Drones Reveal How Bowhead Whales Migrate Thousands Of Miles To Exfoliate – The Inquisitr


The Inquisitr

Drones Reveal How Bowhead Whales Migrate Thousands Of Miles To Exfoliate
The Inquisitr
For close to two centuries, bowhead whales have been observed rubbing against large boulders in the summer, but it wasn't exactly clear why. Thanks to a new study, it can now be confirmed that this is the whales' way of exfoliating, or getting rid of ...
These whales use boulders for a good back scratchThe Verge

Whales migrate thousands of kilometres to scratch an itchThe Australian
Ocean spa: Watch bowhead whales use giant boulders to exfoliateInternational Business Times UK
EurekAlert (press release) -Tech Times -Cosmos -PLOS Research News
all 35 news articles »

German Amazon workers stage ‘Black Friday’ strike

A labor union says workers at a half dozen Amazon distribution centers in Germany have walked off the job, the latest in a string of walkouts in a long-running wage dispute with the American online retailer at one of its busiest times.

The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts — Not Just How Fast – KPBS


KPBS

The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts — Not Just How Fast
KPBS
Glacial melting ice floats in Los Glaciares National Park, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, in 2015 in Argentina. As city officials try to plan for a future of rising sea levels, they need a better understanding which melting ice will most ...

and more »

Medical News Today: Seven alternatives to a colonscopy

Most medical professionals recommend the use of a colonoscopy to detect colon cancer, but it can be costly and invasive. Are there alternatives?

Based On His Tweets, Here’s What Donald Trump Was Thankful For This Year

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s that time of year where families across America gather to eat an irrationally large dinner at an irrationally early hour and discuss what they’re most thankful for, like good health, new relationships, or― in the case of President Donald Trump― tax cuts and Sean Hannity’s ratings.



The president on Thursday met with Coast Guard members, videochatted with troops overseas, ate dinner with his family, and visited his namesake golf course. He also tweeted... a lot. By analyzing those tweets, we’ve determined what the commander-in-chief is most grateful for. 



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Lack of food contributing to students’ poor health and absenteeism

Teenagers whose families worry about money for food are more likely to be overweight, have poor mental and physical health, and miss school, according to new University of Auckland research.

Uber was hacked, so change your password right now. Here’s what else you need to know

Uber has admitted that a 2016 data breach put at risk the personal information of 57 million Uber users worldwide and at least 600,000 drivers in the United States.

Scientists develop artificial photosynthesis device for greener ethylene production

A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a prototype device that mimics natural photosynthesis to produce ethylene gas using only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The novel method, which produces ethylene at room temperature and pressure using benign chemicals, could be scaled up to provide a more eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to the current method of ethylene production. 

Flies’ disease-carrying potential may be greater than thought, researchers say – Phys.Org


Phys.Org

Flies' disease-carrying potential may be greater than thought, researchers say
Phys.Org
Researchers used a scan electron microscope to find where bacterial cells and particles attach to the fly body. The electron microscope captures an up close look at the head of a blowfly in this picture. Credit: Ana Junqueira and Stephan Schuster ...
Flies carrying hundreds of species of bacteria pose disease threat, experts warnThe Sun

Houseflies could spread disease between humans, scientists warnNW Evening Mail

all 5 news articles »

Are our lakes on the brink of suffocation?

In order to gain insight into how lakes breathe, EPFL scientists have studied oxygen depletion in the depths of Lake Geneva – the first time such research has been carried out. By collecting key data, they were able to enhance their understanding of the lake's ecosystem and how it is likely to evolve over time.

To address hunger effectively, first check the weather, says new study

Too little rain, or too much, is often a driver of poverty and hunger, leading to poor nutrition and food insecurity among vulnerable populations. According to a new study, rainfall patterns also provide clues on how to most effectively alleviate food insecurity.

Flies’ disease-carrying potential may be greater than thought, researchers say

Flies can be more than pesky picnic crashers, they may be potent pathogen carriers, too, according to an international team of researchers.

Medical News Today: How 20 minutes of intense exercise can boost memory

New research shows that intense physical activity increases levels of a protein that helps brain cells grow and function better. This may improve memory.

We learn from our mistakes: how to make better predictions from tweets

Social media is viewed as a potential goldmine of information. The key is to work out how to mine this abundant source of public sentiment.

Crowdsourcing predicts new product success

Evaluating the commercial potential for new product designs is challenging – think drop-crotch pants or gold sneakers – who knew they'd be a hit? But new research reveals crowdsourcing could be the key to helping companies hit the jackpot.

Jack the Ripper and the commodification of sexual violence

More men are victims of murder than women in the UK. Yet the media reporting and fictional representations of murder have a tendency to suggest otherwise. Numerous novels, TV shows and films centre around the hunt for the killer of the usually young, usually attractive, usually white, and usually female murder victim.

Black Celebrities Are Here To Reclaim Black Friday For Black Politicians





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David Willetts interview: ‘We need a broader view of what constitutes a good university’

David Willetts was minister for universities and science in the coalition government from 2010 to 2014, when the cap on tuition fees was raised to £9,000 per year in England and Wales. In his new book, A University Education, he provides a defence of that policy following intense recent debate about it.

Mysterious Booms Heard In Colorado Leave Residents Baffled – Tech Times


Tech Times

Mysterious Booms Heard In Colorado Leave Residents Baffled
Tech Times
A series of mysterious boom-like noise, which has been heard in various parts of the United States, has left both residents and authorities baffled. Experts are still trying to figure out the actual cause of the sound. ( Pixabay ). A loud boom-like ...
Mysterious loud booms heard across the world: ReportZee News

Loud booms in several cities leave NASA clueless; People seek explanationInternational Business Times, Singapore Edition
Mysterious booms are being heard around the world - and experts are baffledYahoo News
The Express Tribune
all 7 news articles »

Going underground: Cambridge digs into the history of geology with landmark exhibition

A box full of diamonds, volcanic rock from Mount Vesuvius, and the geology guide that Darwin packed for his epic voyage on the Beagle will go on display in Cambridge this week as part of the first major exhibition to celebrate geological map-making.

Physicists make most precise measurement ever of the proton’s magnetic moment

An international collaboration of scientists from RIKEN's Ulmer Fundamental Symmetries Laboratory (FSL), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg and GSI Darmstadt, have used high-precision techniques to make the most precise measurement to date of the magnetic moment of the proton, finding it to be 2.79284734462 plus or minus 0.00000000082 nuclear magnetons, the unit typically used to measure this property. The magnetic moment, a property of particles that gives rise to magnetism, is one of the fundamental properties of the proton and is key to understanding properties such as the structure of atoms.

It’s great that Blue Planet II is pushing hard on plastic pollution in the oceans – but please use facts, not conjecture

Must we always talk for victory, and never once for truth, for comfort, and joy – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This computer game comes thanks to 2 Supreme Court justices

The Supreme Court's first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, has helped teach millions of students civics through computer games created by an organization she founded. Now, with a push from the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor, the group has translated one of its games into Spanish.

Cooking fats in the atmosphere may affect climate more than previously thought

Fats being released into the atmosphere from cookers such as deep fat fryers may be enhancing the formation of clouds, which have a major cooling effect on the planet.

Four things the Catalan crisis can teach us about social unity

The Catalan crisis has made headlines numerous times around the world over the past few months. It has sparked heated arguments between pro-independance and anti-independence supporters. And in many of the reports, the Catalan people – especially pro-independants – have been referred to as "troublemakers" and "nationalists".

The Cute And Hilarious Ways People Are Dealing With Stress This Holidays

Keeping staff satisfied really is good business, says new study

Imagine sitting down to your business meeting in a ball-pool room with multi-coloured walls and bean bags instead of chairs. If that's not crazy enough, how about a massive hammock to take a breather on during a hectic nine-hour shift?

Highly charged molecules behave paradoxically

Chemistry researchers have now discovered how certain small biomolecules attach to one another. The researchers' study also overturns the standard picture – particles with the same electrical charge appear to be drawn together and not vice versa. The results may be important for the development of new drugs.

Forty years of Meteosat

ESA's first Earth observation satellite was launched on 23 November 1977. When the first Meteosat satellite took its place in the sky, it completed coverage of the whole globe from geostationary orbit and laid the foundations for European and world cooperation in meteorology that continues today.

Miley Cyrus Shuts Down Pregnancy Rumors With Funny Thanksgiving Tweet

Miley Cyrus set the record straight over rumors that she was pregnant in the best possible way.



Reports that the “Wrecking Ball” singer and boyfriend Liam Hemsworth were possibly expecting a baby began circulating after she shared this snap to Instagram on Wednesday:



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Musk beats deadline for building world’s biggest battery

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has won a US$50 million bet by beating a 100-day deadline for building a giant battery to help South Australia avoid energy blackouts, officials said.

Medical News Today: High blood pressure: Could diet replace medication?

Researchers suggest that the DASH diet, when combined with low salt intake, may be just as effective as medication for lowering high blood pressure.

Medical News Today: Is there a link between menopause and an underactive thyroid?

In this article, we examine whether there is a link between menopause and an underactive thyroid, and how the two may affect each other.

Medical News Today: Sugar and cancer: A surprise connection or 50-year cover-up?

Knowledge of a connection between sugar and cancer might reach back as far as 50 years. But what is the evidence today? And can we get away from sugar?

Seth Meyers To Host 2018 Golden Globe Awards

Seth Meyers will host the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced earlier this week. 



The “Late Night” host will join the likes of Ricky Gervais, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon, who have all hosted the awards show honoring the best in film and television. 



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2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #40-36

2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #40-36

You voted, and now, after over 1,000 ballots were cast, here are the results of your votes for your favorite comic book storylines of all-time (this is the third time we’ve done this countdown. We’re on an every four year schedule)! We started with ten storylines a day, and now we’re down to five storylines a day (until the last week, which will be three storylines a day). You can click on the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines tag either here or at the end of the post to see the other entries, in case you missed one.

To recap, you all sent in ballots ranking your favorite storylines from #1 (10 points) to #10 (1 point). I added up all of the points and here we are!

You voted, and now, after over 1,000 ballots were cast, here are the results of your votes for your favorite comic book storylines of all-time (this is the third time we’ve done this countdown. We’re on an every four year schedule)! We started with ten storylines a day, and now we’re down to five storylines a day (until the last week, which will be three storylines a day). You can click on the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines tag either here or at the end of the post to see the other entries, in case you missed one.

40. “Blackest Night” by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert (Blackest Night #1-8) – 273 points (3 first place votes)

In a lot of ways, Blackest Night is about the very artifices that make up comic book continuity, namely the false idea that comic book characters ever really die. In this storyline, a mysterious being shows up with Black Lantern Rings that can re-animate dead people.

Eventually, this approach even goes to those characters who were FORMERLY dead, as in this striking sequence in the fifth issue of the story…

Ultimately, though, this story is about the emotional spectrum, as Geoff Johns had slowly been building up a colored emotional spectrum in the pages of Green Lantern, from the rage of the Red Lanterns to the love of the Purple Lanterns. All of the colors of the emotional spectrum are going to be needed to take on Nekron and the mighty force of death.

