Legos New Boost Coding Kits Let You Build and Control R2D2

first_img The New Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer Is Nearly Four Feet LongLego Makes Building Sets Accessible to the Blind Ever wished you owned your very own R2 series astromech droid? Lego wants to make your dream a reality… and teach you a little coding along the way!For this year’s May the Fourth festivities, Lego announced a brand new addition to their already expansive Star Wars collection. It’s a three-pack of buildable droids that features R2-D2. Also included are a mouse droid and a gonk droid.These droids aren’t just meant to be built and posed, though. They’re a part of Lego’s Boost series.A Lego Boost set doesn’t just guide you through construction process. It’s designed to give Lego fans a fun, uncomplicated way to explore the worlds of coding and robotics. When they introduced Boost in 2017, they pitched it as a less complicated take on Mindstorms.This is Lego’s first licensed Boost set, and the Star Wars universe is a perfect fit.Once you’ve finished building your droid you can fire up the mobile app and take it for a spin. The programming interface is a bit like Scratch. You piece together routines by dragging and dropping different steps into a sequence. Lego keeps it simple by structuring Boost code like sentences — you build them from left to right.Other Boost set come with activities that you can walk through to get comfortable with the coding process. This one’s Star Wars themed, however… so Lego opted to call them “missions” this time around.The original Boost Creative box was already an amazing little kit and a great way to get kids interested in STEM activities. By adding Star Wars to the mix, Lego has upped the cool factor considerably.You definitely don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Lego Boost, either. Especially not this one, Star Wars fans. These really are the droids you’re looking for!The 1177-piece Lego Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set will hit stores on September 1st with a retail price of $199.99.More on Geek.com:Lego Made Bricks to Help Kids and Adults Learn BrailleCool Gifts for Every Star Wars JunkieLego Unveils Massive New Star Wars Tantive IV Set Stay on targetlast_img read more

Vintage Shelf Revisiting Tim Burtons Batman

first_img You’re on a geeky pop culture site so you’re already familiar with Batman and you’re almost definitely familiar with his blockbuster debut (save for the serials and the Adam West movie), starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. It’d be a waste of my time and yours to rehash the plot of the movie (Batman does Batman stuff, fights Joker, there’s Prince music, etc.) and writers way smarter than me have already talked about what Burton brought to the directorial role and the effect it had on Batman’s trajectory as a cultural force in the coming decades. So what is there to talk about?I’ve been thinking about archetypes lately, specifically in relation to Batman and Superman (the back-to-back releases of Shazam and Brightburn, both of which play on the Superman archetype to some extent, are largely what’s prompted this). Superman hit the big 8-0 last year and his cranky best pal is joining the club in 2019. Eighty years is a long, long time for a couple of buff dudes in tights to stick around in the public mind. But it’s 80 years later and they’re more prominent than ever. Need proof? Just look at how Twitter reacted the day that it leaked that it was relatively likely that Robert Pattinson would be playing Batman in the next live-action movie.(Photo Credit: Warner Bros.)Revisiting Burton’s Batman provides a unique perspective on the character’s longevity and the reason we still care about him all these years later. The reason it does so might surprise you, though. See, Burton’s Batman isn’t eternal in the slightest. More than any MCU movie, more than Superman: The Movie, and maybe even more than The Dark Knight, Batman feels like a product of its time. This doesn’t apply solely to performance or production design or the film’s photography so much as it does the way it interprets the mythos of Batman.Think about the typical interpretation of Batman today, the one present in everything from writer Scott Snyder’s lengthy comic run with the character to Ben Affleck’s portrayal of him in BvS. He’s mostly seen as an uber-prepared physical specimen who has already thought out and prepared for every single series of events possible; a cold, calculating crime-busting machine. I’m not sure when this became the consensus take on the character but I know that it’s largely a reaction to the character’s appearances in The Dark Knight and back to back runs by writers Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder that furthered this interpretation.That’s why it’s so weird to revisit Batman ‘89 — the character was in such a different place in the public consciousness then and Burton and Keaton’s take on the character reflects this much. In Keaton’s Bruce Wayne we see a far more human man behind the mask. In his Batman we see the human behind the iconography — and this is a movie very heavy on iconography, so that’s saying something. Burton and Keaton craft a far more human, restrained Batman than we’ve seen in a while — likely because Batman wasn’t the might-as-well-be-superhuman character he so often is today back then.Full disclosure though, I wasn’t alive in ‘89 so I can’t speak to specifics. I’m sure plenty of y’all weren’t either. But that’s part of what’s so fun about watching this movie today — it’s so easy to glean from it how fans saw the character at the time. While I’ve read enough Batman comics of the era to know that the character wasn’t exactly the Gothic icon Burton makes him into in the movie, there are elements of the design and interpretation of the character that feel ripped from the pages of those comics — most notably the film’s interest in Bruce Wayne over Batman. When Keaton suits up he’s awesome as the legendary Caped Crusader but it’s out of costume that he really shines. It feels like a great deal of Batman discourse over the last decade or so has focused on the idea that Bruce Wayne doesn’t really exist — that the identity of Batman is all that exists anymore and Bruce Wayne is simply a mask he wears in public.Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in ‘Batman.’ (Photo Credit: Warner Bros.)Aside from how boring and defeatist a take this has become (the idea of the clash between a superhero identity and a secret identity is half the fun of the genre!) it doesn’t allow writers or actors to explore how interesting a character Bruce Wayne is. That Keaton is given the space to make Bruce feel like a character in his own right — and an interesting one at that as Keaton is on the record as saying is take is that Bruce is a traumatized weirdo — feels revelatory today.Here’s the thing, though: I can’t say that I hope Matt Reeves or future directors take inspiration from Burton’s Batman. The character has evolved and shifted in the public consciousness since then and any interpretation of him in the future should reflect that. Batman is an archetype but an ever-changing one, a character that you can’t really break through experimentation. He’s inherently malleable and that’s why he has the longevity he does. Robert Pattinson’s rumored casting in the role seems like a bit of a curveball considering the last few men who have donned the cape and cowl but that’s probably a good thing — it means we might be in for something new, something modern. We might be getting the next Michael Keaton as Batman, which isn’t to say that the performance will resemble Keaton’s, but rather that 30 years from now it will feel distinctly of its time — in the best way.More on Geek.com:Vintage Shelf: ‘The Hunger’Vintage Shelf: ‘In the Mouth of Madness’Vintage Shelf: ‘Cobra’ Stay on target Christian Bale Shares Cheeky Batsuit Advice for Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson Describes Trying on the Batsuit for First Time last_img read more

