Solving the puzzle of when the first humans arrived in the Americas

A Newcastle University expert is leading a new study which aims to resolve a longstanding debate about how and when people first came to the Americas.

Children at Swedish ‘gender-neutral’ preschools are less likely to gender-stereotype

A new study from Uppsala University in Sweden has indicated that the norm-conscious practices used by teachers at preschools termed "gender-neutral" are associated with reductions in children's tendencies to make gender-stereotypical assumption. The practices are also associated with children's increased interest in playing with unfamiliar peers of the opposite sex.

Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have developed a technique that reduces the toxic effects of commercially available cigarettes. In spite of the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that some 6 million people die every year as a consequence of tobacco consumption, the number of smokers around the world is on the rise. The number of tobacco-related deaths is equivalent to the fatality rate that would occur if a passenger plane were to crash every hour. According to figures published by the German Federal Statistical Office, the tobacco industry generated a turnover of around EUR 20.5 billion in 2016 through the sale of cigarettes in Germany alone.

Urban emissions could be cut by 70 percent

Wouter van Heeswijk has developed a mathematical model that determines the optimal conditions for sustainable urban distribution. The model can reduce logistical pressure in cities and make goods transport more sustainable. In some cases, it may be possible to reduce emissions in cities by seventy per cent. Van Heeswijk is a member of the Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems research group at the University of Twente, where he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on 19 May.

Why you’re almost certainly wasting time rinsing your recycling

Once a fortnight we diligently wheel our recycling bin to the kerb, and then probably give ourselves a pat on the back while thinking of all the useful products we have helped to create, and the resources and energy we have saved.

Explaining hostility to renewables

Studying the catastrophe that has been Australian climate and energy policy these past 30 years is a thoroughly depressing business. When you read great work by Guy Pearse, Clive Hamilton, Maria Taylor and Phillip Chubb, among others, you find yourself asking "why"?

Amazing Solar Eclipse Pictures from Around the World

Amazing images of solar eclipses captured around the world.

Nanomaterials with potential for environmentally friendly hydrogen production

In an article in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden, present a type of low-cost and environmental-friendly organic polymer nano-material as photocatalysts for hydrogen generation, and propose the working mechanism of the photocatalytic reactive site.

New extreme micro-organisms found in Siberian soda lake

Professor Peter Golyshin of the School of Biological Sciences, and expert in environmental genomics of microorganisms is the only UK author and participant in research which has discovered a new class of micro-organisms (archaea) that live in the extreme environment of a Siberian alkaline soda lake. What makes this discovery ground-breaking is that these micro-organisms can convert organic material directly into methane under such extreme conditions.

Properties of subatomic ‘soup’ that mimics the early universe

By teasing out signatures of particles that decay just tenths of a millimeter from the center of a trillion-degree fireball that mimics the early universe, nuclear physicists smashing atoms at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) are revealing new details about the fundamental particles that make up our world.

Women rely on the family home to support them in old age

Thanks in part to the gender pay gap, the gender wealth gap more than doubled between 2002 and 2014. But our research shows Australian women don't just trail men in total wealth, they also have less diverse asset portfolios.

‘Teaching the controversy’ is the best way to defend science, as long as teachers understand the science

The role of science in modern societies is complex. Science-based observations and innovations drive a range of economically important, as well as socially disruptive, technologies. A range of opinion polls indicate that the American public "supports" science, while at the same time rejecting rigorously established scientific conclusions on topics ranging from the safety of genetically modified organisms and the role of vaccines in causing autism to the effects of burning fossil fuels on the global environment [Pew: Views on science and society]. Given that a foundational principle of science is that the natural world can be explained without calling on supernatural actors, it remains surprising that a substantial majority of people report that they believe that supernatural entities are involved in human evolution [as reported by the Gallup organization]; although the theistic percentage has been dropping (a little) of late. This situation highlights the fact that when science intrudes on the personal or the philosophical (within which I include the theological and the ideological), many people are willing to abandon the discipline of science to embrace explanations based on personal beliefs. These include the existence of a supernatural entity that cares for people, at least enough to create them, and that there are easily identifiable reasons why a child develops autism.

What science can reveal about the psychological profiles of terrorists

What went though the mind of the suicide bomber Salman Abedi just before he blew himself up in Manchester this week, killing 22 people? We often dismiss terrorists as non-humans, monsters, at first. But when we learn that they were seemingly normal individuals with families and jobs, it's hard not to wonder about how their minds really work.

Debt bondage, domestic servitude and indentured labour still a problem in the world’s richest nations

Slavery has been illegal in every country since the last country to do so, Mauritania, criminalised the practice in 2007. But while slavery is illegal, it has not disappeared. Contemporary slavery in the form of indentured labour, debt bondage or domestic servitude still exists in many places – including the richest countries of the world.

How a Total Solar Eclipse Helped Prove Einstein Right About Relativity

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. Ninety-eight years ago today, another total solar eclipse changed the world by helping to confirm Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Please Stop Mansplaining to Me at the Gym

Fitness›Workout TipsWhat were you saying? I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of my awesome. From hip thrusts to hanging-upside-down sit-ups, I do a lot of embarrassing moves in the gym. Even the humble squat is pretty awkward sinceI usually end up grunting, sweating, and shaking all while sticking my butt out as far as possible (and then wondering if my leggings have gone indecently sheer). Oh yeah, and I'm trying not to drop some very heavy weights on myself. So I'm just going to say this: Mid-squat is absolutely the worst time to approach any woman in a gym. Yet the other day at the gym a man came up behind me, just as I'd hit parallel. "Excuse me," he started and I cringed as hard as one can with a loaded bar on their shoulders. I re-racked my loaded bar, pulled out my earbuds, and turned around, expecting a rushed dude wanting a turn on the rack or perhaps a personal trainer coming to tell me the gym was on fire and I'd missed the sirens and should evacuate immediately. (I mean, why else would you tap someone on the shoulder while they're in a squat?) Nope. It was a young guy with a very smug look on his face. "Hey, I was watching you from across the gym," he said. (What up, creeper?) "And I have to tell you that you're doing that all wrong. In fact, I was so worried you were going to hurt yourself I almost ran over and grabbed that bar away from you!" (As if he could! I lift heavy.) I bristled as he then proceeded to mansplain proper squatting technique, giving me a bunch of unnecessary and wrong advice. He even threw my weights on the floor (!!) and moved me out of the way of the bar so he could demonstrate. Of course, I couldn't think of anything good to reply in the moment. I think I offered a meek, "Oh thanks," to which he nodded and pointed a finger at me like I was a disobedient child. Then he trotted off, leaving me to pick up the mess he'd made, fuming mad. Here's what I wish I'd said: "Actually I've been lifting weights—and successfully back squatting—for longer than you've had facial hair. And also, you're doing it wrong. Both the squatting and the facial hair." And unfortunately, this isn't the first time this has happened to me. While I've definitely gotten some great, helpful tips from fellow lifters of both genders, it seems like the people who know the least are the most eager to give advice. I've been mansplained to about everything from protein powders to lifting programs to my menstrual cycle (seriously) while on the weight floor. I usually listen politely and then let it go, returning to my workout. After all, I'm not trying to be hypersensitive or mean here. But something about this most recent incident has really stuck with me. Maybe it was that supreme look on his face, like he'd saved me from certain death and that he'd done the world a great good that day? In reality, the only thing he'd rescued that day was his own ego. Or perhaps I'm still annoyed because I know my experience isn't unique. Almost every woman I know who's spent any time on a weight floor has a similar story to share—and overzealous men are often one of the top reasons ladies give for not wanting to lift weights at the gym. But lifting weights is fantastic exercise and has incredible health benefits specifically for women. We need more reasons to encourage women to lift weights, and mansplaining has the opposite effect. So dudes, if you see a lady on the weight floor and you're unsure whether or not you should lay some of your wisdom on her, ask yourself: Has she asked me for help? Am I a personal trainer on duty? Do I even know what I'm talking about? Is she about to actually crush herself or a small child who has wandered in from wherever small children come from in these ridiculous hypothetical situations? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then abort your mission now. (Or at least wait until we're between sets.)

