By Josh Tyler:
The first teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has arrived and it begins, rather appropriately, by asking what you know about the Deathly Hallows. I don’t know much, but luckily John Hurt as Mr. Ollivander knows a lot as he narrates the trailer with talk of immortality while the Potter gang looks worried and, occasionally, show up with their hands covered in blood. Hey, remember when these were kids’ movies? No longer.
This may be similar to the teaser on the Blu-Ray disc, but it seems to be a more official version. It’s a fantastic teaser, a great way to whet your appetite for the beginning of the end of the Potter’s wizarding world on screen. Check it out below along with high-res screenshots from key scenes.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
By Josh Tyler:
When the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse was transformed into Tarzan's Treehouse in 1999, we bit our tongues. Then when they started throwing in waxy Johnny Depps into the Pirates of the Caribbean in 2000, we were annoyed (but not as much, because really, who doesn't want every given opportunity to stare at Captain Jack Sparrow?). In 2007, Tom Sawyer Island was "re-imagined" as Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island.
And now? Now, hot on the heels of the premiere of the final season of LOST, fanboys and girls are proposing a way to let the craze live on: Transforming the Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island to a LOST-themed island experience.
Which, we're not sure, but will probably involve polar bears. And giant feet. And smoke monsters. Maybe some (dead) hobbitses. And all sorts of other shit we still--five fucking seasons later--can't fully understand.
It has already been confirmed by the writers of LOST that there will indeed be no LOST film, a direction several other television series with cult followings took, like The Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks and The X-Files, so the rabid ones are looking for a way to keep the dream and/or fanboy/girl wank alive.
You can go ahead and credit
And so the dream began. Which led to this, an online petition to the head honchos at Disney, for a LOST ride, including, but not limited to the following features:
- The Frozen Donkey Wheel behind the Orchid Station testing chamber
- The Swan station and Hatch ride
- A submarine ride to Palu Ferry
- Dharmaville Barracks
- Smoke monster
- Jacob's Cabin
- The Egyptian Statue and Jacob's Lair
Obviously it's all a pipe dream (they might want to spell "television" correctly on the petition first), one that would probably never happen, given that LOST isn't exactly the most family-friendly show ("Mommy, why're Sawyer and Kate having sex in a cage?"), despite the fact that Disney is the parent company of ABC. And we're not exactly for the further obliteration of what what remains of Tom Sawyer anyway.
But, hey, if there are wax figures of the foxy Matthew Fox involved, we wouldn't be totally opposed.
The urinals in the men's rooms at Land Shark Stadium in Miami, the host of Super Bowl XLIV, won't be contributing to that phenomenon, says Falcon Waterfree Technologies LLC, the maker of 220 waterless urinals at the site formerly known as Dolphin Stadium.
It's the second Super Bowl challenge in Miami for Falcon. Its fixtures were in place at the stadium for Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
The company says its products are known as the "Urinal of Champions" because of their use at several major sports venues. They include Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Los Angeles' Staples Center and the University of Michigan's "Big House."
The Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, host of the 96th Rose Bowl Game this past Saturday and the BCS National Championship on January 7, installed 259 Falcon waterfree urinals in 2002 and now saves 10.4 million gallons of water annually, the firm says.
Use of the fixtures at the Rose Bowl Stadium also helps avoid 187,200 pounds of CO2 emissions each year because by eliminating water, no energy is used to treat or transport it.
International sites using Falcon's urinals include the Taj Mahal and London's Heathrow Airport. The company, which is based in Los Angeles, estimates that its products have helped save 22 billion gallons of water worldwide. That's enough to fill about 4.4 million tank trucks, or 33,333 Olympic-size swimming pools or 141 billion "venti-size" coffee cups, the firm says.
Images courtesy of Falcon Waterfree Technologies LLC. Top image taken at Rose Bowl Stadium. Inset taken at Land Shark Stadium.
