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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 5 Most Awesomely Ridiculous Mashups Ever

Mashups as a concept came into their own in the '00s. But for every Grey Album, there's a subpar, homemade jam clogging up YouTube.

But some of those amateur creations? Genius. I mean, I may just start listening to mashups exclusively. Listen:

1. "The Trooper Believer," Iron Maiden + The Monkees

Same key, same BPM, same verse lengths... holy crap, Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and The Monkees' "I'm A Believer" are the same song. It's not just Bruce Dickinson's piercing vocal that perfectly matches the track—the guitar solo that kicks in at 1:35 might as well have been played by Peter Tork (if Tork were English, into leather, and knew the number of the beast). Oh and recall that "I'm A Believer" was written by Neil Diamond, in case you didn't think this was weird enough.

2. "Runnin' With The Beatles," David Lee Roth + The Beatles

David Lee Roth may have come up with the late '70s class of Sunset Strip metal, but one listen to his voice and the timeless entertainer inside Dave was apparent. Hitched to the Beatles' four-wheeled Rubber Soul rocker, Dave's California personality shines through. Here's what David Lee Roth would have sounded like fifteen years earlier.

3. "Sgt. Pepper's Paradise City," Guns n' Roses + The Beatles

Guns n' Roses and the Beatles—mashups don't get more anthemic than this. It's John and Paul singing over the music of Slash, Stradlin, McKagan, and Adler. It may get a bit awkward when the frenzied, sped-up outro kicks in, but by that point you're headbanging anyway, so who cares. You know, the Beatles really could have used more referee whistle.

4. "Come Closer Together," The Beatles + Nine Inch Nails

"Come Together" is one of the most eerie, dark entries in the Beatles' catalog. And just about everything Trent Reznor's done has been spooky. So yeah, let's mash 'em up. This may be the closest the word 'sex' has ever gotten to a Beatles' lyric. FYI: If you're familiar with "Closer," then you already know the audio is NSFW.

5. "We Will Rock And Roll Beverly Hills," Weezer + Joan Jett + Queen

Weezer, Joan Jett, Queen. That's right—three artists are mashed up here. Thanks to the blissful simplicity of all three songs in question, "We Will Rock And Roll Beverly Hills" never gets unwieldy. When you hear these songs put together, you realize that, really, all that's needed for a kickbutt rock song are distorted guitars and lyrics that don't discuss anything more complicated than wanting to rock, all delivered at a head-nodding, grinding pace.


10 Techs Transforming Sports : Discovery News Technologies that are changing the way sports are practiced, played, scored and watched.

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Clooney-Batman is worst film ever


Suits ... Chris O'Donnell and George Clooney

GEORGE CLOONEY's comic book adventure Batman And Robin has been voted the worst movie of all time.

The 1997 film - which cost £90million to make and also starred CHRIS O'DONNELL and UMA THURMAN - was blamed for almost killing off the Caped Crusader franchise.

It was slammed for its camp "Batsuits" - which had nipples - and an "overblown" script.

Empire magazine, which ran the "most disastrous movie" poll, said: "It has become a byword for franchise-killing and bad movie-making."

The film got almost three times as many votes as the next entry - JOHN TRAVOLTA's bizarre sci-fi flick Battlefield Earth.

And Austin Powers funnyman MIKE MYERS' comedy The Love Guru came in third place.

The top 10 bad movies: 1. Batman and Robin; 2. Battlefield Earth; 3. The Love Guru; 4. Raise The Titanic; 5. Epic Movie; 6. Heaven's Gate; 7. Sex Lives Of The Potato Men; 8. The Happening; 9. Highlander II: The Quickening; 10. The Room.

Rare ailment makes girl, 13, look like she’s 50

Zara Hartshorn has lipodystrophy, which makes her look old before her time

By Michael Inbar contributor

On the inside, Zara Hartshorn is just like any 13-year-old girl — but on the outside she looks middle-aged due to lipodystrophy, a rare condition she inherited from her mother.

For some folks, turning 50 can trigger a midlife crisis. But due to a cruel blow of nature, Zara Hartshorn is forced to deal with it at the tender age of 13.

