radio shows when flipping channels. Also some funnies in the commercials.

Edit: Played San Andreas and GTA V, that I remember. (Also played the original GTA, but that was an entirely different game).

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Just now, Bijan said:

I mainly listened to the music channels. Came across a bit of the talk radio shows when flipping channels. Also some funnies in the commercials.

Yes, their music channels were brilliant also!

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Antarctica Got Blasted By a Powerful ‘Airburst’ Event 430,000 Years Ago

Antarctica Got Blasted By a Powerful ‘Airburst’ Event 430,000 Years Ago

Asteroids that smash directly into Earth’s surface can cause extensive damage, but, as new evidence uncovered in east Antarctica suggests, asteroids that explode on entry can be equally devastating.

Super tiny black balls made from igneous rock are evidence of a calamitous event in the Sør Rondane Mountains of Antarctica some 430,000 years ago, according to research published today in Science Advances. An object measuring somewhere from 100 to 150 metres wide entered our planet’s atmosphere, but instead of crashing on the surface and forming a crater, the object exploded prior to reaching the ground.

Now, that might sound like a good thing, but as geochemist and planetary scientist Matthias van Ginneken pointed out in an email, this “airburst” event still managed to ravage the icy Antarctic surface.

When the object exploded, it produced a “cloud of superheated gas” that resulted from the “vaporisation of the asteroid during atmospheric entry,” explained van Ginneken, the lead author of the study and a research associate from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. This cloud, packed with tiny molten particles and scorching-hot vapour, travelled as a jet and at hypervelocity speeds, as “it did not have time to lose momentum upon reaching the Antarctic ice sheet,” he said. When this jet reached the surface, it was still moving at speeds approaching several miles per second.

No crater was formed from this event, but the contact area — the region that came into contact with the cloud of superheated gas — was blasted into a hellscape, as temperatures reached several thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

“It means that anything standing directly under its way would have been vaporised,” explained van Ginneken. “In addition to that, an enormous shockwave resulted from the explosion of the asteroid close to the ground,” he said, adding that, should a similar event occur over an inhabited area today, “it would be disastrous and extremely destructive over several hundreds of kilometres.”

Indeed, we tend to think of asteroids as posing threats only if they hit the surface, but this ancient event in Antarctica serves as a scary reminder of the catastrophic potential of airbursts. As van Ginneken pointed out, “airbursts are a hazard that should not be ignored, mainly because these are much more frequent than crater-forming impacts resulting from much larger asteroids.”

The smoke trail produced by the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013. (Image: Alex Alishevskikh, Fair Use)

The smoke trail produced by the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013.

We know of at least two airburst events in recent history, both of which were significantly weaker than the one newly documented in Antarctica. The famous Tunguska event of 1908 is the most notable example, in which an exploding asteroid flattened tens of millions of trees across 2,150 square kilometres of Siberia. In 2013, an asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, frightening the population and shattering windows across a wide area.

That said, scientists have struggled to identify other historical examples of these calamitous events owing to the lack of visible evidence, namely discernible impact craters. The challenge is to locate the remnants of airburst events in the geological record.

Impact particles recovered from the Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica. (Image: Scott Peterson)

Impact particles recovered from the Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica.

The search for this elusive evidence led van Ginneken, along with co-author Steven Goderis from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Alain Hubert from the Princess Elisabeth Antarctic station, to the Sør Rondane Mountains of Antarctica. The trio were members of the 2017-2018 Belgian Antarctic Meteorites expedition, which was funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and organised with the explicit purpose of hunting for micrometeorites. Most of this research took place when van Ginneken was working at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The team spent an entire day atop Walnumfjellet mountain, where they sampled glacial sediment from an ancient and glacially eroded surface. Back at the station, “it did not take time for us to find micrometeorites and very unusual looking particles that looked like several spherules fused together at very high temperature,” said van Ginneken, to which he added: “Knowing that these were not micrometeorites but still most likely extraterrestrial, the idea of them resulting from a large meteoritic event seemed a strong probability.”

In total, the scientists found 17 black spherical igneous particles. Using microscopes and laser techniques, they found that the particles measured between 100 and 300 micrometres wide and consisted of the minerals olivine and iron spinel, fused together by small bits of glass. But what made the scientists realise that these particles were alien was their chondritic bulk composition and high nickel content. Indeed, “chondrites are primitive meteorites and are the most common type of meteorites falling on Earth,” explained van Ginneken.