In a statement given to the Times, Cameron defends himself as follows:
“I wanted Grace to be a character who is initially off-putting and even unpleasant. She’s rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes. She is not meant to be an aspirational role model to teenagers, in fact our young protagonist, Jake, through whom we experience this story, finds her to be obnoxious at first. Also, from a character perspective, we were showing that Grace doesn’t care about her human body, only her avatar body, which again is a negative comment about people in our real world living too much in their avatars, meaning on-line and in videogames. In addition, speaking as an artist, I don’t believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality. If it’s okay for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG 13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking?
I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way. We need to embrace a more complex set of criteria than simply the knee jerk reaction “smoking is bad, therefore cannot be shown.” It should be a matter of character, context, and the nature of the portrayal. I think the people who are earnestly trying to do some good in this area would be more supported by the artistic community if they were less black and white in their thinking. Smoking is a filthy habit which I don’t support, and neither, I believe, does Avatar.”
Cameron’s argument is perfectly reasonable and sound, but I’m certain it won’t deter any of the afore-mentioned anti-smoking campaigners. Mr. Glantz likened the smoking scenes in Avatar to someone putting “a bunch of plutonium in the water supply.” This is an aggressively ridiculous assertion which neatly underscores the extremity of his views. I’m almost sorry that Cameron felt obliged to answer back at all, as it suggests a willingness to be part of this trivial and trivializing conversation. He doesn’t owe the art police a thing, but now they’ll know he’s listening. That’s usually their cue to get louder.
I mocked Freddie Prinze Jr. when THR first reported he was cast this season, thinking he might be a distracting drag on the ticket like Janeane Garofalo last year. But the actor is likable here and fits the "24" universe better than you'd expect. "Battlestar" vet Katee Sackhoff seems frustrated -- she's great when she's playing moments of total strength or total vulnerability (and best at playing both at the same time). Reacting to computers and phone calls at CTU doesn't really suit her, she thrives in more active roles. Given that this is "24," she'll probably get her turn at bat.
What might get the most comments from fans is the new CTU, which has been given an extreme makeover for the New York edition. Glass walls, projected images, sliding doors, employees wearing earpieces, and an underground valet entrance. It's like some hipster nightclub in a boutique Soho hotel, complete with Sackhoff in a black cocktail dress. When introduced to a white-on-white interrogation room, you expect the suspect to receive overpriced bottle service instead of harsh questions. It's all very watchable and totally ludicrous, but you can tell the producers are proud of the set design the way the camera lovingly introduces each room at Club CTU.
As always, the biggest trick with "24" is presenting the familiar plotting and twists for an audience that's been here many times before. Though this season's assassination storyline is familiar, the execution is strong and grounded in realism juuuust enough -- at least, so far.
Remember: The widely bashed sixth season had one of the best opening four hours in the show's history (with a traumatized Bauer returning from Chinese prison and a nuclear weapon blowing up Santa Clarita), then squandered a potentially game-changing head start by reverting to recycled ideas and lazy writing. Producers say the first four hours are the most crucial of each season. Let's hope they gave equal attention to the rest of Bauer's day.
World's Tallest Building Named after Leader of Abu Dhabi, the Shiekdom That Rescued Dubai During Economic Crisis
- An Emirati man watches the city view at an observation point screen at the observation deck of the Burj Dubai tower, on Level 124 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
A lavish presentation witnessed by Dubai's ruler and thousands of onlookers at the base of the tower said the building was 828 meters, or 2717 feet, tall.
Dubai is opening the tower in the midst of a deep financial crisis. Its oil rich neighbor Abu Dhabi has pumped billions of dollars in bailout funds into the emirate as it struggles to pay its debts.
Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the ruler of Abu Dhabi and serves as the president of the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven small emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Analysts have questioned what Dubai might need to offer in exchange for the financial support it has received from Abu Dhabi, which controls nearly all of the UAE's oil wealth. Abu Dhabi provided direct and indirect injections totaling $25 billion last year as Dubai's debt problems deepened.