Though barely a teen, Zara has the appearance of a 50-year-old, something that saps her confidence just when most young people are striving for self-esteem. The Rotherham, England, teen suffers from lipodystrophy, a syndrome that causes the supporting fatty tissue under the skin to crumble even while the skin continues to grow, often at an alarming rate.

The hereditary condition is extremely rare — only about 2,000 people around the world have it — and for Zara, it has devastating social effects.

Zara’s story, profiled on TODAY Monday, revealed a young girl struggling to find a place in the world despite the teasing and taunts of her peers. Because of her condition, Zara resembled a full-grown woman before she turned 10; now, as a teen, she looks older than many of her peers’ parents.

“[They] call me Grandma,” Zara told NBC News.

A family disease
Sadly, lipodystrophy is a family affair for the Hartshorns: Zara’s mother, Tracey, suffers from the same genetic disorder, as do two of Zara’s siblings. But the affects of lipodystrophy are especially pronounced in Zara; at 13, she looks older than her 21-year-old sister Jolene and 16-year-old brother Tommy, though both also have the disease.

Tracey Hartshorn told The Mirror U.K. newspaper that she realized Zara had the disorder when she was barely home from the hospital.

“I’d seen it all before with my other children — the loose skin, the hollow face and the wrinkles around her chin,” Tracey said. “But I’d never seen a case so severe on a baby so young — my heart sank. I felt so guilty, because when she was a baby I knew the pain she would go through later in life, and I knew I had passed the disorder on.”

Even as a toddler, Zara Hartshorn showed the effects of lipodystrophy.

Zara told NBC News she tries to put on a brave front, but in the face of schoolyard taunts, she finds it hard to even get out of bed four days a week. Bus drivers refuse to believe she is 13 and charge her an adult fare; the same happens when she tries to purchase a children’s ticket at a movie theater.

She told the Mirror she does her best to stand up to bullies at school, but fears for her safety.

“If I can run and hide, I answer back, then run away. But most of the time I just have to take it,” she said. “Otherwise, I’m scared they’ll beat me up.”

Zara’s mother also has lipodystrophy, making her appear older than her 40 years.

Fearing the future
Still, Zara has her dreams of what life will be like as an adult. “I want a job; a part-time job in teaching and a part-time job in beauty therapy,” she told NBC.

Mom Tracey, who at 40 also looks older than her years, told NBC her life has been racked with insecurity as a result of her own lipodystrophy. She’s had a string of bad relationships, and her children are the product of several fathers. Zara’s own father plays no part in her life, she said.

It leaves her fearing all the more for Zara’s future.

“I don’t think there’s any way to protect her,” she told NBC. “She’s always going to have somebody somewhere that will be willing to pick fun, ridicule her.”

While there is no cure for lipdystrophy, cosmetic surgery can mitigate some of the effects — but that option is likely too costly for a family that lives on public assistance.

But Zara still hopes that someday she can receive help and live a more normal life. “I feel if I have my face done, it will give me some more confidence,” she said.


© 2010

News Corp. in early talks for 'Avatar' sequel

Rupert Murdoch said company is 'pushing' for followup pic

By Georg Szalai


NEW YORK -- News Corp. is in very early talks with James Cameron about a possible "Avatar" sequel.

Asked about potential "Avatar" sequels, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said on his quarterly earnings call Tuesday that the conglomerate is in "very early talks about it." Director James Cameron "has ideas" for a sequel, he said, adding: "We will be pushing for one."

But he cautioned analysts not to "hold your breath for an early one" in a possible reference to Cameron projects often taking a long time to come to fruition.

News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO Chase Carey interjected that both sides want to make another movie. "We certainly both intend to have one," he said.

The executives said financing of a sequel like of any movies these days would be key as News Corp. likes to lay off risk, especially since Cameron films tend to go over budget. But given the success of "Avatar," financing details could come together.

Management also said 60% or more of the profit from "Avatar" will come in over the next two quarters, adding the firm will continue its theater run as the boxoffice goes well, with a DVD release also planned soon after the theatrical run. A DVD release date hasn't been announced so far.