To date the particles, the team paired them with other impact particles previously found in the Antarctic EPICA Dome C and Dome Fuji ice cores, in which a large “meteoritic event was recorded as a thin layer of extraterrestrial dust,” said van Ginneken. These particles, all dating back to the same time period, appear to have formed from a single event some 430,000 years ago.

The new research is important in that it demonstrates a way of searching for meteoric airbursts in the geological record. But it also serves as a reminder of the threat posed by such events. Should something like this happen today over a large city, it would result in millions of casualties, according to van Ginneken.

All the reason to keep searching Earth for signs of previous airbursts, while scanning the skies for potential threats.

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'Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One' Sets Voice Cast, Including Jensen Ackles as Batman

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The classic Batman story fills some key voice roles.

Batman: The Long Halloween has found its Batman. Jensen Ackles of Supernatural fame will be starring as the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros. Animation’s adaptation of the beloved comic, per The Hollywood Reporter. This marks Ackles’ second trip to Gotham, after voicing Red Hood in 2010's Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Ackles is joined by Josh Duhamel (Transformers) as Harvey Dent and Billy Burke (Twilight) as James Gordon, who join forces to hunt down a murderer plaguing Gotham City’s underworld. Their investigation crosses paths with just about every heavy-hitter in Batman’s rogues gallery, from Carmine Falcone (voiced by Bosch’s Titus Welliver) to the Joker (voiced by Troy Baker).

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Other announced cast members include Alastair Duncan as Alfred, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent and Jack Quaid as Alberto, with additional voices by Frances Callier, Greg Chun, Gary Leroi Gray and Jim Pirri. The late Naya Rivera plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman. The Glee star reportedly completed her voice work prior to her death in July.

Even without the stacked voice cast, the project has a distinguished pedigree, based on the acclaimed 1996 comic series by Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale. Indeed, the comic has plenty of fans in Hollywood, having served as part of the inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and is rumored to have similarly influenced Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated The Batman, out next year. The film is directed by veteran animation director Chris Palmer, with a script by Tim Sheridan, who worked with Palmer on 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow. This will be a decidedly darker turn for the team, but with such strong source material, they can’t really go wrong.

The Long Halloween will be released in two parts, with the first expected to land later this year (which should give us something to do while we wait for Robert Pattinson’s turn in the cowl in The Batman).

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'Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City' Gets a New Release Date

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The 'Resident Evil' reboot is no longer a Spooky Season movie.

Another day, another shuffle. The latest major film to depart its original release date is Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, the upcoming reboot of the action-horror franchise based on the video game series, which moves from September 3 to November 24, 2021. It's not a huge change, but it does move the film firmly out of Spooky Season and into the beginning of winter, which is a bummer.

Resident Evil, Welcome to Raccoon City won't follow the course set by the six-film series starring Milla Jovovich and primarily directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Instead, director Johannes Roberts will tell the story of the zombie outbreak as it first happened inside the perimeters of Raccoon City. Fans of the games can expect plenty of familiar faces though, as the film brings in characters like Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia), Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and Ada Wong (Lily Gao).

When we spoke to Hopper recently, the actor promised an immersive trip into what fans love:

"I think fans of the game will be happy, but at the same time, I think they should recognize that we want to make these characters as real and as grounded as possible... I feel like the Wesker in the game obviously has that [Agent] Smith from The Matrix type idea. I wanted him to be a bit more three-dimensional than that, and have a moral high ground. It's not just as cut and dry as it is in the game. There's an origin element to Wesker in this, and what he maybe was before he turned into the one we see in a lot of the games. But I think from an aesthetic point of view, I think the games really influence this well. It is an aesthetic that, certainly when we were shooting it, that I was like, 'Man, it feels like the game.' I'm really hoping that fans of the game take something nice away from it, that it's the game plus more. Plus more of a depth to these characters."

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City now hits theaters on November 24.

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Lexus Previews Its Electrified Future With The Tech-Laden LF-Z Concept Car

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Although most automakers have been reluctant to embrace the onset of the electric car, Lexus was, by contrast, a pretty early adopter. In fact, upon its debut back in 2005, the RX 400h became one of the first-ever luxury vehicles to incorporate a hybrid drivetrain. That being said, it pales in comparison to the brand’s latest concept.