Get 70 Off This Purifying Portable Air Conditioner

first_imgStay on target This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves Central air systems rarely produce a tolerable environment. That’s because people are individuals with unique tastes. For some, an air-conditioned space is still too hot. For others, it’s too cold. And that’s what makes the Evapolar 2 such a game changer, especially considering its low cost of ownership.The Evapolar 2 is a personal intelligent air conditioner. It sets up easily on your desktop, table, or bookshelf and creates a pocket of air that’s both livable and breathable. You can set the temperature to your personal preference, it acts as an air purifier and humidifier, and it integrates with smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home so you can control it with your phone.You simply fill the 1.3L water tank, set the device to your desired temperature, and turn it on. From there, Evapolar 2 creates a microclimate that’s perfectly suited to your needs. Then, as it cools the air around you, it cleans it too by filtering out dust, pollen, and other allergens so you’ll breathe easier. And it’s portable too, so you can take it with you from home to your office and back again.Of course, there are other personal air conditioners on the market. They tend to be underpowered, inefficient, and produce results that leave you unsatisfied. The Evapolar 2, by contrast, is powerful enough to handle all your needs but is at least 10 times more efficient than other systems, so you’ll save money on your electrical bills.Evapolar 2 is a game changer. There’s so much demand for it, in fact, that it raised over one million dollars in a very short period of time on Indiegogo. It’s available in a choice of three different colors — White, Black, and Gray — so there’s likely one that’s suited to your decor, and it comes with everything you need to get started.There’s just no downside to purchasing. The Evapolar 2 creates a tolerable living environment that’s custom fit to your needs, it cleans the air so you’ll be healthier, and it costs way less to run than other devices. And it’s affordable to purchase too as you can pick one up for just $199 — a savings of 26 percent off retail — while supplies last at the Geek Shop.Like these deals? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Enter code VAULTONE to try it out for just $1!last_img read more