Pushed further on details about the DVD plans for "Avatar," Murdoch said it will be released during his company's current fiscal year, which ends June 30. But he also highlighted that it won't be a 3D DVD release as that technology isn't developed enough yet. But Carey added there could be a 3D "Avatar" DVD release further "down the road" when the technology is ready.

[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted Murdoch in the previous as saying to analysts not to "hold your breath for ANOTHER one." A review of his recorded comments reveal he said "early one."]

Confused by the 'Lost' premiere? Never fear! Damon and Carlton explain a few things about the start of Season 6 (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Warning, SPOILERS ahead. If you haven’t seen the season premiere of Lost yet, you might not want to continue past the jump yet. Lost fans who have now seen the premiere can read ahead for some explanation from Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. (Comments are likely to be full of spoilers also, you’ve been warned again.)

Once upon a time in Germany, a very smart and spiritual man tried to answer a very tricky and troubling question. In a world created by an allegedly benevolent and omnipotent God, why the heck is there suffering and evil? In the world of philosophy, this field of inquiry is called Theodicy, generally defined as an attempt to understand and justify the behavior of God. The genius German dude thought long and hard about this “problem of evil” question and came up with an answer that was unusually heady for the time. He said that despite the existence of evil, this world is actually “the best of all possible worlds,” as if our universe is the least offensive of countless alternatives, or even a pastiche comprised of pieces from the best parts of all. Wild.

Over the next 300 years, physicists, philosophers, and science fiction writers have blown out Gottfried Leibniz’s “possible worlds” concept in many different radical, challenging directions to serve all sorts of scientific and intellectual purposes, their various nuanced permutations producing a slough of different, seemingly synonymous yet not necessarily equal terms. Parallel worlds. Many worlds. Alternate realities. Mirror realities. Modal realities. Pocket universes. Bubble universes. And my favorite, “Island universes,” because it reminds me of a TV show I’m supposedly writing about, one that has referenced perhaps the foremost philosopher in this field, David Lewis.

Today, there are eggheads who believe that these “island universes” or whatnot are real — that they exist somewhere, as real and concrete as “our world,” inhabited by variations of ourselves. Naturally, this assertion has invited intense debate. Where are these worlds? Can we find them? If so, can we access them? Communicate with them? Visit them? Is there one “official world” and all the others of deviations? Did all these worlds pop into being at the same time, or do we continually create new worlds with every choice and non-choice? If so, do the other versions of you that exist across the multiverse of worlds create new worlds with their choices and non-choices, too? And who are these other “yous,” anyway? Are you separate, unique individuals? Do you share consciousness and/or a soul? Are you and your other yous destined to reach similar fates, played out through different events or circumstances? Are you and your other yous unique entities with unique destinies? Yes? No? Who knows? What does any of this Fringe-sounding s— have anything to do with Lost?!?!

Maybe everything. Maybe… nothing! Maybe something somewhere in the middle. What’s definitely for certain is this: If you’ve seen the season premiere of Lost (final SPOILER ALERT now!), you now know the hush-hush new storytelling device for the final season is this whole notion of parallel worlds. We were presented with two of them: one in which Oceanic 815 never crashed; and another that keeps continuity with the past five years of Lost having all the characters trapped in the Dharma Initiative past magically uploaded to the Island present of 2007 where the Jacob-Fake Locke-Ben drama is all going down. I’ll have a lot more to say on this tomorrow AM in my recap. But before then, I bring you news from two guys who you probably MOST want to hear from right now: Lost exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. My “Totally Lost” partner Dan Snierson and I sat down with them to talk about the year’s”flash-sideways” storytelling device. Jokes Damon Lindelof: “You [had] all these fundamental mysteries going into season 6. What’s the Monster? What’s the Island? Why is Richard Alpert not able to age? But here’s this new mystery. How dare they! How dare they present us with a new mystery at this late stage in the game!”

Fortunately, here are the producers to offer some assurance of answers and provide some helpful context for season 6.