It’s called the ‘LF-Z Electrified,’ and it coincides with an ambitious initiative in which Lexus will add 20 electric models to its lineup by 2025. So, whether it’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric, it’ll likely sport styling similar to that on the vehicle before you. For instance, the characteristic spindle grille has been replaced by a solid plastic unit that hides a slew of sensors providing Level 3 driving autonomy. What’s more, it features a massive electrochromic roof capable of going from opaque to transparent at the push of a button. And when it comes to the interior, Lexus has had a sci-fi field day, imagining the LF-Z with advanced AI interfacing, digital key operation, and even a yoked wheel complete with steer-by-wire control. As far as performance goes, there’s little available information apart from a new DIRECT4 drivetrain, but you can learn more below.

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2022 RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY ULTIMATE SUV

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Land Rover is launching its most luxurious model yet with the Range Rover SVAutobiography Ultimate. Available in both short and long-wheelbase versions, each SUV is created by the SV Bespoke team at the Special Vehicle Operations Technical Centre in the UK. The range-topping long-wheelbase model focuses on rear-passenger amenities, with reclining rear seats and built-in massage features that take advantage of the 46 inches of legroom. A full-length center console has a Zenith timepiece, fold-out tables, and an integrated refrigeration unit. Both Ultimate editions get a new Orchard Green colorway, Narvik Black roof, and copper detailing, along with a 557 horsepower supercharged V8. $218,500.00

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MIKA: I could only dream :rolleyes:

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4 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

2022 RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY ULTIMATE SUV

range-rover-svautiobiography-ultimate-1-thumb-960xauto-129556.jpg

Land Rover is launching its most luxurious model yet with the Range Rover SVAutobiography Ultimate. Available in both short and long-wheelbase versions, each SUV is created by the SV Bespoke team at the Special Vehicle Operations Technical Centre in the UK. The range-topping long-wheelbase model focuses on rear-passenger amenities, with reclining rear seats and built-in massage features that take advantage of the 46 inches of legroom. A full-length center console has a Zenith timepiece, fold-out tables, and an integrated refrigeration unit. Both Ultimate editions get a new Orchard Green colorway, Narvik Black roof, and copper detailing, along with a 557 horsepower supercharged V8. $218,500.00

range-rover-svautiobiography-ultimate-2-thumb-960xauto-129555.jpg

range-rover-svautiobiography-ultimate-3-thumb-960xauto-129557.jpg

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MIKA: I could only dream :rolleyes:

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my uncle was massively into cars. collected old vintage ones - bought his first vintage roller for five pounds which he found half buried in a banana plantation in northern nsw. he was well connected as well.

he managed to get the second range rover ever to come to australia. i was a kid at the time but dad was taking us on a driving holiday for school holidays, which one did back then. so my uncle lent him the new range rover. every camping ground we went into, we were a huge hit. crowds would gather. dad was never game to lift the bonnet because he knew about as much about cars as i do. blot. 

our new found rockstar status would always fade the moment we pulled out our tents. every place the same - best car, worst tents. 

 

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Should've slept in the car...

Sent by spooky action at a distance

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  • 2 months later...

Humans Have Lived In The Shadow Of The Himalayas For More Than 5,000 Years

Humans Have Lived In The Shadow Of The Himalayas For More Than 5,000 Years

Few parts of the world would seem as inhospitable to humans as the highlands of the Tibetan Plateau, near the Himalayas. Archaeologists have long wondered when, where and how our ancestors began to explore and occupy these landscapes.

But evidence of early human presence on the plateau has been scarce — and dating the few remaining traces has proven an ongoing challenge.

Using a recently developed dating technique, our research team has now produced the first solid evidence for human presence on the central-southern Tibetan Plateau more than 5,000 years ago. Our findings are published today in Science Advance

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Lithic surface artefacts occur at the site of Su-re.

The challenge of dating surface artefact scatter

The dry highlands of Tibet are considered to be among the last areas on Earth to have been settled by humans. The high altitude of the region, in the shadow of Himalayan peaks more than eight kilometres high, makes for extreme conditions.

The question of where and when the peopling of this remote region occurred has been debated among archaeologists. Many studies have come from research conducted at open-air locations, with abundant evidence of stone tool use or manufacture, such as rock flakes found on the ground.