Dubai's hereditary ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in recent months has increasingly underscored the close relationship between the two emirates. Sheik Mohammed serves as vice president and prime minister of the UAE federation.
Photos: World's Tallest Building Opens
The developer of the newly opened tower said it cost about $1.5 billion to build the tapering metal-and-glass spire billed as a "vertical city" of luxury apartments and offices. It boasts four swimming pools, a private library and a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.
The Burj's developers say they are confident in the safety of the tower, which is more than twice the height of New York's Empire State Building's roof.
Greg Sang, Emaar's director of projects, said the Burj has "refuge floors" at 25 to 30 story intervals that are more fire resistant and have separate air supplies in case of emergency. And its reinforced concrete structure, he said, makes it stronger than steel-frame skyscrapers.
"It's a lot more robust," he said. "A plane won't be able to slice through the Burj like it did through the steel columns of the World Trade Center."
Dubai was little more than a sleepy fishing village a generation ago but it boomed into the Middle East's commercial hub over the past two decades on the back of business-friendly trading policies, relative security, and vast amounts of overseas investment.
Then property prices in parts of sheikdom collapsed by nearly half over the past year. Now Dubai is mired in debt and many buildings sit largely empty - the result of overbuilding during a property bubble that has since burst.
Despite the past year of hardships, the tower's developer and other officials were in a festive mood, trying to bring the world's focus on Dubai's future potential rather than past mistakes.
"Crises come and go. And cities move on," Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of the tower's developer Emaar Properties, told reporters before the inauguration. "You have to move on. Because if you stop taking decisions, you stop growing."
Dubai, which has little oil of its own, relied on cheap loans to pump up its international clout during the frenzied boom years.
But like many overextended homeowners, the emirate and its state-backed companies borrowed too heavily and then struggled to keep up with payments as the financial crisis intensified and credit markets froze up.
Meanwhile, speculators who had fueled Dubai's property bubble disappeared along with the easy money, revealing a glut of brand-new but empty homes and crippling many of the emirate's property developers
The sheikdom shocked global markets late last year when it unexpectedly announced plans to reorganize its main state-run conglomerate Dubai World and sought new terms in repaying some $26 billion in debt.
Burj developer Emaar is itself partly owned by the Dubai government, but is not part of struggling Dubai World, which has investments ranging from Dubai's manmade islands and seaports to luxury retailer Barneys New York and the oceanliner Queen Elizabeth 2.
Emaar's Alabbar said the landmark Burj is 90 percent sold in a mix of residential units, offices and other space, offering a counterpoint to Dubai's financial woes.
The developer has only said the spire stands more than 2,625 feet tall. Alabbar said Dubai's ruler will announce the height at the inauguration ceremony.
At a reported height of 2,684 feet, the Burj Dubai long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
But the tower's record-seeking developers didn't stop there.
The building boasts the most stories and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the world's tallest structure, beating out a television mast in North Dakota.
"We weren't sure how high we could go," said Bill Baker, the building's structural engineer, who is in Dubai for the inauguration. "It was kind of an exploration ... A learning experience"
Baker, of Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said early designs for the Burj had it edging out the world's previous record-holder, the Taipei 101, by about 33 feet. The Taiwan tower rises 1,667 feet.
Work on Burj Dubai began in 2004 and moved ahead rapidly. At times, new floors were being added almost every three days, reflecting Dubai's raging push to reshape itself into a cosmopolitan urban giant packed with skyscrapers.
During the busiest construction periods, some 12,000 workers labored at the tower each day, according to Emaar. Low-wage migrant workers from the Indian subcontinent provided much of the muscle for the Burj and many of Dubai's other building projects.
The tower is more than 50 stories higher than Chicago's Willis Tower, the tallest building in the U.S. formerly known as the Sears Tower.
At their peak, some apartments in the Burj were selling for more than $1,900 per square foot, though they now can go for less than half that, said Heather Wipperman Amiji, chief executive of Dubai real estate consultancy Investment Boutique.