Batman Art Exhibit Celebrates 80 Years of Caped Crusader Comics

first_imgStay on target Christian Bale Shares Cheeky Batsuit Advice for Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson Describes Trying on the Batsuit for First Time Before the Caped Crusader conquered every medium out there, from video games to movies to cartoons to Prince music videos, Batman was first of course a comic book character, the comic book character of DC Comics alongside Superman. And Batman’s history in his home medium is rich and unexpectedly varied if all you know of him is a gravely Christian Bale voice.If you want to familiarize yourself with Batman’s comic book legacy, you’ll soon have an exciting new chance. The Society of Illustrators, a New York City art society, is about to open three new art exhibits celebrating 80 years of awesome Batman drawings.Opening June 12 and running until October 12, these three exhibits collectively showcase over 200 pieces of original Batman art that fall under all sorts of different themes. If you don’t know where to start, consider going to the opening reception on June 21 kicking everything off.“Illustrating Batman: Eighty Years of Comics and Pop Culture,” the main exhibit, is a comprehensive look at Batman in comics. Famous Batman creators like Bob Kane, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee are all featured. And along with illustrated art you can enjoy Batman toys and commercials and essays.“Batman Collected: Chip Kidd’s Batman Obsession” is a more personal collection from graphic designer Chip Kidd. But you’ll still recognize rare pieces from heavy hitters like Alex Ross and Bruce Timm.And for all you folks who wish Batman was more anime, check out “Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan” and discover the quirky classic 1960s Bat-Manga by Jiro Kuwata.If you’re in New York and this all sounds cool to you, head over to the Society of Illustrators for Batman tickets while there’s still time. For more on Batman, get ready for Robert Pattinson’s take on the Dark Knight in the upcoming movie and revisit the 1989 Tim Burton classic.last_img read more

Heres What Happened When Scientists Strapped Cameras to Cats

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ Since cameras have become smaller and more portable, scientists have been attaching them to animals — everything from sharks (to see how they hunt for prey) to penguins (to see how they communicate with each other in the icy waters off Antarctica).However, researchers haven’t much done with cats as they could be difficult to work with, according to Science magazine. One ecologist is trying to change that with a new study involving 16 cats and 16 small cameras.Maren Huck, behavioral ecologist at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, attached small cameras on 16 cats and followed them for up to four years as they prowled their neighborhoods.Her findings, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, provided some interesting insights on the behavior of felines.For one, they’re not lazy as you think. “Cats are seen as relatively lazy, especially compared to dogs. But we saw that when they were outside, they became superalert,” Huck told Science magazine.  “They scanned their surroundings, sometimes for a half-hour or more on end.”They could also be quite sociable. “[Even] though cats are highly territorial, they didn’t always fight with other cats they encountered,” said Huck. “Often, they just sat a couple of meters away from each other for up to a half an hour. They may have been sizing each other up. Sometimes they would engage in a greeting, briefly touching noses.”The ecologist also told Science magazine cameras could also help provide more insight on how to improve their quality of life as pets. “There is also debate over whether cats should be kept indoors all the time. If we find that cats seem more bored or stressed out when kept indoors — for example, by pacing, like some animals do at the zoo —that means we need to think more about enriching their indoor lives, or giving them some outside time,” Huck said.More on Geek.com:Scientists Attach Cameras to White Sharks to Watch How They Hunt Their PreyHere’s What Happened When Scientists Left Camera Traps to Record Wild ApesEgyptian Fruit Bats Trade Food for Sex, Study Finds Stay on targetlast_img read more

Watch Rude Alligator Crashes Couples Picnic Date in Florida

first_img Watch: Here’s How Florida’s Gatorland Is Preparing for Hurri…Alligators Spotted ‘Swimming’ in Road, Climbing Fences in Florida In Florida, a couple’s cute picnic date turned into a hair-raising situation when a hangry alligator decided to interrupt their intimate hangout and gobble up all their food, including some guacamole.On Thursday, Taylor Forte planned the date with her fiancé Trevor Walters near Lake Alice in Gainesville, Florida, CBS4 Gainesville News reported. When they were about to enjoy their feast, the pesky alligator swam up to the bank and sprinted to their picnic site.The couple immediately left the blanket and watched the alligator nosh on their picnic goodies.“He annihilated an entire block of cheese,” Walters said in an interview with Fox4 News. “Gobbled it down, lickity split. The salami didn’t stand a chance.”But, that wasn’t all: The alligator then ate half a watermelon, a pound of grapes, and a fresh batch of guacamole.A Florida couple, enjoying a nice picnic by the lake, got a surprise from an unwanted guest. #FOX35 https://t.co/GMppQE2aBS— Fox 35 News (@Fox35News) June 3, 2019Walters proceeded to make a lot of noise and distract the alligator, who eventually ran back into the water.“Unfortunately it sounds like that gator has been fed previously and has lost its weariness of people and is beginning to associate people with food,” Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) told CBS4 Gainesville News.Parker warned people to not feed alligators, because they become a big issue for people and have to be removed by the FWC for safety reasons. If there is an annoying alligator, Parker urges a quick phone call to the FWC (866-392-4286) for assistance.More on Geek.com:8-Foot Alligator Spotted Hiding in Hallway of Florida Elementary SchoolMassive, 11-Foot Alligator ‘Breaks Into Home’ at 3 A.M. in Florida 10-Foot Alligator Takes Late-Night Stroll Across Florida Highway Stay on targetlast_img read more