These sites are referred to as “lithic artefact scatters”. They are among the most commonly preserved archaeological sites in the world, and hold potential to reconstruct human settlement patterns and explore various aspects of past human behaviour.

Su-re site at Tibetan Plateau

Panoramic view towards the southwest from the Su-re archaeological site. Note the large boulders in foreground that bear signs of quarrying by early Tibetans.

Yet it has been extremely difficult to interpret the archaeological significance and ages of these sites unambiguously. Most artefacts are made from stone, which makes it difficult to determine when the tools were manufactured, or if they were moved after being discarded.

Artefacts on the surface are prone to erosion, and movement by wind and water, over hundreds or even thousands of years since humans first produced them. Consequently, they’re often found “out of context”, so a clear relationship can’t be drawn between them and their immediate surroundings.

Developing new techniques

To overcome this limitation, our team spent the past several years in the Innsbruck OSL (optically-stimulated luminescence) dating laboratory in Austria led by Michael Meyer at the University of Innsbruck, developing a new technique suitable for dating ancient stone tools.

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Stone tools found among Su-re lithic artefact scatter, some of which could be dated to more than 5,000 years in the past.

OSL dating has become one of the main dating methods in archaeology and the earth sciences. It’s based on the accumulation of energy in the crystal structure of sand grains.

When grains are shielded from daylight, such as when they’re buried, their crystal accumulates energy due to low-level radiation from surrounding rocks and sediment.

This can then be measured in the laboratory, through controlled exposure to blue and green light, which releases the energy as a “luminescence signal”. The longer the grains have been buried, the more luminescence we will measure from them.

In this 2017 video, our team leader Michael Meyer explains how OSL dating is carried out at the

Instead of looking at sand for our research, we used an approach called “rock surface burial dating”. It’s the first ever approach to focus on the signal stored beneath the surface of rock artefacts at a scatter site.

The luminescence signal built up within a rock is almost infinitely high, due to the extremely long time that has passed since the rock was formed by geological processes.

However, once a rock surface is exposed to daylight, such as when an artefact is first produced and used, the luminescence signal is erased at the surface and just beneath (but not at the centre). The erasure of the signal is strongest at the surface and tapers off towards the centre of the artefact.

When the artefact is thrown away and becomes shielded from daylight — either from beneath, or from being covered by sediment — the signal starts to build again.

This leads to varying levels of signal intensity found at different depths beneath the artefact’s surface. We can measure this signal distribution to determine the overall age and history of a stone artefact.

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Field work and sampling of surface artefacts at Su-re, southern Tibet.

5,000 years in the shadow of Mount Everest

The large potential of this new way of using OSL had been shown in previous archaeological and geological contexts, but hadn’t been rigorously tested on artefact scatter sites.

Accompanied by experienced high-altitude archaeologist Mark Aldenderfer from the University of California at Merced, and supported by mineralogist Peter Tropper from Innsbruck, we set out to test the suitability of this promising method at the lithic artefact scatter site of Su-re, in southern Tibet.

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View over the lithic surface scatter site into the Su-re valley, with large quartzite boulders that have been partly quarried (middle of image).

At an elevation of 4,450 metres, in a large valley descending from the highest peaks in the world – Mount Everest and Cho’Oyu — Su-re had been known for decades for its dense accumulation of diverse surface artefacts. This suggested a long history of site use by humans. But how long?

Using our dating approach, we dated the oldest artefacts found at the Su-re site as being between 5,200 and 5,500 years old. These tools were likely related to quarrying activities at the site.

While some older sites have been discovered in central and southeastern Tibet, our dataset has made Su-re the oldest securely dated site in the central-southern Tibetan Plateau near the high Himalaya.

This finding is particularly exciting considering the proximity of Su-re to the “Nangpa La” mountain pass. This pass has historically connected local Tibetans in the highlands with Nepali Sherpas in the Himalayan valleys and lowlands.

Our new approach to analysing surface artefacts can be considered the beginning of a road to new archaeological perspectives. In the future it could help uncover the secrets of lithic artefact sites around the world.

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Former NASA Engineer Builds Mission Impossible-Style Obstacle Course to Protect His Nuts From Thieving Squirrels

One of the most popular YouTube videos of 2020 was from former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Mark Rober who attempted to build a squirrel-proof obstacle course. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t, so a year later he’s trying again, and this time taking inspiration from movies like Mission Impossible and Ocean’s Eleven with laser rooms, trap doors, and rooftop mazes.