EW: The whole idea of flash-sideways and the plan to use season 6 to show us a world where Oceanic 815 never crashed — how long has that been in the works? Why did you want to do it?
DAMON LINDELOF: It’s been in play for at least a couple of years. We knew that the ending of the time travel season was going to be an attempt to reboot. And as a result, we [knew] the audience was going to come out of the “do-over moment” thinking we were either going start over or just say it didn’t work and continue on. [We thought] wouldn’t it be great if we did both? That was the origin of the story.
CARLTON CUSE: We thought just doing one [of those options] would inherently not be satisfying. Since the very beginning of the show, characters started crossing through each other’s stories. Part of our desire [in season 6] is to show that there’s still this kind of weave, that these characters still would have impacted each other’s lives even without the event of crashing on the Island. Obviously, the big question of the season is going to be: How do these [two timelines] reconcile? However, for the fans who have not watched the show closely, that’s an intact narrative. You can just watch the flash sideways — they stand alone all by themselves. For the fans who are more deeply embedded in the show, you can watch those flash sideways, compare them to what transpired in the flashbacks and go, “Oh, that’s an interesting difference.”
LINDELOF: Right out of the gate, in the first five minutes of the premiere, you get hit over the head with two things that you’re not expecting. The first is that Desmond is on the plane. The second thing that we do is we drop out of the plane and we go below the water and we see that the Island is submerged. What we’re trying to do there is basically say to you, “God bless the survivors of Oceanic 815, because they’re so self-centered, they thought the only effect [of detonating the bomb] was going to be that their plane never crashes.” But they don’t stop to think, “If we do this in 1977, what else is going to affected by this?” So that their entire lives can be changed radically. In fact, it would appear that they’ve sunken the Island. That’s our way of saying, “Keep your eyes peeled for the differences that you’re not expecting.” Some of these characters were still in Australia, but some weren’t. Shannon’s not there. Boone actually says that he tried to get her back. There are all sorts of other people that we don’t see. Where’s Libby? Where’s Ana Lucia? Where’s Eko? These are all the things that you’re supposed to be thinking about. When our characters posited the “What if?” scenario, they neglected to think about what the other effects of potentially changing time might be and we’re embracing those things.

That said, are you saying definitively that detonating Jughead was the event that created this new timeline? Or is that a mystery which the season 6 story will reveal?
LINDELOF: It’s a mystery. A big one.
CUSE: We did have some concern that it might be confusing kind of going into the season. To clear that up a little bit: The archetypes of the characters are the same and that’s the most significant thing. Kate is still a fugitive. If you were to look at the Comic-Con video, for instance, that now comes into play. There was a different scenario in that story. She basically blew up an apprentice plumber as opposed to killing her biological father/stepfather. Those kind of differences exist, but who the characters fundamentally are is the same. If it becomes too confusing for you, you can just follow the flash sideways for what they are. It’s not as though there’s narrative that hangs on the fact that you need to know that this event was different in that world, in the flashback world versus the sideways world. That’s not critical for being able to process the narrative this season.

Is there a relationship between Island reality and sideways reality? Will they run parallel for the remainder of the season? Will they fuse together? Might one fade away?
LINDELOF: For us, the big risk that we’re taking in the final season of the show is basically this very question. [Lindelof then explains the show has replaced the trademark “whoosh!” sound effect marking the segue between Island present story and flashbacks or flash-forwards, thus calling conspicuous attention to the relationship between the Island world and the Sideways world.] This is the critical mystery of the season, which is, “What is the relationship between these two shows?” And we don’t use the phrase “alternate reality,” because to call one of them an “alternate reality” is to infer that one of them isn’t real, or one of them is real and the other is the alternate to being real.
CUSE: But the questions you’re asking are exactly the right questions. What are we to make of the fact that they’re showing us two different timelines? Are they going to resolve? Are they going to connect? Are they going to co-exist in parallel fashion? Are they going to cross? Do they intersect? Does one prove to be viable and the other one not? I think those are all the kind of speculations that are the right speculations to be having at this point in the season.
LINDELOF: But it is going to require patience. We’ve taught the audience how to be patient thus far, so while they’re getting a lot of mythological answers on the island early in the season, this idea of what is the relationship between the two [worlds] is a little bit more of a slow burn.