This is a grand, sweeping epic storyline with bold and dramatic storytelling by Ivan Reis. This storyline also paid off years worth of Green Lantern stories in a way that both resolved the original stories but also set the stage for a lot more stories (most notably the follow-up maxi-series Brightest Day).

39. “Final Crisis” by Grant Morrison, JG Jones, Doug Mahnke, Carlos Pacheco, Lee Garbett, Matthew Clark, Marco Ruby and a host of inkers (Final Crisis #1-7, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2, Final Crisis: Submit #1 plus I would throw in Batman #682-683) – 282 points (4 first place votes)

One of the most annoying aspects of Final Crisis is that Grant Morrison wrote the story in twelve comics, but only seven of those comics were actually labeled as “Final Crisis.” The others were an absolutely essential Superman Beyond two-issue mini-series plus a pretty darn essential Final Crisis: Submit #1 one-shot and a relatively important Batman two-parter. Luckily, DC at least changed their initial plans and released all but the Batman issues in the eventual Final Crisis hardcover collection, so it really didn’t matter in the end, but man, that was not the best laid plan.

Anyhow, the basic (and I mean BASIC) plot of Final Crisis is that Darkseid has come back to life by essentially traveling through time. This time travel has made a bit of a hole in the multiverse and has made it possible for an evil Monitor to break free from the prison that the other Monitors placed him into at the beginning of the multiverse. So Darkseid finally manages to conquer Earth with the anti-life equation, which he delivers in Final Crisis #3…

So things are really bad on Earth. Eventually, though, whichever heroes on Earth remain unaffected manage to fight back and take control of Earth and defeat Darkseid. The heroes then must take on Mandrakk, the evil Monitor, who is using this opportunity to basically destroy all of the multiverse. Superman and a legion of Green Lanterns and other heroes stand up to defeat the evil Mandrakk (Superman first encounters Mandrakk during Superman Beyond, when he gets caught up in the story while trying to save a mortally injured Lois Lane).

Morrison’s approach during Final Crisis was to deliver a series of short vignettes, which would then sort of coalesce into a larger picture, much like pointilism. Jonathan Hickman used a similar approach with his Infinity storyline (luckily for Hickman, Marvel gave him the freedom to not be constrained by just the issues of the Infinity mini-series, as the Avengers and New Avengers tie-in issues were essential to Hickman’s story just like how Morrison’s tie-ins were also essential to the main story).

Batman plays a major role in the story, as he is captured by Darkseid and is seemingly killed, but not before Batman mortally injures Darkseid. The whole thing was a very cool story, albeit affected by the delays due to the original artist on the project, JG Jones, being unable to complete the story.

38. “Little Worse than a Man, Little Better than a Beast” by Tom King, Gabriel Hernández Walta, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire (Vision #1-12) – 283 points (2 first place votes)

One of the most compelling things about the Vision series by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire (with a fill-in issue by Michael Walsh) is that it is very much part of the Marvel Universe. This isn’t one of those serious comic book stories that acts like it is not part of a fantastical overall narrative. No, this is firmly set within the Marvel Universe, but the Marvel Universe from the angle of the narration of the Avengers showing up in “Born Again” (which, in turn, was likely influenced by the Justice League first appearing in Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben’s Swamp Thing). Which is to say that it properly gets across the almost godly nature of the world of superheroes as compared to the world of an ordinary person. For instance, King beautifully describes to us the fantastical gifts from around the galaxy that are just sitting around in the suburban home of the Vision.

In this series, the Vision has created a suburban family for himself while he works as an Avenger. Virginia, the wife, and Viv and Vin, the two kids. They are adjusting to their new lives, with the teens going to high school, when suddenly, their seemingly ordinary lives are no longer quite so ordinary…

Destiny is a topic that gets brought up a lot in this comic, especially when it is inter-mingled with the concept of programming. If you program someone to act a certain way, are they not then destined to act that way? Or is destiny something that is always changeable? There are a whole bunch of characters in this story who try to change their destiny, while one character struggles deeply with her programming.

Walta does such a stunning job on the detailed expressions of these seemingly robotic people, you really get a perfect sense of the struggles that they are going through throughout this storyline, which is basically framed around the idea that one Virginia kills the Grim Reaper, she has to keep doing things to cover up her actions, even though her actions aren’t even technically a crime – she was clearly acting in defense of her children. However, as we all know, however bad the initial crime is or is not, it is the cover-up that will often ruin you.

In one of the strongest issues in the story, we see the history of the VIsion and the Scarlet Witch’s relationship and see the origins of where Virginia’s mind come from and how, perhaps, that played a role in her actions. Her was a mother threatened with the loss of her two children – who else do we know that went a little bit crazy after she lost her two kids?

This series also saw Victor Mancha be confronted with his own destiny, the idea that he will become the evil Victorious in the future and kill all of his fellow heroes. He is trying to get by and be a hero, but he is struggling with an addiction (a very clever one invented by King). Like I noted, this series is just filled with people questioning their destinies.

Finally, let me point out that there are rare stories that lead to other writers going, “Holy crap, I have to use these characters” and Vision was definitely a case like that, as Viv has become one of the best new young characters in the Marvel Universe and this series featured her amazing introduction. So not only does it work as an excellent individual story, but it even has a noteworthy impact upon the future of the Marvel Universe. Not too shabby.

Go to the next page for #37-36…

The post 2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #40-36 appeared first on CBR.

Twitter Shreds Tomi Lahren Over ‘Disrespectful’ Colin Kaepernick D-Day Photo

Tomi Lahren is catching heat online for sharing a picture in which football player Colin Kaepernick appears to be taking a knee during the D-Day landings.



The Fox News contributor posted the manipulated snap featuring the former San Francisco 49er to Twitter on Thursday:



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How Weird Flies Dive Underwater And Survive A Deadly Lake – I4U News


I4U News

How Weird Flies Dive Underwater And Survive A Deadly Lake
I4U News
An alkali fly creates a protective bubble in order to dive in toxic and salty Mono Lake. Credit: Floris van Breugel / Caltech. Black Friday Deals Tracker is Live. Scientists finally solve the msytery of scuba-diving fly. Mono Lake in California is ...
Scientists solve the mystery of America's scuba-diving flyThe Weather Network US

How alkali flies stay dryNature.com
Weird Diving Flies Can Survive Underwater and Stay Completely Dry (Study)Gears Of Biz
The Quebec Times -News of Observer -TheRecord.com -Sputnik International
all 9 news articles »

Arrow Reveals Why Cayden James Wants Revenge

Arrow Reveals Why Cayden James Wants Revenge

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow.


Oliver Queen just came face-to-face with Cayden James. In “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow, Oliver reassumed the Green Arrow mantle while Diggle was out of commission so that he could prevent James from blowing up Star City Stadium. However, he and Felicity soon discovered the bomb was a decoy; James had just wanted Oliver’s attention to explain exactly why he wanted revenge.

“I know what you’re thinking!” James said as Oliver approached. “Where is the horrifically huge bomb? This is going to be an incredibly insightful evening.”

RELATED: Crisis on Earth-X: Team Arrow Stars Discuss Their Roles in the Crossover

Oliver fired off a warning shot, only for a modified T-sphere of James’ own creation to block it. “There is no bomb, so relax,” James explained. All of this was “to get your attention. To talk, that’s all. It’s not like I have your number.”

“You’re insane,” Oliver spat, to which James responded, “Thomas Szasz, the renown psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, says that there’s no such thing as insanity. Revenge, on the other hand, is very real.”

“Revenge? I’ve never even met you!” Oliver said.

RELATED: The CW Sets Full Midseason Finale Schedule

“And yet, you cost me something dear to me. Someone very dear. My son. That’s why I’ve arranged this little tete-a-tete, so that when your city burns, you’ll know why,” James revealed. He then threw the T-sphere at him, which Oliver deflected with an arrow. Black Siren then emerged from the darkness and unleashed her scream, knocking Oliver back and allowing them both to escape.

Back at the bunker, Oliver turned to his team for some insight. “Elena helped me connect the dots. There is a boy named Owen Post, who has Cayden James listed as his father on his birth certificate, but he’s never been known to live with Cayden,” Felicity shared.

“Two months after A.R.G.U.S. put Cayden in custody last year, Owen went missing and was never found,” Curtis added.

RELATED: Arrow Just Included a Sneaky DC Video Game Easter Egg

“How does this have anything to do with the Green Arrow?” Dinah asked, but no one had an answer.

“We need to keep digging, because — even if we bear zero responsibility — we need to know why Cayden thinks we do,” Oliver concluded. However, the episode offered no concrete answers, so Team Arrow will need to keep working to unravel that particular mystery.

Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer (well, not currently), Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.

The post Arrow Reveals Why Cayden James Wants Revenge appeared first on CBR.

Crime And Punishmeme: 15 Brutal Punisher Memes

Crime And Punishmeme: 15 Brutal Punisher Memes

With Netflix’s latest Marvel show arriving in the form of Punisher, it’s safe to say that all eyes are now on Frank Castle. The controversial anti-hero has had a somewhat rocky history with the big and small screen, appearing in multiple movies that ultimately never did the character justice, before finally finding a series and an actor worthy to wear the skull on his chest.

RELATED: Marvel Civil War: 15 MCU vs. Marvel Netflix Memes

Jon Bernthal — previously of Walking Dead fame — was introduced as ex-marine Frank Castle in Daredevil season two, and he was an instant hit with fans. The darker, brutal nature of Netflix’s show about the Man Without Fear turned out to be a perfect home for Punisher, and it wasn’t long before fans were demanding more. His appearances in that show were the perfect mix of violence and pathos, showing a man tormented by grief and driven by revenge, so it was only a matter of time before more of his story was explored. Now, in this brand new series, we get to see in bloody detail just what led to a family man who fought for his country to become an uncompromising vigilante. To celebrate, we here at CBR are trawling the net to find the 15 most brutal Punisher memes!

TOYING AROUND

It must be so strange to have a toy dedicated to you, or rather a character that you play. These days you can buy action figures or statues of just about any pop culture figure you can imagine, so the odds of celebrities having action figures of themselves have never been greater. Throw in the fact that the modeling and production of these collectibles are so high, and there are plenty of famous folks that can own near-perfect mini replicas of themselves.

It’s pretty safe to say that Funko POP vinyl figures aren’t exactly photo-realistic, but they manage to capture likenesses surprisingly well with such a simple design, so seeing Jon Bernthal holding the Funko POP of “himself” is still a lot of fun. There’s no doubt an action figure of his portrayal of Shane from Walking Dead, but Punisher is a different thing entirely.

KILLING JOKE

The times when Frank Castle and Bruce Wayne have actually met is extremely minimal, so the authenticity of this exchange as true canon is a little suspect; however, the sentiment is still valid. Despite that fact that casual fans will probably put Batman and Punisher in the same category, true fans know there are some distinct differences.

Aside from the fact that one dresses like a big bat, the biggest difference is their moral code, the line in the sand that they will not cross. For Batman, it’s that he will never kill. It’s happened occasionally in his past, especially in those early adventures, but generally speaking, he will save a life, not end it. Punisher, however? Punisher has no line in the sand, and if he were in Gotham, Joker would have been dead long ago.