Test of general relativity could potentially generate new gravitational models

A UCLA-led team has discovered a new way of probing the hypothetical fifth force of nature using two decades of observations at W. M. Keck Observatory, the world's most scientifically productive ground-based telescope.

Big fish in big trouble in Europe

An international team of scientists led by the University of Aberdeen have discovered that large fish, which include many of the sharks, rays and skates of Europe, are the most at threat from extinction.

Light emitting quantum dots could ease synthesis of novel compounds

At one time you could wander through the labs of pharmaceutical companies and hardly ever see light being used to mediate chemical reactions. Now "photoredox catalysis" has become an essential way to synthesize novel organic compounds.

NASA drone traffic management tests take off in Reno

NASA and its partners are in the midst of testing the next, more complex version of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) technologies with live, remotely-operated aircraft, or drones, at six different sites around the nation.

Image: Close-up view of neutron star mission’s X-ray concentrator optics

A new NASA mission, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), is headed for the International Space Station next month to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. Launching aboard SpaceX's CRS-11 commercial resupply mission, NICER will be installed aboard the orbiting laboratory as the first mission dedicated to studying neutron stars, a type of collapsed star that is so dense scientists are unsure how matter behaves deep inside it.

Scientists study under-appreciated fish with special tag

Most people think of salmon jumping upriver to spawn when they consider wild fish in the American Northwest. But another, lesser-known species—the Pacific Lamprey—is also culturally and historically important to the region. Lamprey have been on Earth at least 400 million years, which is significantly longer than salmon and even dinosaurs.

Red, green, and blue light can be used to control gene expression in engineered E. coli

MIT researchers have engineered bacteria with "multicolor vision"—E. coli that recognize red, green, or blue (RGB) light and, in response to each color, express different genes that perform different biological functions.

Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour

A study by scientists from the University of Cambridge has revealed how cooperative behaviour between insect family members changes how rapidly body size evolves – with the speed of evolution increasing when individual animals help one another.

Harnessing the energy generated when freshwater meets saltwater

Penn State researchers have created a new hybrid technology that produces unprecedented amounts of electrical power where seawater and freshwater combine at the coast.

Novel method to study quantum fluctuations in exotic phases of matter

Phase transitions include common phenomena like water freezing or boiling. Similarly, quantum systems at a temperature of absolute zero also experience phase transitions. The pressure or magnetic field applied to such systems can be adjusted so that these systems arrive at a tipping point between two phases. At this point quantum fluctuations, rather than temperature fluctuations, drive these transitions.

BA flights disrupted for third day after IT crash

Passengers faced a third day of disruption at Heathrow Monday as British Airways cancelled short-haul flights after a global computer crash that unions blamed on the outsourcing of IT services to India.

Rick and Morty #26

Rick and Morty #26

Rick is the only thing that stands between our world and an alien invasion. Surely he’ll do something about it! Or, shit, maybe Jerry will.

The post Rick and Morty #26 appeared first on CBR.

Medical News Today: Surgical menopause: Effects, risks, and outlook

An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure in which a woman's ovaries are removed, prompting menopause. Learn more about this surgery and its side effects.

Invisible Woman’s Heart’s Desire is Being Namor’s Queen?!

Invisible Woman’s Heart’s Desire is Being Namor’s Queen?!

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Okay, so Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca took over duties on Fantastic Four from Scott Lobdell and Alan Davis soon after the latter creative team re-launched Fantastic Four following Heroes Return (which was after a bunch of Marvel’s main superhero titles were relaunched as part of Heroes Reborn).

Issue #7 (by Claremont, Larroca and inker Art Thibert) sees Reed and Sue Richards (Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman) put on a date of the anniversary of their first date…

Their son, Franklin Richards, however, has been attacked by the Technet, mercenaries from Claremont’s earlier stint as the writer on Excalibur with the aforementioned Alan Davis.

Sue kicks it into high gear to save her son in an awesome sequence by Larroca and Thibert…

Okay, so all of the Fantastic Four eventually show up and they are now all battling against the Technet, and during the fight, one of the members of Technet, Joyboy, figures that he will take Sue out of the fight by using his power, which is to show people their heart’s desire (it is sort of a counterpoint to another Claremont creation, Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants, who can show people their greatest fear).

He uses it on Sue and, well, her heart’s desire is a bit surprising, to say the least…

Now, Claremont definitely did play up a little bit of the whole sexual tension between Sue and Namor and Reed and his ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Moy (sort of a female version of Reed), but for the most part, this bit was never actually addressed again.

Claremont and Larroca’s final issue was Fantastic Four #32 and it features a Sue/Namor team-up that ends with Reed and Sue re-affirming their love for each other…

But it’s never really resolved that we ALL saw that her “heart’s desire” was to be with Namor. Odd.

If anyone has a suggestion for a little-remembered short-lived comic book plot point, drop me a line at and maybe I’ll feature it in a future installment of If I Pass This Way Again!

The post Invisible Woman’s Heart’s Desire is Being Namor’s Queen?! appeared first on CBR.

Comic Legends: Did a Comic Writer Defraud a Bunch of Famous Writers?

Comic Legends: Did a Comic Writer Defraud a Bunch of Famous Writers?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twenty-ninth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week’s legends.


An early Timely writer came up with an audacious scheme to defraud Timely and a group of famous writers.


Allegedly True

Destroyer Duck was a series created to help raise money for Steve Gerber to pay for a lawsuit to gain the rights for Howard the Duck back from Marvel Comics. It is best known for being the first appearance of Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier’s Groo, but the first issue also had a fascinating story about comic book history written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Dan Spiegle…

A number of people have asked me over the years just who the person was behind this mysterious story was, but only one of those people, reader Andrew R., went out and just solved it himself. He found an article about the early days of Timely Comics at the great Timely/Atlas history site by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo.