Did Jughead really sink the Island? And is it possible that the Sideways characters are now caught in a time loop in which they might have to go back in time and fulfill the obligation to continuity by detonating the bomb?
LINDELOF: These questions will be dealt with on the show. Should you infer that the detonation of Jughead is what sunk the island? Who knows? But there’s the Foot. What do you get when you see that shot? It looks like New Otherton got built. These little clues [might help you] extrapolate when the Island may have sunk. Start to think about it. A couple of episodes down the road, some of the characters might even discuss it. We will say this: season 6 is not about time travel. It’s about the implications, the aftermath, and the causality of trying to change the past. But the idea of continuing to do paradoxical storytelling is not what we’re interested in this year.

There you go. Some food for thought. Dan and I will have more Messrs. Cuse and Lindelof later this week at and in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on sale Friday. If you’ve made it this far into this post, stay tuned: There’s a monstrously epic recap coming your way tomorrow. Until then, please: Get talking! What did you love? What did you hate? What left you totally baffled? What theories do you have to explain it all? The floor is yours!

Photo Credit: Mario Perez/ABC

NASA’s Next Space Suit & a Look Back at U.S. Space Suits | Decoded Stuff

A brand new space suit to give flexibility and mobility for astronauts! Engineers are developing a new space suit for astronauts returning to the moon within the next decade.

The suit will be equipped with a computer that links directly to earth. With 150 years of life, the suit can protect from harsh environment also.The new design allows the astronauts to work outside of International Space Station (ISS). The design is also suitable for Mars trips.

David Clark Company is designing a new U.S. space suit for missions to the space station, moon, and the Mars.

The space suit designed by David Clark Company, expected to be ready by 2013, is being tested by the program manager of the Constellation space suits project, Donald Tufts.

Click here to see the full article and all of the pics/

NASA’s Next Space Suit & a Look Back at U.S. Space Suits | Decoded Stuff

Madonna is Crazy for Coconut Water

Madonna is coming soon to your neighborhood bodega: The Material Girl has become a major investor in a company that sells coconut water in supermarkets.

Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, told The New York Post that the singer invested about $1.5 million in Vita Coco, a New York-based company that sells the beverage in New York and Los Angeles and wants to take its product national. Oseary also told The Post he's convinced other celebrities, including actor Matthew McConaughey and singer Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to make smaller investments in the company.

Apparently, Madonna liked the juice of green coconuts so much, she's throwing marketing ideas to the Vita Coco management, and is talking about making a follow-up investment, according to The Post.

Coconut water has been gaining trendiness over the last couple of years, moving out of inner-city bodegas, where its main audience had been immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America, and into the realm of hipster chic. With Madonna's seal of approval, it could go mainstream.

The market could be ripe for growth -- no pun intended. Several companies are already promoting coconut water as both a healthy substitute for sports drinks and a trendy mixer for cocktails. Vita Coco has reportedly turned down overtures from both Pepsico (PEP), which already owns two brands of coconut water in Brazil, and Coca-Cola Co. (KO). A rival coconut water brand, Zico, last year sold a minority stake to Coca-Cola, and another brand, O.N.E., signed a distribution agreement with Pepsi.

Lucky Stars? In High-Profile Investments, Not Always

But keep in mind, celebrity investors are not the same thing as investment celebrities. Madonna is nothing like Warren Buffett.

Any number of celebrities have put their money and fame behind various ventures -- U2 frontman Bono co-founded Elevation Partners, a Silicon Valley tech fund, and Bruce WIllis just signed up as an investor in distiller Belvedere SA -- but a having celebrities attached to your business is no guarantee of success. The company has to live and die by its own product.

Remember Planet Hollywood? The chain of restaurants was supposed to take on the Hard Rock Cafe, and it was a natural fit for movie stars like Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. For a while, it was flying high, and spawned imitators like the Fashion Cafe (models) and the All-Star Cafe (famous jocks). Then it overreached, opened too many restaurants and ended up with a trip to bankruptcy court, followed by a couple of sequels. Star power turned out to be no substitute for prudent management.

