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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 2010 Star Wars Edition Adidas Shoes Are Kinda Genius

BY Cliff Kuang

The full line is actually pretty subtle. Stylish, even.

A month ago, we wrote about the new Star Wars--themed shoe line Adidas was creating for 2010. At the time, only teaser shots were available. But the full deets are out, and the results, against all expectations, are kind of awesome.

What's particularly clever is how very subtle the Star Wars references are. Spotting these on the street, you'd never know they were themed cross-branding. But if someone told you what the visual inspiration was, you'd say "Ah-ha!"

Yoda's shoes have that rugged, handmade look that's oh so popular in the forbidding swamps of Dagobah:

adidas yoda

The X-wing shoes look exactly like what you'd be wearing to pilot one: Comfy, light, and a little bit weathered from running around the cargo hold screaming about the Empire:

adidas x-wing

The AT-AT shoes pick up lots of clever details from their inspiration--like the upraised, rounded joints and the ribbed tongue, that looks like the articulated neck joint of the AT-AT:

adidas at-at

My personal favorite, the Luke high tops. Remember that Rebel flight suit he wore? These match up perfectly, down to the white detailing at the ankle that echoes the white breathing apparatus, and the signature shade of burnt orange:

adidas luke skywalker

[See a couple more kicks at Fubiz]

Own the 'Back to the Future' DeLorean and Be Awesome

Someone spent a loooooooot of time building a near exact replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future and now they're hawking it on eBay for you, or someone with more money than you, to purchase. I actually saw this very DeLorean at a car show in Culver City, CA this past Summer, and I have to say it's a pretty amazing contraption. The only downside is it doesn't come equipped with a flux capacitor, arguably the coolest part of the DeLorean in the film, and the interior smells like the remains of Christopher Lloyd's career. That stuff's like cigarette smoke, it just doesn't come out.

So far there's been one bid on Doc's DeLorean and it's currently at $59,000.00 with the reserve price unmet. If you choose, you can also purchase the car at the current "Buy It Now" price of $89,000.00.

Check out all the stats at the eBay page and see a few more pics of the souped-up DeLorean after the jump.

(via Collider)

Dutch, Nigerians to use full body scans for air travelers


A staff member demonstrates a full body scan at Manchester Airport in the UK.
A staff member demonstrates a full body scan at Manchester Airport in the UK.

(CNN) -- The Netherlands and Nigeria will begin using body scanners on airline passengers following the attempted terrorist attack on a U.S.-bound flight on Christmas Day, authorities in both nations said Wednesday.

The millimeter-wave body scanners will be in place at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in about three weeks and will be used on all passengers traveling to the United States, Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst told a news conference at The Hague.

"We've escaped a very serious attack with serious consequences, but unfortunately in this world there are individuals who do not shy away from attacks on innocent people," she said.

Nigeria did not say when it would begin the new scans. "In combating the new threat of terrorism as unfolded recently, Nigeria will be upgrading its security screening system to 3D Total Body Imaging Scanner," the country's airport authority said in a statement. It gave no further details.

Do new rules make you feel safer? Share your airport experiences.

Nigerian suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, 23, is accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane going from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, with explosives that had been concealed in his underwear. He is charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.

The militant group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the December 25 plot.

Dutch authorities have already said they were confident in the security measures that were carried out when AbdulMutallab transferred to the Detroit flight from an earlier flight from Nigeria.

A source in Lagos, Nigeria, with connections to the aviation industry told CNN that AbdulMullatab arrived in Nigeria from Accra, Ghana, on December 24. He flew in on a Virgin Nigeria flight, arriving in Lagos about 7:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET), about an hour before he checked in for a KLM flight to Amsterdam. He checked one bag, the source said.

Video: Dutch to use body scanners
Video: Netherlands now uses body scan
Video: Inside the X-ray

Ter Horst said that security measures in place in Amsterdam were metal detectors and X-ray machines, and admitted they could not have picked up the explosive material that AbdulMullatab was allegedly carrying.

"The introduction of these body scanners would certainly have helped in detecting that he was carrying something on his body," she said. "We know that metal detection does not help to detect non-metal explosives, and these millimeter-wave scanners can do this, which would mean that this would be an improvement."

One passenger on same plane as AbdulMutallab told CNN's "Larry King Live" that the security checks at Schiphol were not as stringent as those she is used to in the United States.

"We walked through and did not have to take our shoes off," said Wisconsin native Richelle Keepman. "Also, my mother had a water bottle in her bag that she'd completely forgotten about. And it went right through and we didn't realize it until we were on the plane."

Ter Horst acknowledged that the systems currently in place are "not watertight," which is why the body scanners are being introduced.

As to privacy concerns -- namely that the scanners could pick up private features of a person's body -- ter Horst said the scan results would first go through a computer, which would then flag any suspicious items to a human.

The scanners will be permanent at Schiphol, and any passengers bound for the United States who do not go through them will be body-searched, ter Horst said.

Erik Akerboom, the Dutch national coordinator for counterterrorism, said part of the investigation is looking at whether the explosives were brought into Schiphol by someone else for AbdulMutallab to pick up later.