Vassallo solved the problem of why I could never solve it. You see, the events of the story allegedly DID happen (“allegedly” because, while no seems to actually dispute what happened, I don’t believe this case every went to trial, so with a crime like this, best to just stick to “allegedly”) except it was not about a comic book writer at all. The person in question, J. Alvin Kugelmass, did not work in comics. However, the rest of the story is basically the same. First off, Goodman published a new magazine called Stag….

The first issue features work by a guy who was just about to become the Editor-in-Chief of Goodman’s comic book line, a one Stan Lee…

However, Kugelmass then allegedly runs the basic scam from the Destroyer Duck story, where he gets Goodman to do an Esquire-esque magazine with notable writers like John Barrymore, Robert Benchley, Jack Benny, Erskine Caldwell, Octavus Roy Cohen, August Derleth, Margaret Fishback, D.H. Johnson, Arthur Kober, Piere Mille, Ogden Nash, E.P. O’Donnell, Pierre van Paassen, Lemuel F. Parton, Frank Sullivan, Raymond G. Swing, Jim Tully, Joseph Vogel, Randolph Weaver, Jerome Weidman, and Leane Zugsmith.

However, sure enough, Kugelmass was allegedly stealing stories and then paying himself in place of the authors!

Here’s a write-up from the Writers Journal at the time:

The Bizarre defalcations charged to Joseph Alvin Kugelmass, who was editor of Stag magazine upon its inception recently, will in no wise affect the continuance of that publication, it is declared at the offices of Martin and Abraham Goodman, at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City. Kermit Kahn has been appointed the new editor, with publication proceeding according to schedule.

Kugelmass, now reported to be fighting extradition in New Orleans, is under two indictments on charges of defrauding six authors and a literary agent of $950 and stealing the manuscripts of six other prominent writers.
Accused with Kugelmass in one indictment is Edward I. Gruskin, head of a literary agency bearing his name. Gruskin is awaiting trial in $1000 bail.

Among the writers named in the indictment as having been victimized by Kugelmass are John Kieran, Franklin P. Adams, Pierre van Paassen, Jerome Weidman, August Derleth, Frank Sullivan, Arthur Kober, Ogden Nash, Octavus Roy Cohen, Robert Benchley and Margaret Fishback. It is charged that the publishers wrote out checks to a number of the writers represented in the first issue of Stag, including one for $250 for Kieran, and $200 for Adams and for van Paassen, Kugelmass is alleged to have forged the endorsements of the authors to the checks, cashed them and pocked the proceeds.

Stories by Weidman, Derleth and others allegedly were bought by Kugelmass from their agent, Jacques Chambrun, but the publishers of the magazine were said to have been falsely informed by Kugelmass that the agent was Gruskin. A check made out to Gruskin, who is charged with cashing it and pocketing the money. Other stories, originally sold to the Simda Publishing Corporation, are said to have been lifted by Kugelmass and printed in Stag without authorization. The Goodmans, who were absolved by the District Attorney’s office of any knowledge of their editor’s alleged frauds, have made good all claims that resulted.

The editorial policy enunciated for Stag magazine at its start is still in effect, it is declared, with fiction and articles of about 2,500 words sought. They must have a masculine slant, but material is considered from women, too. Good rates are paid, on acceptance.

(Since Kugelmass skipped town, I don’t believe it ever actually went to court)

You have to give Goodman credit for paying all of the writers all of their money. He apparently spent roughly $8,000 making everyone whole. It’s especially surprising considering that, at the time, he had JUST finished screwing Joe Simon and Jack Kirby out of royalties on Captain America, but that seeming contradiction in actions is likely rooted in Goodman feeling that these guys were “real” writers, not comic book bums like Simon and Kirby. If true, that’s messed up, but not out of the ordinary for the time.

Anyhow, for the rest of the story, Kugelmass did, indeed, end up serving time in Texas (for draft board violations), but I am unsure if he ever actually worked under an assumed name for Goodman. He later went to Arizona, not Utah, and he helped the Native American reservation in Yuma, Arizona, work out a situation to help them get water for their reservation. I don’t know if he got a statue. The Utah part was likely just Evanier trying to change the facts to obscure the story more.

Kugelmass had a long career in the literary field, working for newspapers and other magazines (amusingly, he even worked with one of the writers that he had allegedly defrauded years earlier on a Reader’s Digest-type project). Be sure to read the article on Dr. Michael J. Vassallo’s web site for MUCH more about the fascinating life of Kugelmass (and also his famous brother, just for the heck of it).

Thanks to Dr. Michael J. Vassallo for the information and thanks to reader Andrew R. for both suggesting this one and also solving it for me!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Why did Bret “The Hitman” Hart sound so different during his guest appearance on The Simpsons?

OK, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is And my Twitter feed is, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my most recent book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).


If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get some original content from me, as well!

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

The post Comic Legends: Did a Comic Writer Defraud a Bunch of Famous Writers? appeared first on CBR.

How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie—at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all post-production visual effects, and after a decade of refining the process since Brad Pitt ran the gamut of time in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," it's becoming commonplace in major Hollywood movies.

In China, maggots finish plates, and food waste

Thousands of voracious white maggots wiggle frenetically while tearing through trayfuls of leftover meat, vegetables and fruits in an unusual farm in southwestern China.

India’s ethical hackers rewarded abroad, ignored at home

Kanishk Sajnani did not receive so much as a thank you from a major Indian airline when he contacted them with alarming news—he had hacked their website and could book flights anywhere in the world for free.

BA says most flights running; angry passengers face delays

British Airways said many of its IT systems were back up and running Sunday, but some travelers will likely face cancellations and delays for a third straight day after a global computer failure grounded hundreds of flights.

Insane Celebrity Diets You Might Possibly Consider

We know for a fact that celebrities have a world of their own. These are not ordinary people and so it makes a whole lot of sense if they follow weird and out of this world eating plans

The post Insane Celebrity Diets You Might Possibly Consider appeared first on Health, Fitness & Happiness Blog for Women!.

Great Barrier Reef bleaching worse than first thought

Coral bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is worse than first thought and the impact will accelerate unless global greenhouse gas emissions are cut, scientists said Monday.

New species of frog from the Neotropics carries its heart on its skin

In the Neotropics, there is a whole group of so-called glassfrogs that amaze with their transparent skin covering their bellies and showing their organs underneath. A recently discovered new species from Amazonian Ecuador, however, goes a step further to fully expose its heart thanks to the transparent skin stretching all over its chest as well as tummy.

Genomics tracks migration from lost empires to modern cities

New genomic tools are enabling researchers to overturn long-held beliefs about the origins of populations, a researcher will tell the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Monday). Dr Eran Elhaik, Assistant Professor of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, will say that new technologies are enabling scientists to track the origins and migrations of populations with increasing accuracy.

Solid becomes liquid-like when irradiated

New insight could inform how nuclear waste is stored

Medical News Today: No motivation to exercise? Focus less on intensity, and more on happiness

New research suggests that focusing less on the intensity of physical activity and more on happiness and success may boost women's motivation to exercise.

Medical News Today: Bouldering may help to treat depression

Bouldering is not only good for physical health, but mental health, too. New research has found that the sport may help to reduce symptoms of depression.

Medical News Today: Do children act out because parents check their smartphones too often?

