Albert Einstein, letter to Hans Muehsam, 9 July 1951
Jason, seems like some good horror this year. Some even interest me!
So far, it's been an exciting year for horror. Afflicted is a "damn fine film," The Babadook is a must see, and Only Lovers Left Alive is one of the most gorgeous horror films ever. 2014 is really shaping out to be a great year for horror, and it's not over yet. Here are several reasons to be thrilled about the future of horror.
The iconic women of the DC Universe have seldom looked bolder or more beautiful than they do in these pin-up illustrations by Ant Lucia, which have been making the rounds online recently. And now, Quantum Mechanix is releasing 10 of them as art prints. We've got an exclusive first look, including a few you've never seen before.
The fine folks at Unnecessary Censorship finally got their hands on the Avengers movie, and the results are predictably hilarious. If you can make it through Thor's "He adopted" line without cackling madly, you're a better man than I.
Hey! It's Elektra: Assassin!
We've been waiting to see Scarlett Johansson gain superpowers and go on an ass-kicking spree in Luc Besson's Lucy. Now the first trailer is here and it looks like the visual spectacle we've been hoping for.
Um, you don't make Steve Rogers dark... you make the villains and situations around him dark, while he remains a beacon of light, who's willing to see and find the best in people.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the darkest of all the Marvel movies. But then how on EARTH did directors Anthony and Joe Russo manage to fit in the most ridiculous Captain America villain of all time, Batroc the leaper? In our exclusive interview, we go deep into the secrets of making Cap (and his friends) go dark.
Some of these do nothing for me, but others really are great.
And now, a shot-for-shot remake of the wonderful Tyrannosaurus "we must go faster" car chase from Jurassic Park. Made entirely out of cardboard, toys and twine.
So cool. I've grown to really like the crows that frequent our backyard.
Crows are far more rational than we had realized. New research shows that wild New Caledonian crows can compete with 7-year-old children when it comes to understanding causality, or how one action causes another.
These are fantastic!
Complex works of the Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo
Math, meet nature. Nature, meet math. You guys should hang out more.
I will forever be imaging DNA as a helix of butterflies now.
Previously: Check out Nikki Graziano’s mathematical landscapes, one of the most original landscape photo series I’ve ever seen.
The weather is beginning to turn warm, which means more of us will take the time to explore the great outdoors, along with the parks and lands set aside for public use. FreeCampsites.net is a simple web service that shows you where you can pitch your tent for free, do a little roughing it, and get away from it all.
And here's the first glimpse of the stage version of Powers' award-winning time-travel fantasy novel. Current Theatrics will premiere their stage play at the 2014 WorldCon in London.
That's pretty cool.
More than 160 years ago, paleontologists found a partial fossil of a 70-million-year-old giant sea turtle, the only known example of its particular species. This week, they found the other half.
The "cottage" nature of the tabletop gaming industry leads to a lot of funny things: supposedly fierce "competitors" often know and see each other socially, companies trade employees and creative staff, and creators...well, sometimes we get a particular idea that takes on a life of its own.
One such idea was Icons Superpowered Roleplaying, a concept that began when I was mucking about with the attribute ladder of the Fudge RPG and mixing-and-matching its concepts with the old Marvel Super-Heroes game (a long-time favorite of mine, as anyone who has read my essay in Hobby Games: The 100 Best knows). I referred to the initial set of notes as "The Superlative System" and it gathered electronic dust on my website for some time.
This is great.
Before either Bill Nye or Carl Sagan were on television, Nye was a student in Sagan's astronomy class at Cornell. Here's Nye reminiscing about that class — and the advice Sagan gave him before he started his own show.
In September 2013, landscape/architectural photographer Christoph Morlinghaus was sent by photo editor Lauren Winfield of Bloomberg Markets to photograph an on-going, very expensive, very large construction project—the expansion of the Panama Canal (see Slide 3). Whenever possible, Morlinghaus adds a pre-production day into his shoots, on which he location scouts with a digital camera during the day and studies the images in the evening. For this shoot, however, he had about two hours to photograph the Atlantic side, and four for the Pacific, giving him less than a day for the entire shoot. Many of his requests—extra time, shooting with his preferred equipment (an 8×10 film camera), shooting from a helicopter—were denied. Morlinghaus, however, was allowed to bring an assistant and a 4×5 film camera. It was a challenging shoot, he says. “We were knee deep in mud.” The feature was recently published in the magazine’s March 2014 issue, in both the print and digital editions.