TURKEY SEASON

Punisher may be many things, but subtle isn’t one of them. Sure, he’s probably got the skills to go hunting for his food, but he’s too busy hunting mafia bosses and scumbag drug lords to go after a lowly turkey. There’s something amusing about the idea of Punisher and Daredevil sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner together, though, that makes us want this text exchange to be real.

Quite why Frank would think it would be ok to hunt turkey with a claymore is anyone’s guess, but again, we can’t imagine he has the patience for such a sport. Big game hunting might be more his speed; it’s not hard to see him heading out to the Savage Land with Kraven the Hunter, but fetching the Thanksgiving dinner is probably not his forte.

INJUSTICE

For some fans, this was a real dilemma. When a new show hits on Netflix, it’s hard to avoid spoilers if you can’t binge straight away. Of course, some fans are right there pressing play the second it goes live, plowing through hours of television as quickly as possible in order to start the conversation online. Similarly, you can’t wait forever to see the latest movie release, as spoilers go up almost instantly these days.

When it was announced that both Punisher and Justice League would be released on the same day this year, it was a tough choice for some. For the rest of us, though, we knew exactly who we’d prefer to see, and his name was Frank Castle. Violent, bloody vengeance on the streets of New York beats brightly colored letdowns any day of the week, and there wasn’t a super-power in sight.

BATMAN V PUNISHER

Ben Affleck’s face says it all. Despite the differences between the two characters, people will still draw similarities between The Dark Knight and The Punisher, and with comparisons comes the inevitable debate about who would win in a fight. For actor Jon Bernthal, however, there isn’t any debate: Frank would wipe the floor with Bruce.

There’s something to be said about an actor standing by his character; after all, it would be no good if Bernthal had no faith in his counterpart’s skills. For many comic book fans, though, there’s no question that Bats would win. However, if we’re talking Netflix Punisher versus Batfleck, maybe the playing field is a little more even? We’ve not see Batman be especially powerful in either Batman V Superman or Justice League, so maybe Punisher stands more of a chance.

PUN-ISHER

When it comes to a sense of humor, Frank Castle hasn’t ever really shown that he has one. It’s perfectly understandable really, what with his whole family being killed and his never-ending quest for bloodthirsty revenge. He’s not really got the same motivation to crack jokes, which is why he’d be perfect at it.

Think about it, he’s the Marvel character you’d least expect it from, meaning that if and when he came out with a perfect one-liner, it would take you completely by surprise and would probably be way more hilarious than if you heard one from Ol’ “Quantity over Quality” Peter Parker. Still, even in that unlikely scenario, it’s hard to imagine him coming out with puns this bad. Cheesy, Schwarzenegger one-liners sure, but Puns don’t seem like Frank’s style.

MURDER’S MY BEST FRIEND

This wouldn’t be the first time that Punisher and Spider-Man have clashed over their individual moral compasses. Punisher’s first appearance was in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man, after all, and even then their approach to killing was vastly different. It’s safe to say that Frank Castle stands alone in his stance on killing, so turning to him for advice like this was never going to end well for Peter.

When Spider-Man has had a quest in the past wherein he announced that no one else was going to die on his watch, it’s clear that he is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum to the Punisher. The untold hundreds of bad guys that Frank has killed at this point would make Spider-Man’s hair turn grey, so probably for the best that he remains this naive.

FAULTLESS LOGIC

You can say what you like about the Punisher’s methods, but it’s hard to fault that logic. Who knows how many lives would be saved if every hero in the Marvel universe thought like this? The truth, however, is that if everyone fought the way Frank Castle does, there’d be no such thing as heroes, only more villains.

Some comic book characters take a great tragedy and rise to greatness. Characters like Spider-Man, Batman or even Daredevil suffered great tragedy but chose to become something better. Frank, however, decided that if you can’t beat them, kill them, and he’s never looked back. This approach brings him into conflict with superheroes more often than he’d like, but to him, there’s only one way to do it properly, and that’s to make sure when they’re down, they stay down.

JUDGE, JURY, EXECUTIONER

Sometimes, all it takes is a little perspective. When Punisher was first introduced into the MCU in season two of Daredevil, the ideological and physical clash between Frank castle and Matt Murdock was fascinating, as it looked at two men who both operated outside of the law, but had two very different approaches.

While Matt Murdock married his vigilante life with his expertise as a defense lawyer to enact justice as the Man Without Fear known as Daredevil, Frank Castle’s deadly force as the Punisher ensured that the criminals would never re-offend, due to their terminal case of death. It’s only when you compare these two opposing forces to a character like Judge Dredd, who operates as Judge, Jury and Executioner all in one, that you see just how these viewpoints could actually go hand-in-hand.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Netflix Marvel shows exist in the same universe as the Big Screen Marvel adventures. That means that while Tom Holland is zipping around Queens as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Frank Castle is slaughtering as many scumbags as he can on the streets of New York as the Punisher.

This vast difference in the two worlds would be jarring if not for the simple fact that these two types of stories have existed side-by-side for years in the comics, alongside horror comics, science fiction and kid-friendly adventure. Their approaches may be wildly different, but they all go together to make a rich shared universe of heroes, villains and everything in between. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see Frank Castle going on a mission with Rocket Racoon anytime soon but hey, at least we know that it’s possible.

BORN FOR BATTLE

When it comes to violent confrontations, Frank Castle knows what he’s doing. Whether it’s the comic book version of the character, who spent his formative years fighting for his country in Vietnam, or the Netflix version that saw him fighting as a marine in Iraq, Castle was no stranger to violence even before he donned the iconic skull symbol of the Punisher.

When faced with petty crooks and thieves then, you would assume that they’re more scared of him than the other way around. You’d be right too, as his notoriety makes its way around the underworld pretty fast, making even the mention of his presence as something to be feared. He’s carved out quite a reputation for himself — sometimes literally — so it’s no surprise that he has the ability to terrify quite so easily.

THE DEFENSE RESTS

“Always be the best version of yourself. Unless you can be Batman, then be Batman.” As a saying, that’s done the rounds for a number of years now, but arguably Frank Castle has gone one better, choosing to be the best version of himself that just so happens to be the Punisher. After the senseless violence that tore his family away from him, who can blame him?

Well, it turns out the United States government can blame him, as there’s no doubt that his vigilante activities and penchant for constant slaughter are absolutely illegal, and as such wherever he goes, there’s always a detective or seven not too far behind. Frank’s only defense — “I gotta be me!” — is one that he’s sticking with, and one we should all aspire to. Just preferably without all the killing.

PUNISHER: THE END

We’ve all felt this pain when you binge a series so fast and so voraciously that you have no idea the end is so close until there are just no more episodes left. You can blame Netflix, for automatically streaming one after the other, only occasionally asking if you’ve had enough and making it easy to go “just one more.” Or you can blame the standard length of limited series being so much shorter than the 22 episodes of standard network shows.

No matter the reason, shows like Punisher will always end too soon. It’s a good thing in a way because it’s a sign that you loved the show so much. There’s nothing better than being so absorbed in a new series that you lose all track of time. Unfortunately, though, that ultimately leads to sadness and a long wait for the next season.

CHOICES

Marvel and Netflix have been pretty consistent with their release schedule these last few years, meaning that unless you’re really on the ball you won’t have had much chance to finish one before the next one begins. It was always the plan to have Defenders be the culmination of its four predecessors — Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist — but the popularity of Punisher secured him a season all of his own.

Coming hot on the heels of Defenders, Punisher saw its release in November this year, and for some fans, the choice was whether to continue with the super team-up we’ve been waiting for, or start a brand new show. Thanks to the unfortunately poor reception of Defenders, however, Punisher has stolen a lot of fans away.

COINCIDENCE?

This can’t be a coincidence, surely? Andy’s brutish neighbor Sid Phillips from the original Toy Story movie was infamous for stealing toys — mostly from his little sister — and converting them into monstrous deformities, making his bedroom and backyard a hellish landscape for wayward toys to find themselves.

While Frank Castle is never cruel to those who don’t deserve it, it’s easy to imagine that he wouldn’t be totally unlike Sid when he was a kid. We all know that the Punisher was born when his wife and children were killed (although some would argue that the war was where Punisher was really born), he had to have learned those skills from somewhere, right? Why not when he was younger, experimenting with toys like Woody and Buzz?

Have you been digging The Punisher on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!

The post Crime And Punishmeme: 15 Brutal Punisher Memes appeared first on CBR.

Ghost Particles Detected on Far Side of Earth Bolsters Crucial Physics Theory – Gears Of Biz


Gears Of Biz

Ghost Particles Detected on Far Side of Earth Bolsters Crucial Physics Theory
Gears Of Biz
If we're ever going to truly understand how our Universe works, we'll need to take lots of different measurements, but measuring can be one of science's most difficult tasks. How, for example, do scientists measure an invisible thing that passes ...
Operation IceCube --"Will Antarctica's Ice Reveal a New Physics of the Universe?" (WATCH Video)The Daily Galaxy (blog)

Australian Scientists Just Discovered A Cool Thing For The First Time Because Of Course They Did, It's What They DoGizmodo Australia
IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactionsChemie.de (press release)
Sci-News.com -The Globe and Mail -Space Daily -physicsworld.com
all 17 news articles »

Arrow: How Oliver Gets Out of Prison (And Into Another Suit)

Arrow: How Oliver Gets Out of Prison (And Into Another Suit)

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow.


Oliver Queen is out of prison, but he isn’t out of danger. In “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow, Special Agent Amanda Watson made a very public arrest and charged Oliver with being the Green Arrow. He subsequently ended up in prison, but he wasn’t there for long thanks to Felicity and Curtis’ startup.

Watson arrested Oliver on the day the new Star City Police Department opened, during a food drive to feed poor families. “When I get out of here, and I will, I am going to sue you for malicious prosecution,” he said as soon as the two of them were alone.

“Express yourself,” Watson spat back. “In the meantime, you’re being prosecuted for multiple felonies. You show up after five years, and the Hood just happens to show up with you?”

RELATED: Arrow: Diggle’s Big Secret Will ‘Jeopardize’ the Team

“That was Roy Harper,” Oliver retorted, only for Watson to say, “Wearing the hood at your instruction. The same way John Diggle’s been doing since I started my investigation. I’ve got more than you think I have.”

Later, Dinah came to visit Oliver in his cell as he settled down to stay overnight. She offered him a chance to slip away by leaving a door unlocked. “I appreciate that, but if I make myself a fugitive, then I’m making William an orphan,” he replied. “I’ve gotta do it the right way.”

At his arraignment, Oliver asked for his case to be dismissed for lack of probable cause, citing that the photo of him in the Green Arrow suit earlier in the season had been disproved. “We’re not relying on that photo,” the prosecution revealed. “The FBI has provided definitive proof that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow.” When the defense asked for this proof, the prosecution said, “Show my whole hand during arraignment? I don’t think so.”

RELATED: Arrowverse Series, Riverdale Stake Out Midseason Return Dates

The judge released Oliver on bail, but for a hefty price: $5 million and a $500,000 bond. Oliver then approached Felicity to tell his son William not to worry, to which Felicity offered to use the investment money from her startup with Curtis. Though Oliver refused, Felicity insisted, and he was able to walk a free man.