A new study investigates the impact of parental technology use and technology-related interruptions on children's behavioral issues.

Medical News Today: Five benefits of hot stone massage therapy

In this article, learn about a hot stone massage and what the benefits may be. What are the potential risks and how can you get the most from a massage?

Hold The Phone. Trump Tweets He Now Wants More Money For Health Care

Donald Trump had concerned Americans scratching their heads Sunday night after he tweeted that he now wants to pour more money into health care.

“I say we add more dollars to the Healthcare and make it the best anywhere,” he wrote.


ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, World’s Biggest Yet, Starts Construction In Chile – International Business Times

ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, World's Biggest Yet, Starts Construction In Chile
International Business Times
After 12 years of planning and consultations, work on the world's largest telescope yet began Friday in northern Chile. The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), with a main mirror measuring 39 meters (almost 128 feet),...
First stone laid on the European Extremely Large TelescopeNew Atlas
World's first super telescope HARMONI to decode mysteries of the universeThe Indian Express
World's Largest Telescope Begins ConstructionImmortal News
Tech Times-Science Times-Reuters-Engadget
all 62 news articles

UC Berkeley and Google want to create an eclipse ‘megamovie’ with help from citizens – SFGate

UC Berkeley and Google want to create an eclipse 'megamovie' with help from citizens
UC Berkeley is teaming up with Google to document a rare solar eclipse set to happen this August — with help from over 1,000 volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers. The total solar eclipse will cross the United States from west to east on Aug.
Solar eclipse postage stamp uses special ink, changes when touchedKVUE
An 'Edgy' Suggestion on Where to Watch the Total Solar
Michiganders hope to glimpse this summer's show-stopper: A total solar eclipseWZZM
Detroit Free Press-Walla Walla Union-Bulletin-CNET-The Space Reporter
all 69 news articles

‘Deferential’ Kellyanne Conway Says Her Gender Helps With Trump


Trump Had At Least 15 Chances To Address The Portland Attack On Twitter. He Didn’t.

President Donald Trump has been tweeting regularly throughout the weekend, but not once has he mentioned the fatal stabbing in Portland, Oregon that left two men dead after they confronted a man spewing hatred to two Muslim girls.

On Friday,Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were stabbed to death while traveling on one of Portland’s MAX trains. They both stood up to confront a man verbally attacking two girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.


Baltimore Mayor Says City Will ‘Look To’ Removing Confederate Monuments


Minnesota Museum Removing Gallows Exhibit After Native American Protest


Tasmanian skies turn technicolour as aurora australis arrives – ABC Online

ABC Online
Tasmanian skies turn technicolour as aurora australis arrives
ABC Online
Gabriela Moreira says she "came to Tasmania all the way from Brazil to see the beautiful people, landscape and, of course, the aurora australis". On Sunday night, she was in luck, as the aurora lit up the night sky across the state amid a strong ...
'Huge naked-eye beams': spectacular aurora australis lights up the southern skiesThe Guardian
The Aurora Australis Is Here To Light Up Your Life (But Mostly Our Southern Skies)Junkee
Aurora australis lights up Tasmanian skiesTasmania Examiner
Daily Mail-The Southland Times-Radio New Zealand-SFGate
all 17 news articles

Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert raised to red – WTOP

Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert raised to red
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska volcano that has been active for nearly six months has erupted again. The Alaska Volcano Observatory says Bogoslof (BOH-gohs-lawf) Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted at 2:16 p.m. Sunday and sent a cloud of...
Alaska Volcano Erupts, Flights May Be Disrupted [Breaking]The Inquisitr

all 5 news articles

15 Humiliating Comic Book PR DISASTERS

15 Humiliating Comic Book PR DISASTERS

When you look at the history of comic books and their general perception by the public, there really are three distinct periods when people in the mainstream cared. There was the Golden Age, back when comic strips were one of the dominant forms of entertainment in the United States and thus, comic books got similar treatment at first. Then there was the comic book speculator boom of the 1990s, where comic book stores were suddenly on seemingly every other corner in every town. Finally, there is the last decade, where the mixture of the social media boom, the 24 news cycle and the superhero film boom have made comic books a popular thing for people to get outraged over.

RELATED: 15 INAPPROPRIATE Comic Scenes That Will Make You CRINGE

However, “outrage” is not the same thing as a PR disaster. When people freak out because Thor is now a woman, that’s not a PR disaster. That’s just people being outraged over stupid things. Comic book companies are prepared for things like that. A PR disaster, on the other hand, is when unexpected controversies pop up and comic book companies are unduly embarrassed and/or forced to apologize for something that happened. Here, then, are the 15 worst comic book PR disasters.


For the most part, comic book companies do not have to worry about licensed material. There is just so much licensed material out there (just go to a Target and see how much superhero-related clothing you can find — you’ll be there for hours) that people get that they are different than materials released by comic book companies themselves.

However, sometimes the licensed products are so bad that the comic book company still gets blow back, and that was the case in 2014 when two T-shirts got negative attention. One was Superman kissing Wonder Woman with the caption, “Superman does it again,” thereby positioning Wonder Woman as a conquest. The other was a “Training to be Batman’s wife” shirt. Ouch. DC addressed the issue, releasing a statement, “All our fans are incredibly important to us, and we understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree.”


Again, as noted earlier, controversial stories are not the same thing as “PR disasters,” because comic companies often do storylines designed to get attention. Marvel does not send out press releases about, say, Iron Man becoming an African-American teenage girl and think that no one is going to react.

However, in the case of “One More Day,” the storyline where Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson-Parker trade their marriage to Mephisto to save Aunt May’s life, no one really wants to talk about the story itself. Marvel just wanted to get to the next step, which was a single Spider-Man, something that every Marvel Editor-in-Chief had wanted pretty much as soon as Spider-Man got married. Luckily for Marvel, the mainstream media really didn’t find “Spider-Man sells marriage to devil” that interesting, so they didn’t have to deal with outside media attention too much on this one. Fandom, however, exploded.


On the other hand, for whatever reason, “Captain America has secretly been a member of Hydra this whole time” caught mainstream attention in a way that few other controversial comic book stories ever have. Again, Marvel clearly intended for the story to draw attention (they revealed the twist in Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 in a national newspaper article), but the difference was that Marvel clearly did not think that the story would hit quite the nerve that it has for many people. This is especially true of the people who painted the angle revealing that Captain America (who was created by two Jewish creators) was a Hydra agent, given the group’s connections to Nazis, as being anti-Semitic.

Things have gotten so bad with Marvel on the optics of this storyline (soon to be finished in the pages of the otherwise extremely popular and well-received Secret Empire) that they even issued a press release asking people to be patient with the story until it was finished!


A perfect example of how very often the issue is not the story itself but how the story is handled would be the case of Northstar coming out in the pages of Alpha Flight #106 (by Scott Lobdell, Mark Pacella and Dan Panosian). During a battle against a retired Canadian superhero who is angry over how his son was shunned for being gay before he died of AIDS, Northstar revealed that he understood, as he, too, was gay.