The investors apparently learned their lesson -- except perhaps for Arnold, who's trying to bail out California. Willis got a 3.3% stake in Belvedere in exchange for promoting its vodka, and his ex-wife Demi Moore -- another former Planet Hollywood investor -- made a smaller investment in Vita Coco than Madonna. Even stars sometimes have to start small.

kollin leschinsky 5 year old amazing skateboarder

Super-Hard Diamonds Found in Meteorite

The ultra-hard rocks may not end up on your finger, but they could help scientists learn how to create harder diamonds in the lab.

By Larry O'Hanlon |
diamond, rock

It didn't look quite this dramatic, but ultra hard diamonds were discovered in a meteorite that fell over Finland in 1971.

Researchers using a diamond paste to polish a slice of meteorite stumbled onto something remarkable: crystals in the rock that are harder than diamonds.

A closer look with an array of instruments revealed two totally new kinds of naturally occurring carbon, which are harder than the diamonds formed inside the Earth.

"The discovery was accidental but we were sure that looking in these meteorites would lead to new findings on the carbon system," said Tristan Ferroir of the Universite de Lyon in France.

Ferroir is the lead author of a report in the new diamond in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

The researchers were polishing a slice of the carbon-rich Havero meteorite that fell to Earth in Finland in 1971. When they then studied the polished surface they discovered carbon-loaded spots that were raised well above the rest of the surface –- suggesting that these areas were harder than the diamonds used in the polishing paste.

"That in itself is not surprising," said diamond researcher Changfeng Chen of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. He explained that sometimes during the shock of impact graphite can create jumbled "amorphous" zones that can resist diamonds, at least those coming at them from one direction.

But what apparently happened in the Havero meteorite is that graphite layers were shocked and heated enough to create bonds between the layers -- which is exactly how humans manufacture diamonds, Chen explained.

Ferroir's team took the next step and put the diamond-resistant crystals under the scrutiny of some very rigorous mineralogical analyzing instruments to learn how its atoms are lined up. That allowed them to confirm that they had, indeed, found a new "phase" or polymorph of crystalline carbon as well as a type of diamond that had been predicted to exist decades ago, but had never been found in nature until now.

"The new structure is very interesting," Chen told Discovery News. "It gives us some clues so we can try to make it in the laboratory, and then investigate it."

Among the things that would be interesting to learn, Chen said, is how hard are the new kinds of diamonds. The sample from the meteorite was far too small to test for hardness, except to show that it is certainly harder than regular diamonds.

"The only evidence we have for a higher hardness than diamond is the fact that we polished the rock section with a diamond paste and that our polymorph and polytypes were not polished by this material," said Ferroir. "This why we do think that its hardness is harder than diamond."

However, there is no way at the present to compare them to the artificial ultra-hard diamonds known as lonsdaleite and boron nitride, Ferroir said.

This Projector Costs As Much As A BMW M5

This Projector Costs As Much As A BMW M5
Wolf Cinema DCX-1000i Front Projector

Miley's 9-year-old sister launching a lingerie line for kids


Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Seems like every time we hear about Noah Cyrus she's doing something totally innapropriate for her age.

Whether it's dressing like a dominatrix for Halloween, skipping around a pole-dancing pole or performing the totally un-PG hits 'Smack That' and 'Tik Tok', we suspect this nine-year-old could easily notch up more scandals than her big sis by the time she hits her teens.

Noah at two Halloween parties last year.
The latest news that's got us scratching our heads and wondering, yet again, 'what were her parents thinking?' ...little Noah is set to become a lingerie model.

She'll be teaming up with her pint-sized best friend Emily Grace to launch a children's lingerie collection for 'Ohh! La, La! Couture'.

Left: Pole dancing with her little friends last year. Right: With her best friend Emily Grace.
The company's website describes The Emily Grace Collection as having a “trendy, sweet, yet edgy feel, reminiscent of Emily’s true personality. She is collaborating with Ooh! La, La! Couture designers to create versatile styles that can be worn with sweet ballerina slippers, funky sneakers or paired with lace stockings and boots for more of a rock and roll look. Emily’s collection will appeal not just to little girls - the line also has an exclusive Teen Collection available to a size 14."

Here's a clip of this poor Emily Grace kid dressed up in a pair of fishnets and chatting about her underwear line with Miley and Noah...

We weep for the future.

A Most Amusing Nudist Colony Sign