Freaky Human FleshInspired Coin Purse Goes Viral on Twitter

first_img Got change? You can place your quarters in this human flesh-like coin purse and freak everyone out at the grocery store or laundromat.Doooo, a Japanese DJ, designed the almost-realistic purse, which resembles a man’s mouth with five-o’clock shadow stubbles, AOL.com reported. The music producer uploaded a video of his bizarre creation on Twitter and it has generated more than 250,000 likes and 150,000 re-tweets.人肉小銭入れ作りました pic.twitter.com/k6SIDETWD5— doooo (@44doooo) June 1, 2019“I made a human flesh coin purse,” Doooo wrote on Twitter. In the video, he demonstrates how to use the coin purse, which includes opening a fake jaw, plump lips, and carefully placing some coins in the super-tight space. Even the teeth look real, since they’re not perfectly straight.人肉小銭入れと人肉印鑑は首にかける事ができます pic.twitter.com/aP3qyV3hjD— doooo (@44doooo) June 3, 2019If you’re interested in this wacky coin purse, it’s sadly not up for sale at the moment. However, you can enjoy Doooo’s other odd projects, including a human skin-inspired finger seal and squishy phone case, on his Twitter account.More on Geek.com:Man Wins $344M Powerball Jackpot With ‘Lucky’ Fortune Cookie Numbers Fan-Made ‘Zelda’ Tabletop Game Returns You to the WildSan Diego Padres Criticized for Needless Bee Murders Stay on target PewDiePie Pulls $50,000 Pledge to Anti-Hate Group After Fan BacklashPolice Arrest Dutch YouTubers for Trespassing Area 51 Site last_img read more

Robert Downey Jrs Footprint Coalition Saves The Earth With Tech

first_imgStay on target Amazon Employees Join Sept. 20 Global Climate WalkoutResearchers Transform CO2 Into Liquid Fuel Iron Man may be dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following Avengers: Endgame (no matter how loudly you whine on your stupid fan petition that shouldn’t even exist) but actor Robert Downey Jr. sure isn’t. The reformed former prisoner now has more money than God following his decade-long career as Iron Man. And fortunately, it appears he isn’t about to use that cash to fall back into old bad habits.Instead, Downey Jr. has announced a new Earth-saving initiative, The Footprint Coalition, to clean up the planet through the power of advanced technology that actually exists.Downey Jr. announced the organization at Amazon’s re:MARS, a conference dedicated to fields like robotics and space and machine learning and other Iron Man-esque topics. And lucky for us our best and brightest minds are still trying to think of ways to save this planet from the ravages of man-made climate change instead of just exporting human capitalism across the Solar System.“Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years,” Downey Jr. said according to Variety. “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects.”The Footprint Coalition is slated to launch next April. We’re also looking forward to Downey Jr.s’ upcoming YouTube Red documentary about artificial intelligence. Hopefully he gets some help from his fellow wealthy Avengers actors. This is a way better solution for saving Earth than just wiping out half of humanity. For more on how the Earth is doomed unless we radically act now here’s why climate change is forcing reindeer to eat seaweed and why global income inequality is on the rise alongside global temperatures.last_img read more