The issue was fully approved by Marvel editorial, but everyone was taken unawares by how big of a deal the story became. A story about a gay superhero that was also about AIDS in 1992 was downright scandalous, and Marvel corporate clearly was not happy with it. So, Marvel ended up going radio silent instead of actually embracing the story, thus making it seem like they were ashamed of their story.


DC Comics got a lot of great press when they revamped Batgirl with a new creative team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr that brought Batgirl to the “hipster” area of Gotham City, where Batgirl received a revamped look that was keeping in the style of her new neighborhood. The revamped book was a hit, but just a few issues into the revamp, they also hit a major misfire.

During a story where someone was committing crimes disguised as Batgirl, Batgirl unmasked the villain and it turned out to be a villain, Dagger Type, who seemed to identify as a man. This obviously played into all of the worst stereotypes of the “crazy cross-dresser”/”crazy transgender person” tropes and the Batgirl creative team quickly apologized for the story.


In 1998, DC Comics celebrated the 60th anniversary of Superman’s first appearance by first bringing back Superman’s classic look (he had been wearing an electric blue costume, along with new energy-based powers, for the previous year) and then launching into a series of stories where Superman was sent to different points in history.

Writer/artist Jon Bogdanove did a great story set in the 1940s with Clark Kent and Lois Lane sneaking into Poland to do a story about the Nazi atrocities there. The problem was that despite clearly involving Jewish people, the story never once used the word “Jew.” DC thought kids might use the word as a slur. They apologized for the miscue. The Anti-Defamation League accepted the apology, noting the heart of the issue by saying, “the intention was OK but the execution wasn’t. One can get so locked in trying not to offend, you offend.”


In 2013, DC Comics ran a contest for the then-upcoming debut issue of Harley Quinn’s solo series by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. The idea for the contest is that artists would draw a sample page and the winning artist’s work would appear in the published issue (the issue had a number of different artists each draw a page or two, so it made sense for the flow of the story).

The sample page showed Harley Quinn attempting to kill herself (as a play on the fact that she was in the Suicide Squad). The final panel was Harley naked in a bathtub preparing to drop electrical appliances in to kill herself. Readers objected to the sexualization of suicide and DC apologized and the panel was changed in the published comic (artist Jeremy Roberts won).


In April of 2017, Marvel’s longtime Vice President of Sales, David Gabriel, was quoted as saying of Marvel’s recent October/November 2016 sales slump, “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not … We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”

Gabriel later clarified his statements, but it was too late, as the sound bite of “people didn’t want any more diversity” was soon played on every news site out there, even gaining mainstream attention.


In 2013, DC launched a new anthology series, Adventures of Superman, where different writers and artists could take a crack at Superman (including the great Chris Samnee, who drew the cover for the first issue, featured above). One of the writers they enlisted was acclaimed science fiction author Orson Scott Card. However, Card was also a well-known opponent of gay marriage. In fact, he was a board member for a group that founded to specifically oppose same-sex marriage in state legislatures.

There was a lot of negative attention to the story, with the assigned artist for the issue, Chris Sprouse, deciding not to draw the story. DC claimed that they were still going forward with the story (while making sure to note that their views did not match Card’s), but the story never came out, so it was presumably discretely scrapped.


In 2015, just a few months after the controversy over Batgirl #37’s Dagger Type, Batgirl was in the middle of another controversy, but this time it had nothing to do with the story inside of the book. All DC Comics released in June 2015 were going to have a special Joker variant to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Joker. However, the Rafael Albuquerque variant for Batgirl #41 featured the Joker tormenting Batgirl (famously echoing The Killing Joke, wherein Joker shot and crippled Barbara Gordon).

While a striking piece of art in a vacuum, people objected to the cover when it was solicited in March as clashing with the forward-looking tone of the series itself. Albuquerque asked for the cover to be pulled and DC agreed. That, though, caused its own mess, as people who liked the cover were outraged that it was pulled. It was a true lose-lose situation for DC.


As noted before, Marvel was surprised by the negative reaction to the storyline where Captain America was revealed to have been part of Hydra his whole life (as a result of a Cosmic Cube altering Captain America’s reality). However, while the story itself was one thing, the way Marvel handled things once it was clear that the story had struck a nerve was a whole other thing.

As part of the promotion of Secret Empire, where Cap’s loyalties are revealed as he and Hydra take over the United States, Marvel planned Hydra “takeover” events, where they would “take over” websites and stores, draping them in Hydra logos. Since people were already sort of creeped out by what some felt was Nazi-related imagery of Hydra, asking stores to deck themselves out in these symbols was considered by certain fans, retailers and readers as an odd misstep for Marvel.


For a number of years, Marvel had been doing variant covers that were only available to retailers if they ordered a certain amount of copies. They would choose popular artists whose work would be seen as much as an incentive that people would want to pay the premium that stores would charge for the book. One of these artists was the famed European erotic comic book artist, Milo Minara. Naturally, his variant covers were often sexually suggestive drawings of female superheroes.

However, for whatever reason, his 1:50 variant cover for 2014’s Spider-Woman #1, featuring Spider-Woman in a backbreaking crouch, drew so much outrage that Marvel eventually agreed that there was something to the critiques. Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort noted, “I think that the people who are upset about that cover have a point, at least in how the image relates to them.”


As we have mentioned a few times, the biggest key to a public relations disaster is when the company does not what they’re getting into. When they prepare themselves, things tend not to go too poorly, as they know just what to say. When they’re unprepared, though, things go pear-shaped quickly. That was the case for Action Comics #900. The issue featured a few short stories, one of which was by David S. Goyer (who wrote Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and artist Miguel Sepulveda.

In it, Superman decides that since all of his actions were considered as being officially approved by the United States government, he would fix things by officially renouncing his U.S. citizenship so that no one could blame the United States for his actions. Fairly normal idea, right? But how it was reported was “Superman hates the United States!”


At least with Action Comics #900, while DC certainly did not expect the innocuous short story to get blown into a national story, they at least knew that the story was there. That was not the case for Captain America #602, which was about Captain America (then Bucky Barnes) and Falcon (Sam Wilson) going undercover into a political movement that was connected to the former Captain America fill-in, William Burnside. The story was clearly meant to evoke the protests of the Tea Party, but was not meant to literally be the Tea Party.

However, a letterer accidentally made the subtext text by adding some outright Tea Party signs to the mix and forcing Marvel to apologize for making the story explicitly about the Tea Party (now the “Freedom Caucus”) when that was not their intent.


In the case of the Captain America #602 snafu, while Marvel did not intend to explicitly criticize the Tea Party, at least the story pretty much was a critique of the Tea Party. That was something, at least. That is what made X-Men Gold #1 the biggest comic book PR disaster of all-time.

You see, the artist on the issue, Ardian Syaf, hid references to a controversy in Indonesia where the Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama suggested that his opponents were mis-quoting a verse from Quran Surah 5:51 (or QS 5:51) into saying that it meant “Muslims should not appoint the Jews and Christians as their leader.” The issue had nothing to do with the controversy. Marvel now suddenly found themselves with a comic with hidden references that could be seen as Anti-Christian. They apologized, recalled the issue and fired Syaf.