Dutch authorities are also looking into whom he was in touch with while at Schiphol awaiting his connecting flight. They are combing surveillance camera footage from the connections hall, Akerboom said.

Asked about reports that AbdulMutallab paid for his ticket in cash and was flying only with hand luggage, Akerboom said neither would have necessarily raised any alarms.

"There are several travelers who do this," he said.

AbdulMutallab's name had come to the attention of U.S. authorities before the attack, sources have told CNN in recent days.

His father talked twice about his son's extremist views with at least one CIA representative at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and a report was prepared, but the report was not circulated outside the agency, a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve on Tuesday.

Had that critical information been shared, the man might have been denied passage on the flight, the source said.

A U.S. intelligence official said AbdulMutallab's name, passport number and possible connection to extremists were indeed disseminated. But the official added, "I'm not aware of a magic piece of intelligence -- somehow withheld -- that would have put AbdulMutallab on the no-fly list."

CIA spokesman George Little defended the agency's actions regarding AbdulMutallab, but also said the agency is reviewing data to ascertain whether more could have been done.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said department staff did what they were supposed to by sending a cable to the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington about the matter. Kelly said any decision to revoke the suspect's visa would have been an interagency decision.

Ter Horst said Dutch authorities did not know that AbdulMutallab had raised any security flags, and she called for a global watch list for all suspect travelers in the future.

When F1 2009 won't do, try the $191K Cruden Hexatech simulator

We give thumbs up to Cruden's reason for building a $191,500 F1 simulator: "Snooker rooms, swimming pools, gyms and cinemas have been done." So there. If you're over waiting for Codemasters to release F1 2009 on a real platform, or waiting for GT5 to ever show up and you have enough money to buy an SLS AMG and several weeks of track time, the Hexatech is waiting for you.

The fully-suspended system can be tailored to provide feedback based on the chassis setup, wheelbase and track, tire and suspension settings, drive train (engine, gearbox, differentials), aero loading, aero draft (slip streaming), steering, brakes and driver aids such as traction control, ABS, and more. It even has seat belt tensioners. And it isn't just for F1: the sim does NASCAR, WRC, and 24-Hour racing, too. Three 42-inch screens, or a projector and a room with at least a 10-foot ceiling will keep you in the action.

If you want one but you don't have that kind of dosh, there's still time to make a wish and be extra nice before Santa makes his final decision. Or you could ask Ferrari if you can borrow theirs...

[Source: F1 Fanatic]

The Sexiest Magazine Covers of 2009

By Brian Fairbanks

With monthly periodicals folding by the dozen on a near-daily basis, we should be falling over ourselves to support the likes of Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Maxim and something called Ralph.

They're the rags that really put out in a big way this year, showing off the finest female specimens from around the world, sometimes naked, other times in trench coats, other times in ink (like this July 2009 cover of Bar Refaeli covered in Stephen King's dirty words), but always looking hotter than a fireplace in hell.

Keep reading for our full rundown of the sexiest magazine covers of 2009, and feel free to stare.

Maxim, April 2009 -- Malin Akerman

Maxim, January 2009 -- Hillary Duff

Maxim, September 2009 -- Milla Jovovich

Esquire, June 2009 -- Megan Fox

Esquire, November 2009 -- Kate Beckinsale, even though we disagreed that she's the "Sexiest Woman Alive." (She would've won, if not for the fact that she's an almost unforgivably bad actress.)

Gotham, June 2009 -- Jessica Biel

FHM U.K., June 2009 -- Diora Baird

GQ, January 2010 -- Rihanna

GQ, January 2009 -- Jennifer Aniston

GQ Germany, March 2009 -- Heidi Klum

FHM Spain, March 2009 -- Paz Vega

GQ U.K., January 2009 -- Jessica Biel

Loaded, May 2009 -- Vikki Blows

GQ, November 2009 -- January Jones

Playboy, November 2009 -- Alina Puscau in the alternative cover (vs. Marge Simpson)

Vanity Fair, January 2009 -- Tina Fey

Ralph, February 2009 -- Joanna and Marta Krupa

Vanity Fair, May 2009 -- Gisele Bündchen

Vanity Fair, September 2009 -- Farrah Fawcett

VF, November 2009 -- Penelope Cruz

Blue moon to shine on New Year's Eve

This image of Earth and moon is a composite of two images sent back by the Galileo spacecraft.
This image of Earth and moon is a composite of two images sent back by the Galileo spacecraft.
  • Second full moon in December to light night sky
  • Term "blue moon" has been around 400 years, professor says
  • Meaning of the phrase has shifted over the years

(CNN) -- It happens only once in a blue moon -- and scientists say a blue moon is exactly what we'll see in the skies this New Year's Eve.

Don't expect an azure glow over our lunar satellite, however. The term "blue moon" simply refers to the second full moon in a calendar month, something that hasn't happened on a New Year's Eve for nearly 20 years, NASA says.

"December 1990 ended with a blue moon, and many New Year's Eve parties were themed by the event," said Professor Philip Hiscock of the department of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in Canada. "It was a lot of fun."