Draculas 15thCentury Cannoballs Unearthed in Bulgaria

first_imgStay on target Yes, you read that right: Dracula’s cannonballs. Archaeologists in Bulgaria have discovered medieval cannonballs from culverins, an early form of cannon, that were most likely used by Wallacian Voivode Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler.The cannonballs were purportedly used by Count Vlad during his bloody battle in 1461 with the Ottoman Turks to capture the Zishtov Fortress, according to a report in Archaeology in Bulgaria.They were found in Svishtov, a small town in the northern Bulgaria, by a team led by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, Fox News reported.“What’s really interesting is that from the [early] Ottoman period we have found cannonballs,” Ovcharov said in an interview with Nova TV. “We rejoice at those small cannonballs because they are from culverins. These were the earliest cannons which were for the 15th century, up until the 16th century, they weren’t in use after that. These were still very imperfect cannons. That was precisely the time of Vlad Dracula, there is no doubt that they are connected with the siege [and conquest of the Zishtova Fortress] by Vlad Dracula in 1461.”Lead archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov shows the cannonballs purportedly used by Vlad Dracula and other artifacts discovered during the renewed excavations of the Zishtova Fortress in Bulgaria’s Svishtov. (Photo Credit: Svishtov Municipality)The fortress is located on a hill in the center of the town, and dates to the 13th-14th century. It has been the site of other archaeological finds. Ovcharov’s team of researchers also discovered an inscription detailing “one of the cohorts of the Roman Empire’s First Italian Legion” stationed from the 1st to 4th centuries AD at the military camp and city of Novae, just outside of today’s Svishtov.Researchers also unearthed larger cannonballs from later time frames at the excavation site.“Our hypothesis is that this is from the last period of the Roman presence in this region,” Ovcharov said in the Nova interview. “We know that they had been quartered at Novae, but towards the 4th – 5th century AD, as a result of the barbarian invasions, it became indefensible, it was abandoned, and the Late Antiquity fortress [that predated the Zishtova Fortress] was built here.”Culverin Cannonballs from Vlad Dracula’s 1461 Victory over Ottoman Turks Found in Danube Fortress Zishtova in Bulgaria’s Svishtov https://t.co/aDMOMPpun2 pic.twitter.com/BkWNk07SYj— Archaeology Bulgaria (@ArchaeologyinBG) June 1, 2019After the existing fortification (which was in use as late as 1810) was built on top of it, Vlad Dracula came along and started his bloody conquest of what had been the Second Bulgarian Empire, along with the Byzantine Empire.The researchers say they are amazed that the fortress is so well-preserved — high sections of a wall are still standing. “For a long time, I had thought that this fortress would be in an extremely severe condition but it has turned that they didn’t manage to do that much damage, and its level of preservation is rather good,” Ovcharov said.According to the archaeologist, it also quite possible that Dracula stayed at the fortress after conquering it. “The truth is that Vlad Dracula besieged this place, conquered it, and most probably also resided here [briefly],” Ovcharov added.Portrait of Vlad III the Impaler or Dracula. (Photo Credit: Stefano Bianchetti / Corbis via Getty Images)The inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” Vlad Dracula was perhaps even more terrifying than his literary counterpart. Stories of his brutal acts began circulating during his lifetime. Vlad is estimated to have killed about 80,000 people through various means.During one of his many successful campaigns against the Ottomans, Vlad wrote to a military ally in 1462, “I have killed peasants, men and women, old and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea … We killed 23,884 Turks, without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers …Thus, your highness, you must know that I have broken the peace.”The mass murders that Vlad carried out indiscriminately and brutally would most likely amount to acts of genocide and war crimes by current standards, experts say. Romanian defense minister Ioan Mircea Pașcu has said that Vlad would have been condemned for crimes against humanity had he been put on trial at Nuremberg.More on Geek.com:Archaeologists Discover Ancient ‘Cheerios’ at Bronze Age SiteSecret Underground Chamber Discovered in Ruins of Roman Emperor Nero’s Palace2,000-Year-Old Marble Head of God Dionysus Unearthed in Rome Extremely Rare, Two-Colored Lobster Found in MaineNew Species of Giant Flying Reptile Identified By Scientists last_img read more