What do you think is the biggest comic book PR disaster? Let us know in the comments!

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Genomics tracks migration from lost empires to modern cities

New genomic tools are enabling researchers to overturn long-held beliefs about the origins of populations. Until recently, assumptions about origins were based on where people were buried, but this does not take into account the migrations that scientists now know took place thousands of years ago.

New genomic analysis promises benefit in female urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence in women is common, with almost 50 percent of adult women experiencing leakage at least occasionally. Genetic or heritable factors are known to contribute to half of all cases, but until now studies had failed to identify the genetic variants associated with the condition.

Ex-CIA Director Slams Jared Kushner’s ‘Hubris’ And ‘Ignorance’


Jeremy Corbyn’s Surprising Gains


Inventive Sculpture Brings Mars Attacks! to the Planet of the Apes

In Tim Burtons’ B-movie spoof Mars Attacks!, aliens invade Earth after a series of made-up cultural misunderstandings. However, what if they had waited a thousand years to make First Contact? Well, you’d probably get a decapitated Cornelius.


Channing Tatum And Adam Driver Are Your New Favorite Criminals


100 Middle Schoolers Refuse Photo-Op With Paul Ryan During D.C. Trip

Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) may be the House Speaker and third in line for the presidency, but that reportedly didn’t sway roughly 100 middle school students to take a photo with him earlier this week.

The students were visiting Washington, D.C., from New Jersey’s South Orange Middle School on Thursday when they were offered the chance to pose with Ryan, according to reports.


Aquaman & Mera Unite for First Time in Behind-the-Scenes Photo

Aquaman & Mera Unite for First Time in Behind-the-Scenes Photo

Filming on Warner Bros. and DC Films’ Aquaman officially kicked off earlier this month, with director James Wan sharing a behind-the-scenes photo to mark the start of production. It was a small tease featuring the clapperboard for the film and a sneak peek at a water set, however, the real treat for fans came when Wan shared an image of Amber Heard’s Mera having just emerged from water. It was the first look of Heard on set, and now thanks to a fan, we have a look at the leading man officially joining his leading lady to film a scene.

RELATED: Aquaman Set Photos Reveal DC Comics’ Amnesty Bay

The photo, which comes from a fan via Twitter, sees Heard joined by Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, filming a scene together by a dock. While Mera’s sporting her new look, a costume that resembles her character’s comic book duds rather than her Justice League outfit, Momoa’s costume is hidden beneath a trench coat.

EXCLUSIVE first photo of @realamberheard and @PrideofGypsies on the set of #Aquaman in the Gold Coast, May 26! 🌊🔱 #AmberHeard #JasonMomoa

— Amber Heard Italia (@AmberHeardIT) May 28, 2017

This is the first real set photo we’ve seen since filming kicked off at the beginning of the month. Other set photos have focused on Amnesty Bay.

Production on Aquaman is already underway at Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, Australia, most recently used for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok. Filming will also take place in Newfoundland, Sicily and Tunisia.

RELATED: Aquaman: New Photo Shows Mera’s Costume Is Straight from the Comics

Arriving on December 21, 2018, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko and Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna.

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Star Wars LEGO Set Reveals New Look for Snoke

Star Wars LEGO Set Reveals New Look for Snoke

SPOILER WARNING: The following article may contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters December 15.

A Reddit user has spotted packaging for a new Star Wars: The Last Jedi LEGO set — poised for release on Force Friday this Fall — that reveals quite the different look for the ominous Supreme Leader Snoke.

The packaging for the First Order Star Destroyer, the biggest set of the bunch, reveals that the set includes six mini-figures: First Order Officer, First Order Shuttle Pilot, First Order Stormtrooper, First Order Stormtrooper Sergeant, BB-9E and, most notably, Supreme Leader Snoke.

RELATED: Star Wars: Is This the Official Story of Han Solo’s Golden Dice?

Marking the first time Snoke has been included in Star Wars merchandising, the mini-figure is notable because it looks absolutely nothing like the Snoke that appeared via hologram in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The figure is the same size as the others, indicating that the character we saw in Force Awakens was simply enlarged — therefore, not a giant. He also appears to have a caucasian skin tone with some scaring on the face — looking more like a human — as opposed to his grey, ghostly appearance in The Force Awakens. The character also sports a regal robe.

Could this indicate a change of look for Snoke in The Last Jedi?

Take a look below.

RELATED: Star Wars: Finn Will Finally Be a ‘Big Deal’ in The Last Jedi

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi features returning cast members Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, joined by franchise newcomers Kelly Marie Tran as Rose and Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern in undisclosed roles.The film arrives December 15.


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Obesity can cause cardiovascular ill-health, even in the young

Higher than normal body mass index (BMI) is known to lead to  cardiovascular ill-health in mid-to-late life, but there has been limited investigation of its effect in young, apparently healthy, adults. Researchers have now shown that having a higher BMI can cause worse cardiovascular health in those aged as young as 17, according to a new study.

Transformers 5 TV Spot Boasts 3-Headed Beast Dragonstorm

Transformers 5 TV Spot Boasts 3-Headed Beast Dragonstorm

Fans have known for a while now, thanks to one of the film’s earliest posters, that Optimus Prime will face off against a three-headed dragon-like Transformer in the franchise’s fifth outing, Transformers: The Last Knight. Now, thanks to a TV spot released by Paramount Pictures, audiences have their best look yet at the beast, as he soars through the skies in all his glory.

There’s not much known about the character created for the movie — apparently named “Dragonstorm” — but an advance look at a tie-in toys offers a good glimpse of what the Transformer’s robot form looks like, should it appear in the movie.

Take a look at the TV spot below.

RELATED: Bumblebee’s Got Some New Tricks in Latest Transformers 5 TV Spot

RELATED: Transformers: The Last Knight’s Spoiler-Filled New Trailer Unlocks the Past

The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.

Opening June 21, director Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight stars franchise veterans Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro, joined by newcomers Isabela Moner, Liam Garrigan, Jerrod Carmichael, Mitch Pileggi, Laura Haddock, Santago Cabrera and Anthony Hopkins.

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When You’re Tapped Before Age 30: 5 Behaviors That Burn Us Out

A version of this article was originally published on Forbes. Sign up for Caroline’s newsletter to get her writing sent straight to your inbox.

In all likelihood, you know what burnout feels like: Exhaustion, disinterest, poor performance, irritability, lack of empathy.


94 percent of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches have been successful – Recode

94 percent of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches have been successful
SpaceX, the interplanetary travel company led by Elon Musk and contracted by NASA, has attempted to launch its Falcon 9 rocket 34 times in the past seven years, counting only two complete failures, one of which happened in the run-up to a test. That ...
[ May 28, 2017 ] Falcon 9 rocket fires engines in hold-down test for station resupply launch Falcon 9Spaceflight Now
SpaceX engine test sparks 2-acre brush fire at Merritt Island NWRFlorida Today
Falcon 9 engines ignite briefly in hotfire test days before CRS-11 missionSpaceFlight Insider
WESH Orlando-Brevard 35 Orlando
all 14 news articles

Spider-Man: Homecoming TV Event Set to Debut New Footage

Spider-Man: Homecoming TV Event Set to Debut New Footage

New footage for Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to premiere on Disney Channel next weekend — specifically, on Saturday, June 3.