This allowed Oliver to reassume the mantle of Green Arrow when Dig was out of commission and Cayden James threatened to blow up Star City Statdium. After the mission, Oliver reassured William that he was not the Green Arrow anymore and had no plans to be, regardless of Dig’s condition. Watson never revealed her information on Oliver or her source.

Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer (well, not currently), Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.

The post Arrow: How Oliver Gets Out of Prison (And Into Another Suit) appeared first on CBR.

Uma Thurman Issues Ominous #MeToo Warning To Harvey Weinstein

Uma Thurman had a cryptic message for her followers Thursday when she posted a Thanksgiving message to her Instagram account



“I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face,” she wrote, referencing her response to the sexual assault and harassment allegations leveled at disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.



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Arrow Just Gave Diggle a Reason to Step Down as Green Arrow

Arrow Just Gave Diggle a Reason to Step Down as Green Arrow

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow.


John “Dig” Diggle may not be Green Arrow for much longer. In “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow, Dig’s nerve damage problems got a whole lot worse. Because of that, Oliver was forced to put the hood back one for at least one more mission — and it’s unclear if or when Diggle will recover.

During a mission to stop Cayden James from acquiring part of a bomb at AmerTech, Diggle suffered a debilitating muscle spasm in the middle of a fight. He sank to the floor with a groan, and Black Canary had to swoop in to save him. Even as the team debated what to do next, Diggle ordered them to continue the mission without him — something that didn’t go unnoticed by James. The episode also caused Black Canary to confess to the rest of the team that Diggle had suffered nerve damage for months, and that she had known about it for some time.

RELATED: Did Arrow Just Tease A Connection to DC’s Live-Action Titans?

Diggle’s episode landed him in the hospital. His doctor friend drew a blood sample in order to determine a cause for the attack, but didn’t have an answer for him straightaway. “If I had to guess, you’re suffering withdrawal from the drug you’ve been taking in combination with Mr. Holt’s experimental treatment,” she said as she took the sample away.

Oliver came to visit Diggle during his hospital stay, and the two had a brief falling out. “I didn’t want you to worry, Oliver, which is why I didn’t tell you,” Diggle explained. Oliver countered, “No, John, you didn’t tell me because you knew I’d never let you go out there compromised and that I’d certainly never let you compromise the team.”

The two subsequently began to argue, with Oliver saying he was disappointed and Diggle and Diggle telling Oliver he “gave up the right to judge” when he stepped down from being Green Arrow. Diggle stood to confront Oliver, saying he blamed Oliver and himself for his current predicament, “for putting your needs, your goals, even your family above my own. I’ve done that from the very beginning. That was my biggest mistake.”

RELATED: Arrow’s Deathstroke Praises DCEU Version, Says He Wants a TV Spinoff

“Mine was trusting you to be the Green Arrow,” Oliver spat back, and left.

He later returned to apologize, which Diggle reciprocated. Diggle then revealed his dire test results: the nerve damage had spread to his back — and because of the steroid, he caused permanent damage. “If I continue out in the field, I could end up paralyzed,” he admitted.

As they mended their friendship, Diggle revealed one final truth: becoming Green Arrow was one of his greatest desires. “I never should have said I was doing it for you. Remember last year, when the Dominators put us into this alternate Star City? We got to see what our perfect life would be. Mine was being the Green Arrow,” he explained. “So you asking me to take the mantle was not selfish. It was giving me the one thing in the world that I never knew I wanted.”

RELATED: Arrow Just Included a Sneaky DC Video Game Easter Egg

The episode ended on a note that made Green Arrow’s future unclear. Though Oliver donned the hood to save Star City Stadium, he made it clear he had no intention to do it again. However, Dig is in no condition to be Green Arrow again, despite how badly he wants to be. This is likely why he will be out of commission for the big Arrowverse crossover.

Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer (well, not currently), Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.

The post Arrow Just Gave Diggle a Reason to Step Down as Green Arrow appeared first on CBR.

Arrow: Plenty of Reasons to be Thankful

Arrow: Plenty to be Thankful For

Before I jump into this week’s column, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to batfanjordanv1. Every week he chimes in on Couch Club’s comments sections to give some insightful breakdowns and interpretations.

The 15 Most Insane Things From The Star Wars Expanded Universe

The 15 Most Insane Things From The Star Wars Expanded Universe

With the purchase of Lucasfilm several years ago and the announcement of what became The Force Awakens, Disney became the new guardians of Star Wars canon. In the 30-plus years since the release of Star Wars, writers in comics, television, and novels had created a complex web of continuity featuring all our favorite heroes from the movies, as well as newer introductions like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade. All of those stories are now officially designated “Legends” by Disney and Lucasfilm, with new canon being rewritten through Marvel’s Star Wars comics, new novels, and of course, the new films.

RELATED: Star Wars: Ranking 15 Of The Galaxy’s Most Dangerous Bounty Hunters

But sidelining the Legends line doesn’t mean forgetting about the masterful storytelling that happened there, as well as some of the more ignominious stories. The Expanded Universe provided a way to tell stories that filled in the color and shape of the Star Wars galaxy far, far away. With these stories swept into the category of the apocryphal, some characters have been resurrected, others have been erased, and the whole universe sits neatly encapsulated, waiting for you to dive in. Here are fifteen of our favorite (not necessarily the best) moments from a 30-plus year labor of love.

LUUKE SKYWALKER

Luuke_skywalker

The Star Wars Expanded Universe as we remember it owes its existence to Timothy Zahn and his trilogy centered around Grand Admiral Thrawn. In the final installment, The Last Command, Luke has to face off against Thrawn and his minion Joruus C’baoth, a clone of Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth who is obsessed with Luke, the last remaining Jedi Knight. When Luke finally faces off with C’baoth, he is faced with a clone of himself (Luuke Skywalker), cloned from his lost hand, discovered on the surface of Bespin.

The fact that they were able to find his hand in good enough condition to identify it five years after he lost it is a minor miracle in and of itself, but the real insult here is that Zahn tried to justify the two “u”s in clone names by saying they were imperfect and struggled with the “u” sound. Sure. Or rather, suure.

SKIPPY, THE FORCE-SENSITIVE DROID

skippy droid force

Remember the droids that Luke and his Uncle Owen buy from the Jawas at the beginning of A New Hope? No, not C-3P0 and R2-D2 — C-3P0 and R5-D4, the red astromech droid with a busted motivator. Apparently, R5, who refers to himself as “Skippy” for some reason, began his life as a Force-sensitive droid on Jabba’s pleasure barge before removing his own restraining bolt and “suggesting” to his Gamorran guards that he be set free.

After wandering the desert, he was picked up by Jawas and was elated to be selected by Luke, as he sensed the Force in Luke as well; however, he is beset by a vision of the ruin that would befall the galaxy if R2-D2 didn’t get his Death Star plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Falling on his metaphorical sword, Skippy creates a mild explosion internally to allow Luke to choose R2 and save the galaxy.

THE TRUCE AT BAKURA

truce at bakura

What’s the easiest way to let all the air out of the Rebellion’s victory over the Empire end of Return of the Jedi? If you answered “have them immediately team up with the Empire to take down a third enemy,” you answered correctly and your prizes can be claimed at the door.

In The Truce at Bakura, an Imperial fleet at the edge of the galaxy is facing an invasion at the planet Bakura by reptilian Ssi-Ruuk’s from the Outer Rim — lacking the leadership of the Emperor, the Imperial fleets in the rest of the galaxy won’t be able to respond, so Luke and the gang take a force to help the Imperial fleet repel the Ssi-Ruuk. While it makes sense that the Rebels would have to fight greater evils with lesser evils by their side occasionally, placing it literally hours after the end of Jedi is a weak storytelling move.

DARTH VADER FIGHTS DARTH MAUL

vader vs. maul

While scouring the galaxy for the stolen plans to the Death Star, Darth Vader arrived on a remote moon with an enclave of Prophets of the Dark Side who deem him unfit to rule beside the Emperor. They produce their greatest weapon to defeat him: a copy of Darth Maul, killed decades earlier on Naboo by Anakin’s master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Vader and the Maul copy have a pretty great fight over the course of the 48-page comic, “Resurrection,” but most impressive are the storytelling gymnastics that writer Ron Marz was forced to jump through in order to make a plausible scenario for Vader and Maul to face each other. Vader is eventually able to kill the copy of Maul by stabbing himself through the stomach while Maul was standing behind him, proving once and for all that Vader is still the ultimate self-hater in the universe.

HAN KIDNAPS LEIA SO SHE WILL MARRY HIM

the-courtship-of-princess-leia-star-wars-legends

The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton from 1994 answered the question that fans had been asking for a decade and a half since the release of Return of the Jedi: Will Han and Leia get married? The answer is obviously yes, but the how of it all is the real humdinger here. Han wins the planet Dathomir in a Sabacc game, and worried that Leia will cave to the advances of handsome Prince Isolder, he kidnaps her and takes her there.

When they arrive, they discover a massive, hidden fleet of Imperial remnants, and are able to get the information back to the New Republic. So, ignoring the fact that he literally kidnapped her, Leia chooses Han to marry, as pretty much everyone knew she would anyway.

ANAKIN SOLO BECOMES ONE WITH THE FORCE

anakin solo

The children of Han Solo and Leia Organa lived what we might call cursed lives, from Anakin’s early death in the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong to Jacen’s Sith journey afterwards. The Yuuzhan Vong took the entire galaxy to the breaking point, taking the Republic capital planet of Coruscant and installing their World Brain in what used to be the Senate Rotunda.

On a mission to destroy the queen of a genetically-engineered race called the Voxyn, who were specifically designed to kill Jedi and Force-sensitives, Anakin volunteered to stay behind and hold off the Yuuzhan Vong so the strike team could kill the queen. In the battle, he began using so much of the Force that pure white Force energy began streaming from his fingers, killing the Yuuzhan Vong and overwhelming his wounded body. He died a hero, and a symbol to the entire galaxy.

SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE

splinter of the mind's eye

Before the release of Star Wars, before it became clear that it was a new paradigm in blockbuster films, George Lucas wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to do more Star Wars stories. So he created the storyline for Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, written by Alan Dean Foster and released in 1978, that was intended to function as the basis for a low-budget sequel to Star Wars, should the opportunity arise.

It’s the first ever Expanded Universe novel, and it features no less than Luke engaging in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader, before he would have received any more formal training from Yoda. Luke manages to win by cutting off Vader’s arm and knocking him into a pit while they duel around the Force-focusing Kaiburr crystal (the titular Mind’s Eye), but he senses he will have to face him again.

THE DEATH OF CHEWBACCA

death of chewbacca

In 1999’s The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime, one of the last major shake-ups of the Expanded Universe began. The galaxy was in peace before being attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong, aliens from outside the galaxy who do not exist as part of the Force. One of their first moves wass to install a creature on Sernpidal who pulled the moon towards the planet.

Han, his son Anakin, and Chewie arrived with seven hours until the moon would destroy the planet. Seeing no better course of action, they tried to get as many refugees into the Falcon as they could. After saving a group of children and throwing Anakin up to the Falcon, Chewie was thrown away; the planet was too unstable for the Falcon and Anakin was forced to leave. Chewie went to his death, roaring in defiance at the moon that finally killed him where no blaster or lightsaber could.