Uber Copter Flights Are Launching in NYC Next Month

first_imgStay on target Starbucks to Deliver Nationwide Via Uber EatsUber’s New Rideshare Tier Is the Height of Comfort Uber Elevate, Uber’s aerial ride-hailing division, is not making its big debut yet, however, Uber will start offering Uber Copter, a helicopter transportation service, in New York City next month.Starting July 9, Uber Copter will only be available to Uber users who are Platinum and Diamond members of Uber Rewards, the company’s loyalty program, The New York Times reported. Users can book the aerial service via Uber’s app, which will transport them between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport in a quick eight-minute flight. The aim of Uber Copter is to axe the total time it takes to travel between both places, which could take at least 60 minutes and during rush hour, more than two hours, Engadget reported.Like Uber rides, Uber Copter will determine pricing based on demand and the average ride will cost users between $200 and $225 a person. However, this price also includes ground transportation to and from each point on the trip. In Lower Manhattan, customers will be picked up or dropped off by car to the Uber Copter helipad and at Kennedy International Airport, they’ll be picked up by a car at the helicopter tarmac and driven directly to their terminal and vice versa if they’re coming back from airline travel.Here’s how it works: Customers can book an Uber Copter trip right on the spot or up to five days in advance of their desired flight time. Each helicopter can fit up to five passengers and will be in service from Monday to Friday during afternoon rush hour. Once a user reserves a seat, they will receive an email confirmation and boarding pass from Uber.An Uber Copter boarding pass. (Photo Credit: Uber)Uber Copter’s helicopter service will be operated by Newark-based HeliFlite. For each flight, there will be two pilots on board and passengers will be shown a 90-second safety video before they leave. One downside though is that these helicopters can’t accommodate large suitcases, so passengers will only be allowed to travel with one carry-on weighing 40 pounds or less and one personal bag.Even though Uber Copter will only be available in New York City for now, Eric Allison, the head of Uber Elevate, said the company aims to bring Uber Copter service to other cities in the future.“This is a trip that so many travelers make a day, and we see an opportunity to save them a huge amount of time on it. Our plan is to eventually roll out Uber Copter to more Uber customers and to other cities, but we want to do it right,” Allison said told The New York Times. “The main goal of this initial venture is to understand the operations behind aerial vehicles.”Watch: Melbourne to Be First International City to Trial Uber Air Flying TaxisMore on Geek.com:Uber Now Deactivates Poorly Rated RidersUber Black Users Can Silence Drivers With New ‘Quiet Mode’Uber Reveals the Most Bizarre Items Forgotten By Riderslast_img read more

Bethesda Has Doom Eternal and Some Other E3 2019 Games We Guess

first_imgStay on target Watch: Marvel and Square Enix’s ‘Avengers’ Gameplay Still Creeps Us OutPlay These E3 2019 Video Games Right Now It’s not that Bethesda doesn’t have cool new video games to show. It’s just when the publisher tries to fill an entire E3 press conference with its upcoming lineup, things start to feel a little bit like filler. And that’s before the constant cheering interruptions. Before you ask, no, we didn’t hear anything about Starfield or The Elder Scrolls 6 aside from Todd’s confirmation that they still exist.Instead, we got updates on already released games like new content for The Elder Scrolls Online and Elder Scrolls Legends. Rage 2 got a Too Many Cooks-style parody sitcom trailer to showcase new weapons, enemies, and cheat codes. On the mobile game front, deep cut Id Software throwback Commander Keen is returning as a cute but unfortunately free-to-play game. And Elder Scrolls Blades is coming to Nintendo Switch, which is cool but perhaps a little redundant considering you can already play Skyrim on that device.The Bethesda game most in need of an update though is Fallout 76 which launched last year in very rough shape. It’s weird to even say this, but the Wastelanders update brings back NPC quests and dialogue options and this was treated like a huge deal, not the game being brought up to the standard it should’ve been all along. At least it’s free. The game is also getting a battle royale mode, Nuclear Winter, because hey why not?When it comes to big console games though Bethesda’s future does look pretty bright. In just a few weeks we’ll get to slay Nazis in the 1980s as B.J.’s twin daughters, the stars of Wolfenstein Youngblood. Also on July 26 Wolfenstein Cyberpilot brings the series to VR. We didn’t see gameplay of GhostWire Tokyo from Tango Gameworks or Deathloop from Arkane. But both trailers impressed with their creepy Japanese ghost vanishing and stylish 1960s time repeats, respectively. For more on E3 check out what Microsoft said about the next Xbox and watch these trailers. But really the reason to stick around with this Bethesda show was to see new gameplay of Doom Eternal. This religious experiences sees the Doom Slayer fighting demons through Hell, Mars, Earth, and maybe even Heaven itself? It looks great. Even the multiplayer seems worthwhile this time. In this asymmetrical fight, two wily demons take on one powerful slayer. Doom Eternal launches November 22. And if you haven’t played the first one you’ll be able to stream it soon through Bethesda’s new Orion technology.last_img read more