“A Fan’s Guide to Spider-Man Homecoming” airs at 7:30 pm ET, featuring a behind-the-scenes look presented by the film’s stars, Tom Holland and Zendaya. According to the promo for the special TV event, “never-before-seen footage” is also set to debut.

RELATED: Why the Latest Spider-Man: Homecoming Poster Doesn’t Work

Check out the promo below:

The special is a part of a larger programming event running that day called “ALL ZenDAYa,” which is, naturally, dedicated to the actress known for starring in the Disney Channel show K.C. Undercover.

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the events of Captain America: Civil War, which introduced Tom Holland as Peter Parker. Described as “a coming-of-age story,” the film finds Peter attending his high school for gifted kids, trying to impress his new benefactor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and also dealing with a new enemy, the Vulture (Michael Keaton).

RELATED: Spider-Man: Homecoming: Keaton’s Vulture Makes a Change in New Clip

Directed by Jon Watts (Clown) from a script by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Vacation), Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/Vulture, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Zendaya as Michelle, and many more. The film swings into theaters on July 7.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Surpasses Original’s Box Office Haul

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Surpasses Original’s Box Office Haul

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has officially passed its predecessor’s record at the domestic and foreign box office, according to Forbes. As the site notes, it’s now the biggest superhero movie ever — to not include the likes of Iron Man, Batman or Spider-Man.

RELATED: Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Is King of Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

It’s also the fifth-biggest MCU film of all time, after Disney and Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War ($408 million), Iron Man 3 ($409 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($458 million) and The Avengers ($623 million). It’s even surpassed Deadpool’s global box office record ($783.1 million), coming in at $783.3 million, as of today.

While there’s a chance the film won’t cross the coveted $1 billion-mark, it’ll at least surpass a modest $800 million.

In other box office news, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is on track for a $77 million bow domestically by the time Memorial Day weekend comes to a close. Over the course of its three-day debut in North America, the film has raked in an estimated $62 million from 4,276 locations.

RELATED: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Texting Lawsuit Has a (Sort of) Happy Ending

Unfortunately for Alien: Covenant, the film had a steep drop in numbers its sophomore weekend, dipping 71%, with an estimated $10.525 million intake over the course of the last three days. Adding the expected $13.1 million it’ll likely make tomorrow, that brings the film’s 11-day domestic total to a mere $59.92 million.

Currently screening in theaters, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego.

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Relive Every Major Game of Thrones Death in This Clever Hand-Drawn Montage

So many characters have come and gone on Game of Thrones, sometimes it’s almost impossible to keep track. If you need a refresher on who’s kicked the Westerosi bucket, and how exactly they left this mortal coil, this hand-drawn video montage should do the trick.


Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Is King of Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Is King of Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is on track for a $77 million bow at the domestic box office by the time Memorial Day weekend comes to a close. Over the course of its three-day debut in North America, the film has raked in an estimated $62 million from 4,276 locations.

Despite being a modest opening, according to TheWrap, the fifth outing marks a 31% drop in box office numbers when compared to the previous franchise outing, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which had a $90 million three-day opening. The original film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, earned $46 million when it opened back in 2003.

RELATED: First Look at Paul McCartney in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Regardless of stateside numbers, the overseas box office should benefit the fifth Pirates outing, as it’s expected to make up its $230 million budget easily, since it’s already approaching the $300 million-mark worldwide. In China, for example, the film is looking at obtaining a $67 million opening weekend — which would make it Disney’s third-greatest success in the region, after Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film is expected to push the franchise past the $4 billion-mark at the global box office.

The final version of the film comes from Tower Heist and Catch Me If You Can writer Jeff Nathanson. In his iteration, Skyfall‘s Javier Bardem stars as Captain Armando Salazar, the film’s villain.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theaters now. The film is a production of Walt Disney Pictures directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Javier Bardem as Captain Armando Salazar, Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner, Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth, Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

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Spencer & Locke #2

Spencer & Locke #2

Action Lab’s noir mashup of Calvin and Hobbes and Sin City continues in SPENCER & LOCKE #2! Spencer and Locke’s investigation leads them to the seedy nightclub known as the Red Rose — but what kind of power does the Red Rose’s owner hold over Locke? Meet Ramona Sinclair — and if this femme fatale doesn’t do these gumshoes in, a death-defying car chase just might. The second installment of David Pepose and Jorge Santiago, Jr.’s pitch-black love letter to Watterson and Miller will arrive in comic shops and digital devices May 31!

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15 SOUL-CRUSHING Superhero Tragedies

15 SOUL-CRUSHING Superhero Tragedies

Comic books come with a variety of expectations from the fan base. Heroes are supposed to beat villains, the story should make us feel a connection to the characters and above all, keep the readers entertained. Sometimes though, the stories can take some turns that no one either expects or wants; the bad guy wins the day, our heroes die and the world is thrown for a loop that everyone needs to find a way back from. This is when sadness and rage boils up from within, sometimes forcing our heroes to face their own personal tragedies alongside the horror they have already had to deal with. So often, as in life, it is that loss which drives a story.

RELATED: 15 Heartbreaking Deaths In Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Comic Book TV

Brutality is something that has not always been associated with the comic book genre. While there have been exceptions of course, brutality has mostly been a recent focus of comics. Blood, gore and all manner of unpleasantness have permeated books from Civil War to Flashpoint, Blackest Night to Old Man Logan and many others along the way. In this list, we will be talking about deaths of certain characters as well as full on events, so consider this your SPOILER ALERT.


While revealed later on that he didn’t actually die (sort of, kind of), Death of Superman was a gut punch to Man of Steel fans the world over. The fact that this alien who had been protecting the pages of DC Comics for decades could be killed was not an easy pill to swallow. Almost non-stop action from beginning to end, the comic contained a no holds barred brawl between Superman and Doomsday which results in the destruction of a very good portion of Metropolis and the fall of the character who made us believe a man could fly. While not the bloodiest entry on our list (we’re definitely not there yet) it was the tragedy and true sense of loss that made this one take a spot.


A Death in the Family is still a storyline that shapes and defines certain characters, namely Jason Todd, to this very day. Even though the character has grown and become an anti-hero as opposed to the full-on villain he was being made out to be after his resurrection, he still thinks back to the time when he died. On the night Jason Todd perished, he did so by being brutally beaten with a crowbar by the Joker, and left to die until a bomb went off finishing the job; of course, it was we the people who voted for the death of the second Robin. The vote which was cast using a 1-900 number back in the ’80s had a final tally of 5,343 in favor of his death over 5,271 against. For those keeping score, that a total difference of 72 votes that separated this character from life or death.