Last year’s experiment was inspired by Rober’s efforts to pursue bird watching as a way to endure long hours spent at home during the pandemic lockdowns, but he soon discovered that no matter how complicated a bird feeder he installed, the local squirrel population had no problem circumventing their supposed “squirrel-proof” countermeasures. And with a history of tackling problems like porch pirates using extreme engineering, Rober figured his background in designing components for Mars rovers would be more than enough to design obstacles that would prevent squirrels from stealing his nuts.

Rober’s previous squirrel obstacle course took inspiration from TV shows like American Ninja Warrior, but this time he turned to some of the most famous capers Hollywood has ever brought to the big screen. Not only would squirrels have to navigate a long course and restart from the beginning every time they failed, but they’d also have to face obstacles like rooms filled with simulated laser tripwires, a helicopter that travels down a zip line, a rooftop maze designed to emulate a building’s ventilation system, and even a room with a high-ceiling that can only be escaped using a ladder that lowers when entering a one-button password on a tiny computer. The finale is a wooden safe known as “Fort Knuts” filled with walnuts protected with a spinning locking mechanism.

It took Rober and an accomplice about two months to design and build the course which appears to take up most of his backyard, but it took a team of four squirrels, including internet favourite ‘Phat Gus’, much less than that to circumvent every challenge and safeguard he’d put in place. The moral of the story? When battling squirrels, the only way to win is to put up a few cameras and share a YouTube video that racks up over 72.5 million views.

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Hugh Jackman Follows His Heart in the First Trailer for Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence

A neo-noir mystery, a love story, and tech-assisted journeys through the darkest parts of the mind all factor into Reminiscence. Written and directed by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy, the sci-fi drama stars Hugh Jackman as a man who specialises in recovering memories — until he falls for an alluring client (Rebecca Ferguson) who suddenly vanishes. Take a look at the first trailer and find out what else Gizmodo learned about the film recently.

Reminiscence is set in a near-future version of Miami, where flooded streets show the very real effects of climate change — and a recent war has deepened the chasm between rich and poor, not to mention bolstering the power of the underworld. Jackman plays a “private investigator of the mind” named Nick Bannister, who runs a company with Watts (Westworld’s Thandiwe Newton) that allows people to access their near-forgotten memories. In true noir fashion, Nick’s seedy world turns upside down when he meets Mae (Ferguson), a femme fatale who starts off as a client, becomes his lover, and then suddenly vanishes.

“[The technology allows] people not just to revisit memories, but to relive them — as in to feel them, to see them, to touch them, to hear them. It’s a technology that was developed in our world during the war, which [Nick] had to use for interrogations. So my character is a fairly broken man at the beginning, fairly tough exterior; his experience during the war as an interrogator but also on the front lines has left him really quite broken and really sort of disengaged and distrusting of the world,” Jackman explained at a recent Reminiscence press event Gizmodo attended virtually. “He has this company which is fading at best, and into that world comes the incredible Mae, and that changes everything. He’s just immediately intrigued and drawn in and mesmerised, and increasingly becomes obsessed with her — and needs to discover what has happened because he knows in his heart that something bad has happened to her.”

Joy, who’s making her feature directorial debut with Reminiscence, describes the project as “a labour of love,” and said that Jackman was her first and only choice to play Nick. “I just knew when I was writing it, I knew it was him, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else. And then I was incredibly lucky because once Hugh said he was in, I knew I had to find my Mae. All I needed was somebody who could do tragedy, who could seduce but also be vulnerable, be witty, and sing. So five different characters in one — it was like casting five different people. Through process of elimination, there was only one choice for someone who could do all that … I knew that [Rebecca] understood so much the themes I was trying to explore about being a woman, and the way that the gaze of others can define us and the ways in which we try to define ourselves, that search for our own voice and our own humanity.”

Though Reminiscence clearly takes place in a futuristic, dystopian version of our world, Joy was careful not to be too specific with her setting. “In the film, I don’t actually say what year in the future it is. That was really intentional for me because the future is catching up to us so quickly … and I didn’t want it to feel like sci-fi set indefinitely far away. I wanted this film at its heart to be really relatable and really present … because the future isn’t this distant thing, it’s here, and the things that we do right now form our world so quickly. There were these aspects of the film … that I’m sure people will think at this point, ‘Oh, was this a reaction to this or that?’