Most months have just one full moon, because the 29.5-day cycle of the moon matches up pretty well with the length of calendar months. Occasionally, there will be two full moons in a month, something that happens about every 2½ years, NASA says.

But a blue moon on December 31 is rare.

The Farmers' Almanac lists these Algonquin Indian names for the full moon of each month:
January: Wolf Moon
February: Snow Moon
March: Worm Moon
April: Pink Moon
May: Flower Moon
June: Strawberry Moon
July: Buck Moon
August: Sturgeon Moon
September: Corn Moon
October: Harvest Moon
November: Beaver Moon
December: Cold Moon

Elvis Presley crooned about it when he sang the old Rodgers and Hart song "Blue Moon," in which he stood alone without a dream in his heart or a love of his own.

He struck a more hopeful tone in another tune, singing about his love returning to his arms "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again." He also covered Bill Monroe's bluegrass classic, "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

It is possible for the moon to have a cerulean hue, NASA says, but that's sometimes caused by fine dirt circulating in the Earth's atmosphere or the dark blue tone of the sky.

A blue moon hasn't always meant the second full moon in a month. Hundreds of years ago, it simply meant "never" or "absurd," Hiscock said.

"The phrase 'blue moon' has been around a long time, well over 400 years, but during that time its meaning has shifted," he said. "I have counted six different meanings which have been carried by the term, and at least four of them are still current today. That makes discussion of the term a little complicated."

When the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa erupted in 1883, it put so much dust in the atmosphere that the moon actually appeared blue -- an event so unusual that the term "once in a blue moon" was coined, according to NASA's National Space Science Data Center. The effect lasted for almost two years, Hiscock said.

Full moons used to have 12 names, one for each month, such as "harvest moon," NASA said. The term "blue moon" referred to the 13th full moon in a year.

The term acquired its current meaning in the 1940s, after the Farmer's Almanac of Maine offered an astronomical definition of a blue moon "so convoluted that even professional astronomers struggled to understand it," NASA wrote on its Web site.

A writer at Sky and Telescope magazine in the late 1940s tried to explain the almanac's definition by saying it referred to the second full moon in a month.

"That was not correct, but at least it could be understood," NASA wrote. "And thus the modern blue moon was born."

A Lesson in Religion - Facebook Style

Top 10 Cities of the World with the Most Beautiful Women

A survey was taken around the world and the results were determined by: 1) Quality of women, 2) Amount of Women per men ratio and 3) Ease of talking to women.

10. Amsterdam, Holland

This city has women more beautiful riding past on bicycles than other cities. Dutch girls are amazing in so many ways, they're trendy, as well as cool, they're fun, and they are exceptionally beautiful. They're the kind of girls that you just want to date for a very long time.

9. Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel has some of the best looking women in the world. Perhaps it is something about those green eyes that are just particularly attractive.

8. Montreal, Canada

The exquisite taste of France but with the convenient location of Canada, Montreal is truly one of the world's best cities filled with beautiful women. So many universities and colleges and so many women with fashion sense and a desire to take care of their bodies. One of the best parts is that the women all speak French commonly known as the language of love.

7. Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas is the capital of Venezuela. For the record, Venezuela is the country with more Miss Universe Pageant titles than any other nation, therefore you know it's capital is going to be teeming full of beautiful women. The women of Caracas are so beautiful that they make Brazilian women look like trashier counterparts.

6. Moscow , Russia

Mother Russia is home to some of the world's finest women. It's not only the regularity of tall, blonde hair, blue eyed women that make it so great, it's also the amazing level of friendliness that you will find.

5. Los Angeles, California

How much can be said about L.A. girls, well I think you will find upon arrival that so much can be said you'll find yourself at a lack of words. The women of L.A. are on a level unlike most any other kind you may have ever seen. All the beautiful people from across the United States flock to this mecca, this is where the cool people come to live, to work, & to try to "make it".

4. Varna, Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a land of no drug laws, cheap vodka, mechanical bulls on the beach, waterslide and some of the most uninhibited natural beauties in the world. This land has cafes with inflatable furniture, thongs and g-strings everywhere you turn your head, see through pants on every corner and topless sunbathing on every beach. What's more, these women retain a certain level of class and sophistication and take great care of their bodies. The most important part of Bulgaria is the charm and beauty that you will find in these stunning women.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a city unlike any other. The women of Buenos Aires are beautiful, natural women who are comfortable in their amazing bodies. Nearly every women in Buenos Aires is a model waiting to be found. The parties are legendary and the clubs and events are overloaded with beautiful, approachable, and fun women.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen's women are probably some of the most approachable you will ever meet. Also, these women are much more liberated sexually than most other cities throughout the world. They are all over, working in all places and always ready to head to the local bar for a drink or two. The environment runs at a much slower pace and the women enjoy a wide variety of situations.

1. Stockholm, Sweden

It seems like every woman in Stockholm is amazingly beautiful. Also, these women know how to party and enjoy each other. Per capita the women of Stockholm were the most beautiful. These women were also extremely educated and friendly. These women make you feel good in every way. Sweden is a must visit on a future vacation!