JACEN SOLO/DARTH CAEDUS

jacen solo

Jacen Solo, twin to Jaina, and son of Han and Leia, truly walked in the footsteps of his grandfather Anakin, much more so than his younger brother (and Anakin’s namesake). Force-sensitive from a young age, Jacen was an adept fighter and was strong in the Force, quickly becoming a military leader during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy.

After his heroism in the war, his grief over the loss of his brother and his post-traumatic stress from being involved in battles from the time he was a toddler caught up to him, and, abusing his post as the head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, he went on to become Darth Caedus. He reestablished the Sith for the first time in almost 40 years, decimated the Jedi, and brought the Galaxy into a second Civil War. He was only eventually brought down when his sister Jaina was forced to kill him.

THE SUN CRUSHER

sun crusher

Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy established the beginnings of the new Jedi Order under Luke Skywalker’s tutelage on Yavin IV, but it also introduced one of the most obscenely overpowered weapons in the galaxy: The Sun Crusher. While it may sound like a wrestling finisher, it was a single-person craft that was capable of literally destroying an entire solar system by causing it’s sun to go supernova.

Discovered by Han Solo and Kyp Durron on their escape from Kessel through the Maw , it was eventually put to darker use; Durron was Force-sensitive and influenced by an ancient Sith lord into exacting his revenge on the Empire by destroying not one, but two solar systems before realizing what he’d done. The only way to destroy the Sun Crusher was to send it into one of the Maw’s black holes, but its legacy of destruction lived on for decades.

BELDORION THE HUTT

beldorion hutt

In the times of the old Jedi Order, Beldorion was the only Hutt who rose to the rank of Jedi Knight, and perhaps the only one ever admitted to train with them. When he was dispatched to the planet Nam Chorios 400 years before the Battle of Yavin, he cast off his partner Jedi and established himself as “Beldorion the Splendid, of the Ruby Eyes,” ruler and enslaver of the planet.

Eight years after Return of the Jedi, Leia Organa Solo, in the hunt for a missing Jedi Knight, finds her way to Nam Chorios, where Beldorion has used the Force to retain a “muscular” body, but has let his powers and abilities drain away to the point where he cannot lift a tray of food with his Force powers. They have a brief lightsaber duel before Leia adds another notch to her belt for evil Hutts that she’s killed.

MOUNT SORROW

Mt_Sorrow

A lot of hate gets thrown around these days for the Ewoks, the diminutive bear-like residents of the forest moon of Endor, and a lot of that hate is a direct result of heinous cash-grabs like the Ewoks television show and comic book. One egregious example is Mount Sorrow, a clinically depressed mountain who cries healing tears; first appearing in the seventh issue of the Ewoks comic in 1986, the world at large was content to forget about Mt. Sorrow until it’s entry in 2008’s Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.

Mount Sorrow’s tears were needed to heal Wicket W. Warick’s friend Teebo of a mysterious illness, but its standards were so high that it became an entire adventure just to prove their worth. That’s right — this mountain is so depressed and full of itself that it has no qualms sending an Ewok kid to its death. Dark stuff.

HAN SOLO “MEETS” INDIANA JONES

han indy

The storytelling tomfoolery going on in this story is truly legendary, requiring not only the melding of two universes featuring the same guy, but also the reconciliation of the fact that Star Wars takes place long, long ago, even relative to Indiana Jones. Created by an all-star team of W. Haden Blackman and Sean Gordon Murphy, “Into the Great Unknown” is only ten pages, but it features Han and Chewie flying blindly into hyperspace, crashing in what appears to be the Pacific Northwest.

Han gets killed by Native Americans; Indiana Jones appears 126 years later alongside Short Round, hunting for the Sasquatch (actually Chewbacca, still living in the forest, keeping an eye on the wreckage of the Falcon). Jones finds the skeleton of Solo with an arrow through his chest, and remarks that it seems familiar, before departing — saying somethings are best left as part of “the great unknown.”

WRAITH SQUADRON

wraith squadron

While Rogue Squadron is undoubtedly the most famous unit of the New Republic military, its spiritual successor, Wraith Squadron, is far and away more impressive. Formed by Wedge Antilles from a hodgepodge of psychological misfits who nonetheless possessed incredible piloting skills alongside more basic ground skills like medics and hackers, Wraith Squadron was the black ops team of the New Republic. Their illustrious career played out like Rainbow Six meets Star Wars over the course of several novels and comics (most famously by Michael A. Stackpole, the creator of the modern iteration of Rogue Squadron).

The squad included fan favorites like “Piggy,” a hyper-intelligent Gamorran pilot who took his callsign in honor of Jek Porkins, the lost hero of the Battle of Yavin, and Tycho Celchu, an Imperial TIE Fighter pilot who defected in the wake of the destruction of Alderaan, and who was constantly under scrutiny as a possible Imperial spy.

DARTH PLAGUEIS

darth plagueis

While he receives only a cursory mention in Attack of the Clones from Palpatine, Darth Plagueis is a driving force of the entire saga of the first six Star Wars movies. He is the Sith Master of Darth Sidious, Palpatine’s Sith alter ego, and his life is consumed by his quest for immortality. He is able to manipulate the midi-chlorians of others to influence their life and death, even succeeding in bringing Darth Venamis, a Sith trained behind his back by his former Master, back to life (though when Venamis died again, none of Plagueis’ efforts could bring him back).

Plagueis is responsible for countless machinations in the universe, from the election of Padmé Amidala as Queen of Naboo to the establishment of cloning facilities on Kamino; it’s even strongly implied that his mucking about with midi-chlorians incited the Force to “strike back” by creating Anakin Skywalker from nothing.

Which of these do you wish would become canon? Let us know in the comments!

The post The 15 Most Insane Things From The Star Wars Expanded Universe appeared first on CBR.

The Last Jedi: Snoke’s Backstory Likened to Original Trilogy’s Emperor

The Last Jedi: Snoke’s Backstory Likened to Original Trilogy’s Emperor

Fans of the original Star Wars trilogy look back fondly on the cackling menace of the Emperor, the black-clad Sith lord whose story remained a canonical mystery until the prequel trilogy introduced Ian McDiarmid’s Sheev Palpatine. The slimy, duplicitous politician slowly wormed his way up the chain of command in the prequels, until he found himself the head of the Galactic Republic, which he summarily dismissed in favor of the Galactic Empire.

While the prequels fleshed out the details of the Emperor’s rise to power, they also washed away all the sinister ambiguity from the character. According to Rian Johnson, the director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, audiences won’t be getting a similar infodump when his film releases this December. Instead, the trilogy’s main villain, Supreme Leader Snoke, first introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will retain an ambiguous backstory — for the most part.

RELATED: Sorry, But Lando Won’t Appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“For example, in the original trilogy, we didn’t know anything about the Emperor except exactly what we needed to know, which is what Luke knew about him, that he’s the evil guy behind Vader,” Johnson said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But then in the prequels, you knew everything about Palpatine because his rise to power was the story. We’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to. But the really exciting [thing] for me is we will see more of him, and Andy Serkis will get to do much more in this film than he did in the last one, and that guy is just a force of nature.”

So, it sounds like Star Wars fans looking for a deep dive into Snoke’s backstory are going to be left wanting. Rumors about the villain’s identity have been swirling for some time now. If a character has been mentioned in a Star Wars movie then chances are there are theories about how they’re actually Snoke. A short list of names includes: Darth Plagueis, a character briefly discussed in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Mace Windu, supposedly resurrected after his fatal bout with Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith; and Darth Vader himself, freshly risen from the grave – again.

RELATED: The Last Jedi: Laura Dern’s Admiral Holdo Shakes Up the Resistance

That’s doesn’t mean audiences will be getting less than nothing, though. Serkis hinted that Snoke’s story is something of a tragic one.

“He has suffered and he has suffered injury,” Serkis said. “The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.”

Arriving Dec. 15, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kely Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Domnhall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

The post The Last Jedi: Snoke’s Backstory Likened to Original Trilogy’s Emperor appeared first on CBR.

Donald Trump Thanks ‘Winning’ Military, Touts ‘Big Fat Tax Cuts’

Justice League: 10 Rumors That Were False (And 5 That Ended Up True)

Justice League: 10 Rumors That Were False (And 5 That Ended Up True)

It’s been a long wait, but the Justice League movie is finally upon us. It seems like it has been in the making for years and in fact, that is most certainly the case. After Man of Steel was released in 2013, it didn’t take long for Warner Bros. to announce that the next entry in their nascent superhero universe would be Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. With Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg all officially cast, and with the subtitle “Dawn of Justice,” the League’s arrival seemed all but imminent.

RELATED: JLArt: 15 Insane Pieces Of Justice League Concept Art

Even before Batman v. Superman would be released in theaters, production of Justice League was very much underway. That is when the rumor mill began to churn. With such a massive team-up movie as the next entry in the DCEU, and with so many seeds planted in prior movies, there were a lot of theories circulating around what exactly would go down in the team-up film, who it would involve and where it would lead us. Today, CBR revisits old Justice League-related stories that long predated the movie, to list 10 rumors about the film that were completely false, and five which ended up being true.

FALSE: GREEN LANTERN IS THE 7TH LEAGUER

Hal Jordan Green Lantern by Ethan Van Sciver

After the events in Batman v. Superman, everyone knew that Aquaman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and the two titular superheroes would comprise the Justice League. But there was a rumor that the team-up movie would feature a seventh member on the team, one who was a part of the original roster of the team in the comics in the New 52’s Justice League: Origins: The Green Lantern.

Many fans hoped that the will-powered superhero would show up in the film, thanks in no small part to rumors of actors being considered for the role. Many thought that the Green Lantern would arrive late in the game and that his appearance was a tightly-kept secret, but it just so happens that there simply wasn’t any room for a seventh Leaguer in the film. However, the door is left open for a new member by the time the credits roll.

TRUE: A GREEN LANTERN HAS A CAMEO

cracked green lantern ring 2

Now, it turns out that while everyone was wrong about Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern having a role in the film, it was true that Justice League managed to surprise almost everyone when it showcased a cameo appearance of maybe not the Green Lantern, but a Green Lantern. Although he might remain nameless, we did manage to see our first look at a Green Lantern Corps officer in the DCEU.

The appearance takes place during a sequence that shows a flashback of Amazons, humans and Atlanteans uniting against the forces of Steppenwolf and his Parademons. Taking part in the battle are other various super-powered beings, as well, one of which is a Lantern wielding the full might of his green ring. The officer may not have survived the battle, but we did see his ring fly off into the universe, looking for a replacement.

FALSE: BRUCE WAYNE GIVES BARRY ALLEN A NEW SUIT

Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne in Justice League

Even before Justice League was released, we had already seen Barry Allen’s The Flash in action during a brief cameo sequence in Suicide Squad. The cameo gave us our first look at The Flash’s costume and, while later marketing material and official images of the superhero team-up film confirmed that this costume was of Barry’s own design, many theorized that The Flash would get a new suit by movie’s end.

With Bruce Wayne being the one to seek out Barry, there was a long-standing rumor that the man who has the resources to make himself a Batman suit would also make a sleeker, more stream-lined outfit for the Flash to do battle against the forces of Apokolips. It turned out that this rumor was false – Barry Allen spent the entirety of Justice League fighting in his own costume, with no mentions of a new one.