[But] those all just came because that’s the world we live in. I think sometimes that science fiction has these connotations of futurism and the distant world, but for me what science fiction is, is metaphor. It’s metaphor on a grand scale for the things that we are experiencing in this world, for the tremors that we feel underneath our feet that we know are going to become quakes at any moment. It’s a way of examining the world around us.”

Reminiscence, which also stars Daniel Wu and Cliff Curtis, arrives in Australian theatres on August 19.

 

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Hell Yes, We’re Going to Venus

Hell Yes, We’re Going to Venus

NASA announced Wednesday that two missions will visit Venus by the end of this decade, the first direct exploration of the hot planet since 1994. One spacecraft is set to orbit Venus, mapping it and studying it from above, while the other will attempt to land on the surface, sampling the planet’s atmosphere as it descends to understand its chemical composition. The missions are the latest to come out of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is essentially an in-house incubator for planetary science missions.

“These two sister missions both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson in a press conference today. “They will offer the entire science community the chance to investigate a planet we haven’t been to in more than 30 years.”

DAVINCI+ is short for the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus, and VERITAS, besides being Latin for “truth,” is short for the Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy. DAVINCI+ will probe the planet’s atmosphere to understand its chemistry, while the primary goal of VERITAS will be to learn how Venus evolved into such a hellscape, with surface temperatures of nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit and an atmosphere so heavy it would crush you. While today’s press conference didn’t mention any hunt for alien organisms, NASA has previously broached the tantalising possibility of microbial life floating around in Venus’ atmosphere, and a controversial finding last year suggested a gas associated with life might be present there. As reported by The New York Times, the study prompted then-administrator Jim Brindenstine to say “it’s time to prioritise Venus.” And now, NASA has.

These missions beat out two other proposals: Trident and the Io Volcanic Observer, which proposed to make a flyby of Neptune’s largest moon and conduct 10 flybys of Jupiter’s moon Io, respectively, as previously reported by Gizmodo. DAVINCI+ and VERITAS will be added to the future Discovery Program docket, which currently includes the Lucy and Psyche missions to explore Trojan asteroids near Jupiter and a metal-rich asteroid that orbits past Mars. A NASA press release published alongside the agency’s televised announcement today slated the two probes to launch sometime between 2028 and 2030. The two currently active Discovery Program missions are the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the InSight lander on Mars.

An image of Venus taken by Mariner 10 in 1974 (left) and a recently enhanced version of the same image (right). (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An image of Venus taken by Mariner 10 in 1974 (left) and a recently enhanced version of the same image (right).

“These two sister missions both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface,” said Nelson. “They will offer the entire science community the chance to investigate a planet we haven’t been to in more than 30 years.”

Previously, the Soviet Venera missions observed and landed on Venus between 1961 and 1983, and NASA’s Pioneer probes made the trek in 1978. One probe survived atmospheric entry and sent data back to Earth for over an hour before expiring. NASA’s most recent foray around Venus was the Magellan mission launched in 1989, which plunged into the Venusian atmosphere in a final blaze of glory in 1994.

Our solar system offers no shortage of intriguing places to explore, but NASA’s decision to invest in Venus — a muggy, blazing world that could be seen as the inverse of Mars’ frigid, dry wasteland — signifies its commitment to better understanding how Earth became an oasis for life, while its nearest planetary partners (as far as we know) did not.

“We will continue to push the boundaries of space exploration through science missions,” Nelson said. “We will do all of this and more, because that’s what NASA does, and no one does it better.”

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The Final Conjuring 3 Trailer Manages to Make Even a Classic Blondie Jam Sound Scary as Hell

If you’re a horror fan, chances are you’ve already got your Friday night plans set: the third Conjuring movie, tantalizingly subtitled The Devil Made Me Do It, will be arriving in theatres and streaming on HBO Max. Fittingly, Warner Bros. has released one final trailer to hint at the frights to come.

This trailer admittedly doesn’t deviate too much from what we’ve already seen from the movie — once again, it explains that it’s inspired by a real-life case from the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), and that this Conjuring will investigate a court case in which an accused murderer claimed “not guilty because I was possessed.” But there’s a fun little bit at the end that turns Blondie’s peppy “Call Me” — released in 1980, which means it’s the perfect pick for this 1981-set film — into a funereal dirge.