NASAs Webb Telescope One Step Closer to Completion

first_imgStay on target NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Gets Assembled in CaliforniaNASA Observes Mysterious Galactic ‘Jellyfish’ in Deep Space NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is one step closer to liftoff.Late last month, the spacecraft cleared another critical testing milestone by surviving its final thermal vacuum evaluation.Locked inside a thermal vacuum chamber (from which the atmosphere has been drained), the device is exposed to a wide range of hot and cold temperatures—a glacial -235℉ to a sweltering 215℉.These trials help ensure that the telescope’s hardware functions in outer space, and can withstand anticipated extreme climate fluctuations on its mission.Technicians and engineers take special precautions when preparing and transporting Webb’s spacecraft element (via Northrop Grumman)One half of the Webb observatory, featuring the telescope and science instruments, successfully completed its testing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center last year.The second half—consisting of flight controls and a tennis-court-sized sunshield—was recently put through its paces at lead industrial partner Northrop Grumman’s LA facility.“The teams from Northrop Grumman and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are to be commended for … dedicating long hours to get where we are now,” Jeanne Davis, James Webb Space Telescope program manager, said in a statement. “This incredible accomplishment paves the way for the next major milestone.”Which is to join both halves of Webb to form a fully assembled observatory, and complete a final round of deployments, testing, and evaluation before—fingers crossed—an official launch.Webb’s spacecraft is lifted into the thermal vacuum chamber for environmental testing (via Northrop Grumman)NASA originally planned to send the telescope to space as early as 2007, but various setbacks and human errors delayed the project more than a decade.The James Webb Space Telescope is now scheduled for liftoff in March 2021. As the world’s premier space science observatory, it carries a lot of expectations.“Webb will solve mysteries in our Solar System, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our Universe and our place in it,” according to NASA.It will eventually replace the nearly three-decade-old Hubble.More on Geek.com:Hubble Space Telescope Should Last At Least 5 More YearsHubble Telescope Supports Evidence of Distant ExomoonNASA Telescope, Oscar Trophy Tech Attracts Starslast_img read more

Report Ticket Sales For Tours Thrived In 2018s Digital Music Environment

first_imgLive music takes on richer meaning as fans relate to their favorite artists through streaming and social mediaPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Dec 18, 2018 – 1:29 pm Digital music and the internet have changed everything, but 2018’s thriving concerts and music events ticketing demonstrates how it’s paying off in the real world, too, especially for top touring acts such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift. The top 25 concert tours reported over $3 billion in sales, up $500 million compared to 2017, an increase of 20 percent. Email Facebook “We had the perfect storm with the perfect artists,” promoter Louis Messina told Billboard. His 2018 success stories included $266 million from the U.S. dates for the Reputation Stadium Tour, making Taylor Swift the artist with the top U.S. annual ticket grosses ever. International dates and sales added to the bottom line’s demonstration that the internet and its digital connections have not replaced the live music experience — they’ve given it a new context.Jay-Z scored another first as his 4:44 Tour came in at 25 with a $45 million take from 30 shows while The Carters’ On The Run II Tour came in at No. 3, taking in $254 million from 48 dates. That’s the first time ever that a single artist appeared in a year’s top 25 tours twice.”Because of the ways tickets are priced and distributed,” said Live Nation Senior VP Touring Omar Al-Joulani, “a lot of veteran artists are seeing some of the highest grosses of their careers.”One key is the science of analytics and how digital data has informed what cities artists decide to perform in, what top prices can be charged for seats, and even low-priced ticket sales for some appearances. Instead of looking for fast sell-outs, this marketing science is described as a “steady as she goes” approach.”Streaming music and video is driving all demand right now,” said Marc Geiger, head of music at William Morris Endeavor. He’s had a front-row seat for the digital revolution, which has come a long way since he co-founded Lollapalooza and the web-based ARTISTdirect. “Anyone can listen to anything at any time, anywhere, and that has allowed more fans to have relationships with artists,” he said.Billboard details how leaders like AEG and Live Nation, and its Ticketmaster Verified Fan program, don’t settle for playing catch-up while digital keeps changing the rules. Festivals and genre-specific events are using the same techniques to give fans a reason to go live in a big way. Looking ahead at 2019, it’s clear the online and in-person music experiences can not only coexist, but they help stoke each other’s flame.Find Out Who Helmed The Top Grossing Tours Of 2018Read more How Digital Music Fed Record-Breaking Tour Grosses report-ticket-sales-tours-thrived-2018s-digital-music-environment Twitter Report: Ticket Sales For Tours Thrived In 2018’s Digital Music Environment https://twitter.com/taylorswift13/status/1073205888801009664 News last_img read more