Nice, simple explanation.
Hey, it's my story! Go buy it!
Malcontents by Jon Leitheusser is this week’s new release for Wendigo Tales Season Two. Season Two continues in the world of Necessary Evil, where the super villains of earth have to fight an occupying alien force and their own baser natures to save the planet!
Stretch is a super villain down on his luck. His occasional work for the resistance might help the war effort against the aliens, but it’s not doing all that much for his meager bank account and overdue alimony and child support. His new assignment is to break into the terrible drone factory—where humans are turned into super-enhanced, zombie-like slaves for the v’sori. But what he finds inside is a little more—and a little more personal—than just the next score.
Be sure to check out the previous tales from Season Two—Faces of Destruction (insanely, still free), Thicker Than Water, Fallen, and Purgatory—or any of the stories of the Weird Wars from Wendigo Tales: Season One.
Seriously, the French answer to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, called Bloody Mallory, is just so jolly and campy, it's guaranteed to fix your Monday blahs. Just watch this clip where demons are trying to sacrifice the superhero Vena Cava, until her friends free her and she gets her awesome blue wig back.
A patch of moss that lay buried beneath the antarctic ice for over 1,500 years has been successfully revived by scientists, who say that it is now the oldest living plant ever recorded.
A cluttered desktop can be a tough task to clear off, but it helps if you prioritize the contents. These dice-inspired icons can help you do just that, by giving you six priority-ranked folders to work with.
Hey! Fassbender wrote this because I shared this on Facebook!
March has been a good month for pen-and-paper RPG Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this week, Matt Forbeck wrote about Dwarven Forge’s Caverns, and just yesterday a friend of mine tipped me off to the cool Blue Dungeon Tiles from Red Kobold Games.
A full dungeon built from one Blue Dungeon Tiles Basic Set.
Blue Dungeon Tiles are a collection double-sided, 4″ x 4″ map tiles printed with 1″ grid lines. One side features with some of the more common dungeon landmarks like narrow corridors, sharp corners, and T-shaped intersections. The other side is printed with a standard 16-square grid. As the name suggests, all of the tiles are printed in classic grid-paper blue for both nostalgia and high-visibility during dungeon encounters.
The tiles are covered with a laminated coating so they can be used with dry-erase, wet-erase, and even permanent markers.
A map built from a Blue Dungeon Tiles Basic Set can be larger than a standard 24″ x 36″ battle mat.
Blue Dungeon Tiles are not just for fantasy-setting games; they can be used for any game system that has adventurers running down corridors. You can literally build the map as your party journeys deeper into the adventure (making the tiles perfect for use in conjunction with Chessex Dungeoneering Dice).
Like any Kickstarter, this one has a number of backer levels from the Sampler Set (which will get you 8 tiles), to the Basic Set (48 tiles with 8 different front-side designs in a white plastic clamshell case), to the Basic Hardcore Gamer which comes with 120 tiles. There are retailer and even higher backer levels available as well.
In addition, a Dungeon Master Add-On is available for $5 that gives backers access to a layered PDF file that can be used in numerous configurations to build custom tiles (check out a non-printing demo of this PDF at the Red Kobold site), and any backer at the Sampler level and above will receive a sheet of Fantasy and Tech decor items printed on sturdy card stock to dress up your dungeons, spaceships, or abandoned industrial waste facilities.
As of this writing, Blue Dungeon Tiles has already exceeded its campaign goal, but there are still a few stretch goals to hit that will open up additional tiles in the Expert and Advanced Tile Sets.
You can read more about the Blue Dungeon Tiles project at the Red Kobold Games site.
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If only Google Drive worked like Dropbox...
Prices for monthly Google Drive storage plans dropped massively today. 100GB is now $1.99 (instead of $4.99), 1TB is $9.99 (previously $49.99), and 10TB is $99.99.
Illusionist and stunt performer Harry Houdini was famous for the ability to hold his breath for over three minutes. But today, competitive breath-hold divers can squeeze ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes out of a single lungful of air. How do these divers do it — and how can you train to hold your breath for longer?