Directed by Michael Chaves from a script by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (who wrote the story with producer James Wan), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It also stars Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard, and you probably wager a sizable bet that our old pal Annabelle will pop up at least once.

The movie opens in Australian theatres on June 3.

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Watch Robbers Attempt To Rob A Guy Pumping Gas And I Bet You Know How Well That Went

I feel like this is the sort of thing any semi-competent robbing team/club/troupe should have been able to see coming. If you’re going to pull up in a van to try and roll some dude pumping gas, you really should realise that your mark will be holding a weapon capable of spraying a noxious, dangerous, highly flammable liquid all over you. This realisation did not occur to some Chilean robbers, who learned it the hard way.

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Netflix’s Icelandic Sci-Fi Movie Katla Looks Absolutely Baffling in the Best Way

Iceland’s giant volcano Katla is overdue for a very, very large eruption. It’s kind of terrifying, but Netflix’s first-ever Icelandic movie, which is also titled Katla, manages to make the volcano look much more dangerous and infinitely creepier, as this first trailer shows.

Honestly, there’s so much going on in this trailer, none of it explained in the slightest, that Katla — both the movie and the volcano itself — is a profound enigma.

The official synopsis offers absolutely no help whatsoever: “You never really know what happens when a volcano erupts. The population of the Icelandic town Vik must face this a year after the eruption of the volcano Katla. Suddenly they are experiencing mysterious incidents that disturb the town piece [sic].”

I’m pretty sure scientists very much know what happens when a volcano erupts at this point, but they probably haven’t had to deal with volcanoes that abduct people only to return them a year later, produce doppelgangers, make cars flip over, and maybe spew out a monster or two? It’s utterly confusing, but damned if it hasn’t made me extremely interested in watching Katla when it comes to Netflix on June 17.

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42 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

Image

 

Some people will go to extreme lengths to sleep on the job...

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Just now, Fuzz said:

Some people will go to extreme lengths to sleep on the job...

Shhhh.... He is in hiding ;) 

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'John Wick 4' Adds Donnie Yen to Cast

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Donnie Yen has been cast in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4, per an exclusive report from Deadline. The sequel to 2019's John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum will see Yen portraying an old friend to Keanu Reeves' titular assassin John Wick, who, according to Deadline, "shares his same history and many of the same enemies."

John Wick 4 will be helmed by director Chad Stahelski, who served as a co-director on the first John Wick film alongside David Leitch before taking on solo directing duties for the following two sequels. The film's screenplay is written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Stahelski are producing with Reeves and Louise Rosner serving as executive producers. The project will reportedly begin production this summer on location in France, Germany, and Japan, with Berlin and Paris apparently featuring in the film's story, although it will not be filming back-to-back with the planned John Wick: Chapter 5.

"We are very lucky to have Donnie Yen join the franchise," said Stahelski in a statement provided to Deadline. "I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role."

"Donnie Yen will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise," added Iwanyk. "We were determined to bring him on board to John Wick 4 and are thrilled for the opportunity to have such a major talent to collaborate with Keanu."

Yen joins the previously-cast Japanese-British singer-songwriter and model Rina Sawayama, who will be making her feature film debut in the John Wick sequel. No other casting has yet been announced.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently scheduled for a May 27, 2022 release, and no release date has yet been announced for John Wick: Chapter 5.

MIKA: Donnie F**king Yen!! :buddies:

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Tattoo

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Written by Legendary tattoo artist and historian Henk Schiffmacher, this new book by book publisher Taschen, takes us on a personal journey through the history of tattooing from the 1730s to the 1970s. Tattoo is an oversized book packed with stunning tattoo artifacts and designs, delivered in an easy-to-read and awe-inspiring format over the course of five different chapters. Showcasing over two hundred years of worldwide tattoo history, the huge book is limited to 10,000 individually numbered copies, and spans almost 450 pages with 700+ images.

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FILSON ROLL TOP DRY TOTE

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The simple design of Filson's roll-top tote belies its effectiveness. It's made from TPU-coated 840D nylon that's both durable and lightweight, and when rolled three times and cinched with the side buckles, offers waterproof protection for the load inside. RF-welded seams provide long-term durability, and are joined in the build by 2"-wide webbing handles with neoprene grips, Molle webbing and D-rings for attaching gear that doesn't need the waterproof protection of the interior, and an adjustable, removable padded shoulder strap for hands-free carry. $185 USD

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