Radioisotope studies show the continental crust formed 3 billion years ago

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: “Emergence of modern continental crust about 3 billion years ago” Nature Geoscience, 2015. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2466AbstractThe continental crust is the principal record of conditions on the Earth during the past 4.4 billion years. However, how the continental crust formed and evolved through time remains highly controversial. In particular, the composition and thickness of juvenile continental crust are unknown. Here we show that Rb/Sr ratios can be used as a proxy for both the silica content and the thickness of the continental crust. We calculate Rb/Sr ratios of the juvenile crust for over 13,000 samples, with Nd model ages ranging from the Hadean to Phanerozoic. The ratios were calculated based on the evolution of Sr isotopes in the period between the TDM Nd model age and the crystallization of the samples analysed. We find that the juvenile crust had a low silica content and was largely mafic in composition during the first 1.5 billion years of Earth’s evolution, consistent with magmatism on a pre-plate tectonics planet. About 3 billion years ago, the Rb/Sr ratios of the juvenile continental crust increased, indicating that the newly formed crust became more silica-rich and probably thicker. This transition is in turn linked to the onset of plate tectonics5 and an increase of continental detritus into the oceans. Earth’s crust slowly being destroyed © 2015 Phys.org One of the difficulties with determining the age of the Earth’s crust is that the crust itself is constantly undergoing melting and re-deposition due to subduction. This is a larger factor for the ocean floor than in continental crust because the continental crust is thick and buoyant, making it less susceptible to subduction. By combining information from various radioisotope pairs found in the continental crust, one can unearth clues as to how the crust was formed and when. In this paper, Dhuime, et al. studied the abundance of rubidium compared to strontium. Rubidium (87Rb) becomes strontium-87 (87Sr) through radioactive decay. Strontium-87 has a half-life of 48.8 billion years. Strontium-86, the most abundant isotope of Sr, is stable and does not undergo radioactive decay. Therefore, the abundance of 87Sr in the continental crust can be traced to the radioactive decay of 87Rb, and based on its half-life, one can determine the age of a rock sample.Whenever the Earth’s crust re-melts or is formed from magma deposition, the amount of 87Rb and silica increases in the residual melt, but the amount of 86Sr does not. Consequently, 87Rb/86Sr correlates with silica content. The silica content is important because the composition of the continental crust is predominantly silica, while the early Earth’s crust was likely mafic, or composed of predominantly iron and magnesium. To calculate 87Rb/86Sr, Dhuime, et al. first determined the 87Sr-to-86Sr ratio and then determined what the ratio was at the time when the crustal melt crystallized. From this they were able to calculate 87Rb/86Sr and therefore determine the amount of silica present at various time periods.This calculation was performed for over 13,000 volcanic and plutonic rock samples of varying ages, based on neodymium model ages. Results show that at about 3 billion years ago the Earth’s continental crust transitioned from a mafic crust to a silica-rich crust. Silica content increased from 3 billion years to 1 billion years ago. At 1 billion years, the amount of silica started to gradually decrease. This result coincides with previous studies using other radioisotope ratios. Furthermore, Dhuime, et al.’s data show that there is a positive correlation between the increase in 87Rb/86Sr and silica and crustal thickness. The authors point out that the gradual increase of 87Rb/86Sr from 3 billion years to 1 billion years may indicate that the Earth’s continental crust was thickening. They estimate that the average thickness of new continental crust increases from ~20 km at 3 billion years ago to ~40 km at 1 billion years ago, and then decreases to ~30 km to the present.Since subduction is a result of plate activity, the transition at 3 billion years may also indicate the onset of plate tectonics. The thickness of new continental crust reached a maximum and then began decreasing. The authors point out that this may coincide with the time of the Rodinia supercontinent and mountain formation.Overall, this study provides compelling evidence that the continental crust formed 3 billion years ago, coinciding with the onset of plate tectonics. Additionally, silica content could be used as a metric for determining crust thickness over time. Journal information: Nature Geosciencecenter_img (Phys.org)—New research sheds light on how and when the modern day continents began to form. Researchers from the University of Bristol analyzed radio isotope abundances in 13,000 samples of continental crust of varying age and found that the continents began to form around 3 billion years ago. This date may coincide with when plate tectonics began. Their research appears in Nature Geoscience. Citation: Radioisotope studies show the continental crust formed 3 billion years ago (2015, July 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-radioisotope-continental-crust-billion-years.html Explore further Variation in the thickness of juvenile continental crust through time. Credit: (c) 2015 Nature Geoscience, 2015. doi:10.1038/ngeo2466last_img read more