FALSE: LEX LUTHOR HAS A SUBSTANTIAL ROLE

eisenberg lex luthor

Batman v. Superman ended with Lex Luthor fully aware that Steppenwolf and the might of Apokolips were coming for Earth. In fact, an “after-credits” scene would later be released online, showing us Lex Luthor in the Kryptonian ship, shortly after he had created Doomsday, learning all about the Mother Boxes. This seemed to point to the fact that Luthor would have an important role to play in Justice League.

Before the movie would be released, various reports surfaced that Luthor’s part had been cut from the film, but the role had never exactly been confirmed, save for actor Jesse Eisenberg mentioning that he would maybe have a role to play in it. It turns out that Lex Luthor had no role to play in the invasion of Earth, even though he had learned a great deal about it in the Kryptonian ship.

TRUE: LEX LUTHOR APPEARS

Lex Luthor may not have appeared in Justice League proper, but it turns out that he did, against all odds, appear in the after-credits scene of the film. Although he didn’t have a role to play in the team-up movie’s main story, his appearance instead seemed to hint at the future of the DCEU. Thanks to this short scene, we learned that not only did Lex manage to escape from prison, he also has quite a lot of funds to use.

In true Lex Luthor fashion, his reach is quite wide, and he has nefarious goals that he wishes to achieve. But, in order to accomplish that, he will need to make some friends – he will need to, in his own words, form a league of his own. Hopefully, this means that we will see Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor again in another DCEU movie.

FALSE: ANTIOPE IS BACK

antiope-header

The Wonder Woman movie managed to surprise everyone when it came out to critical and financial success. The film became an event, and many new fans finally knew all about Diana Prince, the Amazons and Paradise Island. An early fan-favorite character came in the form of Antiope, who trained Diana in the ways of the Amazons, a strong character who sadly died in the first half of the film.

Considering that there had already been reports of Justice League featuring a flashback sequence involving the Amazons fighting the Parademons, many took that to mean that we would see Antiope again, maybe not in a substantial capacity, but at least in a cameo. However, it turns out that while we did see the appropriately amazing flashback sequence, we did not see Antiope return to the screen.

FALSE: THE KNIGHTMARE EXPLAINED

Batman Knightmare scene from Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice

One of the big mysteries of Batman v. Superman centered around the Knightmare sequence that showed us Bruce Wayne fighting in a dystopian world ruled by an evil Superman, a general of Apokolips. The sequence ended with a time-traveling Barry Allen warning the present day Bruce of a dark future ahead, and that he had to find the other Leaguers.

Many took this scene, as well as comments from the producers of the movie, to mean that Justice League would offer context and answers to this mysterious sequence. However, no clear answers were featured in the film, and there was no mention of a future Barry Allen. Considering that Justice League was originally intended to be a two-parter film, perhaps the answers are still to come in a sequel — if it ever happens.

TRUE: JOE MANGANIELLO’S DEATHSTROKE DEBUTS

Deathstroke-test-footage-Batman

When actor Ben Affleck shared a video featuring a live-action portrayal of Deathstroke, the Internet flamed over what this could possibly mean. The short video was later confirmed to be a screen test for the suit, which made everyone wonder where Deathstroke would appear. The most likely candidate was of course the Batman solo movie, but rumors began to surface of Deathstroke having a cameo in Justice League.

Fuel was later added to the fire when actor Joe Manganiello was officially announced as the actor that would bring Slade Wilson to life on the big screen, making it likely that we would see him sooner rather than later. As it turns out, these rumors were very true: Deathstroke appeared in all his glory in the after-credits scene of the film. Hopefully, his next appearance is already lined up.

FALSE: MERA AND VULKO HAVE IMPORTANT ROLES

Amber Heard Mera

While Justice League was in the midst of filming, we already had confirmation that Amber Heard would appear as Mera, future Queen and wife to Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. All signs seemed to point that Mera would have a substantial role to play in the film as part of Aquaman’s cast. Furthermore, it was rumored that actor Willem Dafoe would appear as Vulko, another member of the Aquaman cast.

However, it seems all of these reports were wrong. In fact, while Mera did appear in the film, she had little to do in the overarching story, her sequence nothing more than a cameo. As for Vulko, the character did not appear at all in the film, meaning that we will have to wait for Aquaman’s solo movie to see these two characters properly on the screen.

FALSE: DARKSEID APPEARS AT THE END

Injustice mobile Darkseid

The presence of Darkseid was teased in the Knightmare sequence of Batman v. Superman in the form of his Omega symbol burned into the Earth and the appearance of the Mother Boxes. As the release of Justice League approached, we all knew that the threat the various superheroes would face would be Steppenwolf, the general of the armies of Apokolips and uncle to Darkseid.

Surely, that meant that Darkseid would make his presence known in Justice League. Many believed that Steppenwolf was merely the opening salvo, and that Darkseid would appear before movie’s end; if maybe not as the final villain of the piece, than at least in a cameo to setup his future arrival. But save for a mention of his name, we never got to see Darkseid, meaning that this rumor was entirely false.

TRUE: THE FLASH STEALS THE SHOW

flash justice league running

As the trailers for Justice League were released throughout the last year, all signs seemed to point to the fact that Ezra Miller’s take on Barry Allen would become a fan-favorite. But the trailers only gave us a glimpse of the character in action, and fans were only left to hope that The Flash would be accurately brought to life on the big screen.

Everyone involved in the film fueled the fires of the rumor that The Flash would steal the show in the superhero team-up film. As a matter of fact, they were right. Barry Allen truly was a highlight of the film, providing comic relief and heart whenever necessary – not to mention quite a few amazing super-speed action scenes. Fans realized that they had nothing to worry about when this rumor was proven true.

FALSE: THE LEAGUE GOES TO APOKOLIPS

With the main synopsis of Justice League already confirmed to feature the forces of Apokolips as the main threat of the film and the reason for the superheroes to unite, some fans looked to the comic books for clues as to where the movie could lead us. Justice League: Origins saw the team uniting to defeat the invading forces of Darkseid, and the series even saw Bruce Wayne travel to Apokolips to rescue Superman.

Therefore, rumors started circulating that the Justice League, thanks to Cyborg’s capacity to create Boom Tubes, would travel to Apokolips before movie’s end to truly defeat their enemies. But while Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest did fight against the Parademons and Steppenwolf, they did so squarely on Earth, without traveling through the cosmos to reach another planet.

FALSE: THERE IS A JOKER CAMEO

Suicide Squad Joker Scenes Cut

Batman v. Superman introduced the Batman to the DCEU, and it did so while seeding a mystery about a fallen Robin. Part of this mystery was carried over into Suicide Squad, a movie that starred Jared Leto’s Joker. But while Batman appeared in a cameo capacity in the film, he never actually had a scene with the Joker to give us the answers we wanted.

With Justice League being the next big building block in the expanding DCEU, some rumors began to surface that Leto’s Joker would appear at least in a cameo capacity in the film. Many hoped to see Batman and Joker finally face off onscreen, if only for a brief confrontation. However, not only did the Joker not appear in the film, he wasn’t even mentioned.

TRUE: SUPERMAN RETURNS TO LIFE MORE HOPEFUL THAN EVER

Justice League trailer Superman

Man of Steel introduced us to the DCEU’s own take on Superman. This was a darker character who was only coming into his own as a superhero, one that wasn’t fully established yet as the superhero we knew in the comics. Then, Batman v. Superman left us all shocked when Superman died at the hands of Doomsday. The door was open for his return, but Superman’s presence in Justice League was still kept a mystery.

The prevailing rumor was that Superman would return to life in the team-up film, and that he would come back much more in line with his comic book counterpart. This new Superman would be fueled by hope, and he would be the superhero that we had always wanted him to be. As it turns out, that rumor was entirely true. Superman returned to life, and he truly became a beacon of hope in the DCEU.

FALSE: THE MOVIE ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER

Justice-League-Film

Before the mixed reception of Batman v. Superman would prompt Warner Bros. to course-correct their direction for the DCEU, it had already been announced that Justice League would be a two-part event film. However, those plans were changed, in favor of a single, self-contained film, with the possibility of a sequel further down the line.

Although the two-part plan was scrapped, there was still a rumor circulating that Justice League would end on a cliffhanger of sorts, something that would absolutely need to be resolved in a follow-up. With Apokolips involved, many wondered if the movie would end with our first look at Darkseid, setting him up as the villain of the sequel. However, it turns out that the film had a proper end – one that, instead, looked to much a brighter future.

What did you think of Justice League? Let us know in the comments!

The post Justice League: 10 Rumors That Were False (And 5 That Ended Up True) appeared first on CBR.

Doomsday Clock: Where Did Ozymandias’ [SPOILER] Come From?

Doomsday Clock: Where Did Ozymandias’ [SPOILER] Come From?

DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock #1 is finally here, bringing with it a slew of mysteries, not least of which being: What are the heroes from the Watchmen universe doing mucking around with the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman? Though Watchmen was published by DC Comics, the two universes have long kept their distance, with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s story about washed up heroes trying to save the world from one of their own considered a neat, tidy, self-contained package. Those days are over, though, as Doomsday Clock looks to follow-up on the events of Watchmen’s conclusion, which saw the Earth hoodwinked in to a brief unity after the series’ primary antagonist Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias, orchestrated a faux alien invasion.

The final pages of Watchmen revealed Ozymandias’ grand plan. To bring the world together, he first had to force people to acknowledge the presence of a greater threat. For his plan to work, though, he had to ensure that none of his former hero allies would put the pieces together. Thus, he killed the Comedian, got Rorschach incarcerated and forced the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan into a self-imposed exiled after several of his former acquaintances came forward with cancer diagnoses.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock: How Ozymandias’ Watchmen Plan Unraveled

Cancer plays a major role in Doomsday Clock #1, though in a different way. The opening pages reveal that Ozymandias is stricken with brain cancer, evidenced by the X-rays pinned in his Antarctic retreat and, later, by his own admission. Ozymandias’ cancer leaves him with crippling, debilitating migraines, and the size of the growth indicates that it is likely terminal – he admits it’s spreading.

It seems petty to pose the question “Where did Ozymandias’ cancer come from?” Cancer is a real disease that comes in many forms, after all, and the cause isn’t always cut and dry. But this is the Watchmen world, and Watchmen is a series that necessitates misdirection as one of its core storytelling elements. Cancer was a means to an end in Watchmen, and Ozymandias had no qualms about exploiting the disease for his own benefit in the comics. Now he, or someone else, might just be doing it again.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock Introduces Major New Characters to Watchmen’s Mythos

So, where did Ozymandias’ cancer come from? Who are the likely culprits, and what do they get from afflicting the megalomaniac with a terminal illness? And how does all that tie into the story Doomsday Clock is weaving? Let’s dive into all the possible sources of Adrian Veidt’s newly-revealed affliction.

Your Own Worst Enemy

Ozymandias-Doomsday-Clock-Plan

The most obvious answer is that Ozymandias’ give himself cancer. Perhaps not intentionally, but at least by accident. After all, at the end of Watchmen he fesses up to Night Owl that he was the one who orchestrated Dr. Manhattan’s exile, ensuring the hero’s former associates were exposed to the proper radioactive materials that would result in a cancer diagnosis. So, is it really that hard to believe that Ozymandias was a bit of a butterfingers with dangerous, noxious materials and that prolonged exposure left him with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball? No, it’s not hard to believe – but it’s profoundly unlikely.