She said some buyers may struggle to find tenants at going rates once the tower's expected high service charges are factored in.
"The investment community is quite divided," she said. "They're not sure how it's going to play out."
The Burj is the centerpiece of a 500-acre development that officials hope will become a new central residential and commercial district in this sprawling and often disconnected city. It is flanked by dozens of smaller but brand-new skyscrapers and the Middle East's largest shopping mall.
That layout - as the core of a lower-rise skyline - lets the Burj stand out prominently against the horizon. It is visible across dozens of miles of rolling sand dunes outside Dubai. From the air, the spire appears as an almost solitary, slender needle reaching high into the sky.
An observation deck on the 124th floor opens to the public Tuesday, with adult tickets starting at 100 dirhams, or just over $27 apiece. The ride to the top took just over a minute during a visit for journalists early Monday morning.
Dubai landmarks like the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel and the manmade Palm Jumeirah island were visible through the haze.
The Burj itself cast a sundial-like shadow over low-rise houses and empty sand-covered lots stretching toward the azure Persian Gulf waters. And yes, Dubai is still open for business: there are gift shops at the base and the top.
© MMX, The Associated Press.
He is well known artist and he already did numerous significant artworks. He is famous by his 3.000 m² sculpture “Les Deux Plateaux” in the great courtyard of the Palais Royal, in Paris. The latest artwork that is made by Daniel Buren is his ‘beach art’ that was performed in Den Haan, Belgium. His beach artwork is pretty different and unique in it’s own way because it’s made out of hundreds of flagpoles and windsocks.
You can see here his artistic construction that contains 100 flagpoles up with 100 windsocks, similar to those that can be found on bridges and airports which are used to show the direction of the wind. The tubes are candy-striped and they stand in horizontal position because of the wind.
Buren says that he wants to inspire the illusion of a forest on the beach with his artworks.
More about the artist:
Daniel Buren is born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France.
In 1986 Daniel Buren created a 3,000 m² sculpture in the great courtyard of the Palais Royal, in Paris: “Les Deux Plateaux”, more commonly referred to as the “Colonnes de Buren”. This provoked an intense debate over the integration of contemporary art and historic buildings.
Sometimes classified as an abstract minimalist he is known best for using regular, contrasting maxi stripes to integrate the visual surface and architectural space, notably historical, landmark architecture.
Credits: [DanielBuren.com | Flickr ]
GM crops have been cleared for commercial cultivation (Image: Jeff Hutchens/Getty)
Gene rice on its way in China - life - 04 January 2010 - New Scientist
Posted by gjblass at 1:05 PM
life.com — Before unveiling the 3-D sci-fi epic to an intensely curious audience at the December 10 world premiere, director James Cameron and actors Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver zipped around Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and London on a dizzying promotional tour. LIFE.com photographer Jeff Vespa was along...
By DAVE ITZKOFF
The pictures, which can be seen in their entirety here and here, are clearly inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” (not to mention, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, similar promotions for the final seasons of “The Sopranos” and “Battlestar Galactica”), and their subtle differences seem to promise clues to attentive observers.
What hidden secrets about the conclusion of “Lost” have we divined after several hours of careful meditation? Almost none. But here are a few things we’ve noticed. Do they mean anything?
Herb Williams was born in Montgomery in 1973, and then received a BFA in sculpture from Birmingham-Southern College. In 1998, he started his unique creation, that is, creating original sculptures out of individual crayons that may require as many as hundreds of thousands. He received The Joan Mitchell Foundation Museum Purchase Grant in 2004 and the Next Star Artist Award in 2008.Herb Williams is one of the only individuals in the world with an account with Crayola. His works have got highly laudation by numerous news papers and museums, and have reached many countries as America, China, England, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Croatia, and Japan. Are you curious about how great his works are? Let’s have a look at them together.
Click here to see the rest of this artist gallery