RELATED: REVIEW: Doomsday Clock #1 is a Well-Crafted Watchmen Successor

After all, we’re talking about a man with genius-level intellect, who knew enough about genetics to create his own cat hybrid and almost destroyed the world with an engineered space squid. Sure, there were plenty of chances for Ozymandias to encounter radioactive materials along the way, but it’s equally believable that he took the proper precautions and that someone else is responsible for his current affliction. All Ozymandias has to say about the diagnosis is that the cancer is “another reminder of my past mistakes.” Which mistakes might those be?

I’ve Got the Blues

Dr Manhattan on Mars

There are certainly quite a few mistakes to choose from. Ozymandias could be referring to his alien squid plot, inflicting cancer on numerous innocents or exiling Dr. Manhattan to Mars. He could also be talking about how he’s the reason why Dr. Manhattan left the Watchmen version of Earth for the DC Comics Universe. Ozymandias’ goal in Doomsday Clock #1, after all, is to find Dr. Manhattan, to bring “god” back to the world. That seems a little altruistic for the man who murdered millions in a grand, misguided experiment in world peace. Maybe, instead, he wants Dr. Manhattan to take away the cancer he gave Ozymandias.

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The post Doomsday Clock: Where Did Ozymandias’ [SPOILER] Come From? appeared first on CBR.

‘Potentially hazardous’ three-mile-wide asteroid to skim Earth just DAYS before Christmas – Mirror.co.uk


Mirror.co.uk

'Potentially hazardous' three-mile-wide asteroid to skim Earth just DAYS before Christmas
Mirror.co.uk
A massive asteroid is set to skim the Earth on December 16, just over a week before Christmas. With a diameter of about 3 miles, the asteroid - named 3200 Phaethon after the Greek demi-god who, according to legend, nearly set the Earth on fire - is ...
Three-mile-wide asteroid named after 'destroyer' God is heading towards EarthYahoo News

The Massive 3200 Phaethon Asteroid Will Be Making An Extremely Close Approach To Earth On December 17The Inquisitr
Massive 3-mile wide Christmas asteroid to practically GRAZE Earth next monthDaily Star
International Business Times UK -LADbible -Daily Mail
all 11 news articles »

Mean Titans: 15 Times The Teen Titans Should Have Been Censored

Mean Titans: 15 Times The Teen Titans Should Have Been Censored

Like any superhero team, the Teen Titans have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs. When they are at their best, they have saved worlds, brought hope to millions, and proudly carried on the valiant tradition began by their elders. But when they are at their worst, they have betrayed friends, injured innocent people, and been through enough trauma to make a whole fleet of psychologists very wealthy. The team roster may have changed considerably since their debut over half a century ago, but every single member of the team has gone through more than their share of bad days — and whether those bad days are caused by their trusted teammates or by the actual villains seems to be a matter of luck.

RELATED: Meme Titans Go!: 15 Hilarious Teen Titans Memes

In this article, we look at 15 of the Titans’ lowest moments that somehow made it past the Comics Code Authority; these include such family-friendly fare as mind control, stalking, murder and assault. Although this list contains only a portion of the rotten things the Titans have done and have had done to them, we trust it is enough to demonstrate why they are in desperate need of both a team psychiatrist and a human resources department.

AN INAUSPICIOUS BEGINNING

beginning

In Teen Titans #1, our heroes don’t do a whole lot of crime-fighting, because who wants to see superheroics in a superhero comic?  Instead, they join the Peace Corps and head down to South America to help build a dam near the village of Xochatan. The construction of this dam will flood an ancient pyramid along with whatever invaluable artifacts and historical knowledge it contains, but no one seems at all worried about that.

This is somehow made worse by the fact that the comic spent half a page explaining how important it is for Peace Corps volunteers to respect local cultures and customs. Apparently, that rule doesn’t apply if it gets in the way of building a really sweet dam, because the only thing the Corps expresses concern about is how their reputation will suffer if the Titans fail to get it built.

BAT-STALKER

stalker

Bette Kane, inspired by her Aunt Kathy’s exploits as Batwoman, decides to put her natural athleticism to good use as Batgirl. However, her motives are not exactly pure: she hopes that becoming a superhero will make her longtime crush, Robin the Boy Wonder, fall in love with her.  Even after Robin rebuffs her, she continues her pursuit of him with undaunted enthusiasm. She calls it love; most people would call it harassment.

Some years later, Bette changes her codename to Flamebird and joins the splinter group Titans West, but she is still as obsessed with Robin as she’s ever been, despite Robin showing exactly zero interest in her. We’re sure he breathed a big sigh of relief when Bette finally got her act together and decided to focus on crime-fighting rather than stalking.

MARVIN (AND YOUR CHILDHOOD) DIES HORRIBLY

marvin

If you were a fan of superheroes from 1973 to 1986, you probably watched Super Friends, a pseudo-Justice League cartoon that introduced the characters of Marvin White and Wendy Harris, who served as sidekicks to the team. And if you watched Super Friends, you may want to skip the rest of this entry, because we have some very bad news for you.

In 2006, Marvin and Wendy were introduced into the main DC Universe as caretakers assigned to look after Titans Tower and rebuild Cyborg. Sadly, the pair only lasted a couple of years before they were brutally mauled by an intruder, leaving Marvin dead and Wendy paraplegic. The best part? That intruder was Wonder Dog, another character from the Super Friends cartoon. Sweet dreams!

FALLING IN LOVE IN A FLASH

flash

When Raven first arrives on Earth, she warns the Justice League of the danger posed by her demonic father Trigon. The League rejects her out of hand, forcing Raven to initiate Plan B: reunite the disbanded Teen Titans. But the Titans aren’t interested in her tale either, so Raven uses her powers to make Kid Flash fall in love with her. Once besotted, he believes her story and convinces his friends to help her.

One could argue that Raven was only doing what she had to in order to save Earth, but her plan nearly backfires. It only takes a few issues for the Titans to discover what Raven did. They react by walking out on her, and she almost ends up having to face Trigon alone. When Kid Flash leaves the team some time later, he cites Raven’s mind games as one of the reasons why.

A ROUGH LANDING

landing

In the infamous “Amazons Attack!” event from 2007, the normally honorable denizens of Themyscira declare war on America for reasons that readers have long since given up trying to parse. No one involved in the event comes out looking very good, and that includes the Titan known as Wonder Girl.

While the Amazons invade Washington, DC, the president tries to escape the carnage by remaining on Air Force One. This does nothing to stop Wonder Girl and Supergirl from punching a hole in the side of the plane and demanding the president come with them to initiate peace talks with the Amazon queen. Shockingly, the president is not inclined to listen to the superpowered teenagers threatening him, and he is seriously injured when the hole-ridden airplane inevitably crashes.

NOT JUST A MIRAGE

mirage

In the ’90s, the Titans added Miriam Delgado (aka Mirage) to their ranks. Mirage has illusion-casting powers that she uses to change her appearance, and she doesn’t always do it to stop crimes; she is more than happy to use her skills to commit crimes as well. While impersonating Starfire, she decides to take the opportunity to sleep with Starfire’s boyfriend Nightwing, who has no idea who she really is.

When he does find out about Mirage’s ruse, Nightwing is clearly horrified, even as Mirage says it’s all his own fault and walks away laughing. The rest of the team, rather than sympathizing with him and dragging Mirage to the nearest police station, laughs at and mocks him. No wonder Nightwing didn’t tell anyone when he was assaulted again years later in Nightwing #93.

SIBLING RIVALRY

sibling

Starfire (aka Princess Koriand’r) grew up on the planet Tamaran with her brother Ryand’r and sister Komand’r. Although Komand’r is the oldest of the three, she was born sickly and therefore passed over as heir to the throne in favor of her younger sister. Komand’r doesn’t like that and forms an alliance with the Tamarians’ enemies, the Gordanians, so that she can set the terms of a much-needed peace agreement: give Koriand’r to the Gordanians and the war will end.

As if being handed over to a hostile enemy race wasn’t traumatizing enough, Koriand’r is kept as a slave by her vengeful sister for six years, during which time she is horribly mistreated in every way imaginable. On a hopeful note, in spite of her sister’s cruelty and the years of torment she suffered because of her, Starfire has remained as kindhearted as ever.

WORST PUN EVER

pun

“Countdown to Final Crisis” isn’t an event so much as it is several subplots sloppily cobbled together to vaguely resemble a story. In one of these subplots, Donna Troy, Jason Todd and Kyle Rayner team up on a multi-universal quest to find the erstwhile Atom. It is not a harmonious partnership; Jason ends up shooting Donna, though it’s later revealed that he only did so as part of a plan to get them out of danger and that his attack caused no lasting damage.

Even so, Donna doesn’t react well, referring to Jason as “re-Todd” in an obvious pun on an incendiary and hurtful word. Using such language would be beneath anyone, but coming from an Amazon who is supposed to value compassion and understanding, it’s even worse. Does Themyscira not have sensitivity training?

DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW?

mother

Lilith Clay’s happy home life is shattered when, using her newfound telepathic powers, she accidentally reads her parents’ minds and discovers she was adopted. This leads Lilith to run away from home at the tender age of 16. Even runaways need to eat, however, and when she gets to New York, she takes a job as a go-go dancer.

For those not into the club scene, a go-go dancer is a woman — or a man, depending on the club — hired to don a scanty yet eye-catching outfit and dance either on tables or in cages for the audience’s entertainment. Even granting that such dancers must be young, 16 is a little too young to be putting on skimpy clothes and dancing around in a cage for the titillation of drunk club patrons.

A REBRANDING IS IN ORDER

joker

One of the more obscure Titans, Duela Dent joined the team in 1976 while calling herself the Joker’s Daughter. Her gimmick was to fight crime with clown-related gear, including white face powder and boxing gloves hidden in her purse. This might seem cutesy to readers, but in-universe, the Joker is one of the world’s most notoriously demented killers. We get that Duela is supposed to be quirky, but naming yourself after a mass murderer seems a little gauche, even if the Joker actually is your father — which, in Duela’s case, he is not.

One would think Robin, who has spent basically his entire career trying to keep the Joker’s body count to a minimum, would object to having a teammate with such a name, but he welcomes her with open arms. Fortunately, Joker’s Daughter would go on to change her name — several times, in fact.

DON’T BUG ME

bug

Dr. Abel Weathers is a survivalist, but instead of stocking ammunition and canned beans in his basement, he performs terrifying experiments on his family to make them better equipped for life in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Since insects will have a better shot at surviving a nuclear holocaust, Weathers turns his own wife into a human/grasshopper hybrid. There’s a sign of true love if ever there was one.

Weathers’ daughter Kole fares somewhat better. Instead of turning her into a Kafkaesque nightmare, her father’s experiments grant her the ability to create and control silicon crystals. But while Kole may have gotten off light in that regard, she still has to deal with the trauma of discovering her parents’ madness and then watching them devolve into bugs.

BY JUPITER

jupiter

Ever wonder how the Titans afford all those nifty gadgets?  In the ’60s and ’70s, they did so with the help of millionaire philanthropist Loren Jupiter. But the price for this benevolence was perhaps higher than they expected. In one issue, telepath Lilith Clay accidentally uncovers some of her teammates’ worst fears and tells Jupiter about them. Jupiter decides that, rather than discussing this information with the Titans, he will team up with Lilith to make them all hallucinate that they are experiencing their own personal nightmares in the hopes that this will cure them of their respective phobias before they become liabilities on the battlefield.

This isn’t the only time Jupiter messes with their minds without permission, either. In another issue, he decides they can’t psychologically handle a recent deadly encounter with his own evil offspring and instructs Lilith to erase everyone’s memory of the fight.

JERICHO LOSES HIS HEAD

Joseph Wilson (aka Jericho) is among the kinder and gentler members of the team, which is probably why he’s the first character writers reach for whenever they want to make a Titan turn crazy and/or evil. The second time this happened, in Teen Titans #2 (2003), Jericho possesses the body of his father, the mercenary Deathstroke. Deathstroke’s own dubious morals corrupt Jericho’s soul, causing him to go on a deadly rampage.

Jericho’s first victim is Wintergreen, Deathstroke’s longtime servant and friend. Then, just to prove how really evil he is, Jericho cuts off Wintergreen’s head and mounts it on the wall along with his father’s hunting trophies. He goes on to attack his old teammates before Raven stops him; the Titans end up storing his personality on a computer until Raven figures out how to resurrect him minus the bloodlust.

ROBBING THE CRADLE

cradle

The relationship between founding Titan Donna Troy and Terry Long was built up as one of the truly great comic book romances and culminated in their tying the knot in Tales of the Teen Titans #50. The ceremony was held at a friend’s lavish mansion and was attended by the couple’s many loving and supportive friends. What could be sweeter than that? Yeah, about that…

At the time of their marriage, Donna was only 19 while Terry was about 30. Ten years may not seem like a big deal when the people involved are 70 and 80 or even 40 and 50, but when one person is a college sophomore not even old enough to drink alcohol and the other is her history professor, things get creepy real fast. Unsurprisingly, the marriage ends in divorce.

TITANS TOGETHER?

friend

While Rise of Arsenal is probably best remembered for the scene where the titular character holds a dead alley cat, it also deserves to be remembered for the despicable behavior demonstrated by the former Titans and supposed friends Roy Harper and Dick Grayson.  Much of Roy’s behavior can be put down to the grief of losing his daughter in a previous event comic, but that’s no excuse for beating a woman as “foreplay,” even if she “likes it rough” as Roy’s narration box assures us.

Dick’s actions aren’t much better. He recognizes that Roy had fallen back into his old drug habit, so what solution does this brilliant young detective come up with? He kicks Roy in the face while insisting “I’m your friend” before abandoning him at a rehab facility, even though leaving him alone helped cause the relapse in the first place. Batman must be proud.

The post Mean Titans: 15 Times The Teen Titans Should Have Been Censored appeared first on CBR.

The psychology of Black Friday – how pride and regret influence spending

Black Friday is upon us once again. Deals for cut-price clothes, televisions, appliances – you name it – are popping up. And for a limited time only. While stocks last, you could snag a bargain before Christmas.

Can passion make better teachers and cure Indonesia’s poor learning level?

After decades, 89% of Indonesian children are in schools. But only a few are actually learning well as shown in the results of Indonesian National Assessment Program. Indonesia was also still ranked in the lowest ten in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Thus, following a recent global trend in education, Indonesia should shift its education goal from enrolment to include learning. How?

Actor Billy Baldwin Accuses Donald Trump Of Hitting On His Wife

Actor Billy Baldwin snapped back at a tweet about Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Thursday, saying that President Donald Trump once “hit on my wife” at a Manhattan hotel. Baldwin also slammed the president as a “5th degree black belt when it comes to sexual impropriety allegations.”



Baldwin jumped into the fray after the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about new allegations against Franken. He was referring to a HuffPost report published Wednesday in which two other women stepped forward saying Franken inappropriately touched them on the butt. That makes the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week.



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Quesada Liked DC Better When Marvel Hired Him in the Late-90s

Quesada Liked DC Better When Marvel Hired Him in the Late-90s

Chief Creative Office of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada revealed in a Twitter reply that he was a bigger fan of DC Comics when his company, Event Comics, was hired by Marvel Comics to bring to life a line of Marvel Knights comics.

Quesada explained that he was “a Marvel fan as a kid and a DC fan [as] an adult. I was all about the DC when Marvel hired my company to do Marvel, it felt weird, kinda dirty. DC was just putting out better books at then time. Then I went on to kick their asses.”

RELATED: Quesada Wants to Shift His Focus Back Toward Marvel’s Comics

Quesada’s company was hired by Marvel Comics in 1998. He went on to become Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics in 2000, a role he held until 2011. Axel Alonso took over as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel in 2011, who held that role until November 2017, when C.B. Cebulski replaced him.

RELATED: Joe Quesada Comments On Brian Bendis’ DC Comics Deal

Quesada has held the role of Chief Creative Office for Marvel Entertainment since 2010. He also serves as an executive producer on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Quesada previously served as executive producer on the cancelled Agent Carter series.

The post Quesada Liked DC Better When Marvel Hired Him in the Late-90s appeared first on CBR.

Why saving our blue planet may lie in the hands of citizen scientists

Some 95% of the ocean is completely unexplored, unseen by human eyes. That naturally means that there are many marine environments that we don't know much about, but that we're still putting at risk from damaging activities such as bottom trawling. Meadows of seagrass – flowering plants that live in shallow, sheltered areas – are a prime example of such a habitat.

Water use, drought-tolerant hybrids still key to dryland crop production

Risk management is the name of the game when it comes to growing dryland sorghum and corn, which both offer cropping alternatives "when and if" conditions are right, according to recent Texas A&M AgriLife studies.

Hawai’i Astronomer: First Interstellar Visitor is ʻVery Strangeʻ – Big Island Now


Big Island Now

Hawai'i Astronomer: First Interstellar Visitor is ʻVery Strangeʻ
Big Island Now
Artistʻs impression of `Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever detected in our Solar System. This unique object was discovered on October 19, 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawai`i. Subsequent observations from Gemini, ESO's Very Large ...
That Interstellar Asteroid is Pretty Strange. Could It Be…?Discover Magazine (blog)

An interstellar interloper is dashing through our solar systemSpaceflight Now
Project Lyra, a Mission to Chase Down that Interstellar AsteroidUniverse Today
Scientific American (blog) -The Weather Channel -Ars Technica -Next Big Future
all 79 news articles »

First light for the pioneering SESAME light source

At 10:50 yesterday morning scientists at the pioneering SESAME light source saw First Monochromatic Light through the XAFS/XRF (X-ray absorption fine structure/X-ray fluorescence) spectroscopy beamline, signalling the start of the laboratory's experimental programme. This beamline, SESAME's first to come on stream, delivers X-ray light that will be used to carry out research in areas ranging from solid state physics to environmental science and archaeology.

New study shows ‘fast fashion’ continues to risk garment workers’ health and well-being

On the 24th November 2012, a fire in the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh led to the death of at least 112 workers, while the collapse of the Rana Plaza building just five months later killed 1,134 garment workers and injured hundreds of survivors.

As shoppers mobilize on Thanksgiving, retailers branch out

Shoppers are hitting the stores on Thanksgiving and will be finding some surprises: toys and TVs at J.C. Penney, Barbies at Best Buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at B.J.'s.

Michael Flynn May Be Cooperating With Robert Mueller’s Russia Probe: Report

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, may be moving to cooperate with the special counsel investigating ties between the Trump campaign and efforts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, The New York Times reported Thursday.



Lawyers for Flynn have reportedly stopped sharing information about special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe with the White House, a move the Times notes could signal Flynn’s cooperation with the investigation or that he is in the process of negotiating some sort of legal deal. Flynn’s lawyers had been cooperating with Trump’s legal team, as defense teams often do, but recently notified the White House they could no longer discuss the investigation.



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Justin Trudeau, Other World Leaders Praise Net Neutrality Ahead Of FCC’s Planned Repeal

Holiday gift ideas: Stylish wearables that give back all year

I vividly remember owning a calculator watch back in the early 1980s. I was sure it was the coolest thing ever and I was going to ace all my math tests. It didn't quite work out that way, but from an early age, I knew I wanted a watch that did more than just tell time.

Nepal on target to meet aim of doubling tiger population by 2022

The wild tiger population in the world has declined by more than 98% in the past 200 years; the present tiger population of 3,643 is only 5% of the population a century ago. Concerned by this sharp decline of an iconic animal of the Asian tropical forests, the heads of government of 13 tiger range countries conferred at the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg, Russia in 2010. In the meeting they expressed a written commitment to double the wild tiger population by 2022 in an attempt to protect this endangered species from extinction.

Climate change could increase volcano eruptions

Shrinking glacier cover could lead to increased volcanic activity in Iceland, warn scientists.

Mixing the ancient and the new—preserving rock art at the touch of a button

Some of the world's most ancient art could be protected with a new app designed by Newcastle University heritage and software experts.

Anti-Pipeline Activist Found Guilty After Being Barred From Mentioning Climate Change

After a short trial lasting just a day and a half, climate activist and retiree Leonard Higgins was found guilty on Wednesday of a serious felony charge for his role in the “valve turner” protest last year that resulted in the brief shutdown of a tar sands pipeline in Montana.



The 65-year-old former state worker from Portland, Oregon, said he’d carried out the protest to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change. Higgins and his defense team, however, were barred from referring to climate change during the trial.



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Solving the mysteries of life: Crystallographers identify 1,000 protein structures

The Canadian Light Source is celebrating two milestones reached by scientists who have conducted research at the national facility at the University of Saskatchewan.

Physicists develop faster way to make Bose-Einstein condensates

The world of an atom is one of random chaos and heat. At room temperatures, a cloud of atoms is a frenzied mess, with atoms zipping past each other and colliding, constantly changing their direction and speed.

World’s smallest tape recorder is built from microbes

Through a few clever molecular hacks, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have converted a natural bacterial immune system into a microscopic data recorder, laying the groundwork for a new class of technologies that use bacterial cells for everything from disease diagnosis to environmental monitoring.

Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species – BBC News


BBC News

Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species
BBC News
A population of finches on the Galapagos has been discovered in the process of becoming a new species. This is the first example of speciation that scientists have been able to observe directly in the field. Researchers followed the entire population ...
Galapagos study finds that new species can develop in as little as two generationsPhys.Org

Galapagos Finch Flies to Distant Island, Mates With Birds There, Forms New SpeciesNewsweek
A New Bird Species Has Evolved on Galapagos And Scientists Watched It HappenScienceAlert
Daily Mail -ZME Science -International Business Times UK -iNews
all 8 news articles »

The world needs to rethink the value of water

Research led by Oxford University highlights the accelerating pressure on measuring, monitoring and managing water locally and globally. A new four-part framework is proposed to value water for sustainable development to guide better policy and practice.

Galapagos study finds that new species can develop in as little as two generations

The arrival 36 years ago of a strange bird to a remote island in the Galapagos archipelago has provided direct genetic evidence of a novel way in which new species arise.
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