Stamford was the location that signalled the start of the Civil War. From the very first frame after the accident happened, we see a division of the characters as Iron Man stands on the left and Captain America stands opposite him. This tragedy — which came thanks to an ill-fated battle between an explosive villain and a group of heroes with a television show who were just trying to get ratings — did nothing but open doors for more heartache and death.

Serving as an essential turning point for Iron Man, the scope of this accident created ample opportunity for character development. We see Iron Man taking a much more all-encompassing outlook on the world after Miriam Sharpe, a woman who lost her son in Stamford, forces Tony to see the other side of things from her own perspective.


Dr. Otto Octavius had but one thought on his mind as he lay on his deathbed; one singular scheme — to insert his own consciousness into Spider-Man so that he could keep living. When his final day had come, Otto put his plan into motion, and succeeded where so many others had failed. Not only had Otto killed Spider-Man, he had taken over his life, but of course this came with a hefty price.

As Peter lay dying in the body of one of his greatest enemies, he watches as Otto is overtaken by exactly what it means to be Spider-Man. After Otto promises to protect people, Peter dies with the hope that for once in his life, Doc Ock would do the right thing. Then Otto immediately vows to be better than Peter ever was, kind of flushing the whole touching moment down the toilet.


Bucky had just started to open up and be friends with Steve again. Things were going back on track for once in the Winter Soldier’s life. Then he had to see his best friend and mentor get shot to death in front of him. While Winter Soldier and Falcon were able to apprehend Crossbones, they could never have known it was Sharon Carter who would deliver the killing shots to Captain America.

While the story made newspaper headlines in our world, not many could feel the pain of loss that Bucky Barnes felt on the day Cap died. The mixture of confusion on Cap’s face and utter betrayal as he realized what happened were as moving as they were hurtful to both characters and readers alike.


By far one of the most brutal (and contentious) entries on our list everything about Ultimatum seemed to mark the end for a different character. From the flood Magneto caused by reversing the polarity of the Earth’s poles, which wiped out heroes like Johnny Storm and some of the X-men, to the horrible imagery of scenes like Blob eating Wasp’s corpse and Hank Pym growing to full size to get his immediate revenge by biting off Blob’s head, this is by far one of the hardest events to bear visually (and for many, narratively — it is not well-loved today).

However you feel about it personally, David Finch is masterful in his portrayal of heroes and villains, and has a particularly gruesome quality when drawing a scene such as Wolverine being obliterated or Thing squishing Dr. Doom’s head like a grape.


While Civil War may not have been filled with tragedy nor all that much in the way of brutality (unless you count its epilogue, which had both in spades), it did have a couple of moments that just made the reader sit there dumbfounded about what had just happened. One of these instances was the execution of Goliath at the hands of “Thor.” What made this particular scene so brutal and tragic in the same instant was the time it took.

The two warring factions of heroes had been having their tussle when “Thor” (a cyborg-clone facsimile) appeared from the sky. He was confronted by Goliath and promptly, unceremoniously blasted Goliath through the chest with a bolt of lightning. It was over as quickly as it had started and even though there was an attempt to explain away the murder, there’s no taking away what the clone of the God of Thunder did; they couldn’t even shrink Goliath back down for his funeral.


In the most recent iteration of Detective Comics, we were reintroduced to Cassandra Cain who was once a Batgirl. While giving her a different backstory tied to a character called Mother, and her real father being the assassin Orphan, Cassandra was raised to be a killer. The ultimate weapon in Mother’s plan to reshape everyone in whatever image she deemed worthy.

While still under the influence of Mother and Orphan, Cassandra was told to kill Harper Row’s parents. This was in an attempt to make Batman see that in order to have a worthy successor, he would need someone who was made the same way he was. After killing Harper’s Mother, Cassandra couldn’t bring herself to kill her Father as well. This made for a life of heartbreak for not only the victim, but for Cassandra herself.


Let’s be real here, Hawkman is probably not the most popular character in comics. He’s been part of different teams and has his own title every now and then, but that doesn’t make his murder in Blackest Night any less terrible. Right as Kendra (Hawkgirl) was about to tell Carter (Hawkman) that she loved him, she was impaled through the chest by Sue Dibney, the wife of Ralph Dibney, aka The Elongated Man. Right after seeing this, Hawkman is beaten to death with a mace at the hands of an undead Ralph, which is shown in full bloody detail.

While Blackest Night wasn’t without other various deaths of heroes (at the hands of other zombified versions of heroes), this scene near the beginning of the story really helped the reader realize what they had just signed up for.


Another of the most brutal on our list, Kick-Ass is filled to the brim with different blood and gore; fights that simply scream brutality. Normal street fights are brought to bloody ends and when a real “superhero” shows up on scene, the outcome is bloody pandemonium for the gang bangers, who often find themselves at the wrong end of Hit-Girl’s weapons. While this particular act isn’t what makes Kick-Ass hang up his scuba suit, it does impact him and make him think if he should even be attempting what he is when there are people like Hit-Girl and Big Daddy out there.

The drama really starts to take leaps when it’s revealed that not only was Big Daddy not a cop, but that his real secret is he was just a fanboy who was bankrolling his war on crime with his back issues. After revealing that, he gets shot in the head.


In The Killing Joke, James and Barbara Gordon are subjected to some of the worst tortures anyone can bear. After Barbara is shot through the spine and paralyzed by the Joker, he undresses her and takes photos, no doubt while laughing his jovial cackle. After subjecting Barbara to her horrible fate, the Joker has his current round of henchmen strip James naked, thrown into a carnival ride, and given a private viewing of his photography. It is during this exhibition where he tries to show that even the sanest man alive can be driven mad; all it takes is one bad day, just like the one that led to his own tragic fall. This is a story, which, while still contentious among fandom today, has multliple layers of tragedy woven throughout… and we’re not just talking about that animated adaptation.


injustice superman 2 to 1

A nuclear bomb destroys Metropolis, triggered when a poisoned Superman kills his wife and unborn child, all because of a cruel joke from an unfunny clown. The horrible punchline and the war that come of this incident are a direct result of how badly tragedy can strike one man, even a Man of Steel, and how it can affect the world around him. With lines being drawn in the sand between two sets of heroes who think they are doing right, there’s no telling who would be hurt in the process. SPOILER: It was everyone.

With a story line that brings truly tragic death to some of the most popular characters in comics (sorry, Nightwing), the brutality and darkness of Injustice comes from the fact that sometimes, even the best of us can fall, either explosively or by sheer dumb luck. And when those people fall, they tend to shove their arm through the arch-enemy of their best friend.


Miles Morales was a kid who wound up getting spider powers, but who decided to take the reverse course of Peter Parker BECAUSE there was already a Spider-Man. It was only when he saw the real danger that Spider-Man was in that spurred him to action, but unfortunately, he was too late to save Peter. This would eventually lead to Miles’ decision to become the new Spider-Man.

In another time and another place, Gwen Stacey became Spider-Woman and tried her best to juggle everyday life with helping people. Her friend Peter Parker idolized Spider-Woman and wanted to be special just like her. This led him to create a lizard formula, which turned out to be a bad idea and resulted in his death. The loss of her best friend became a driving force in Gwen’s life. It seems whenever Peter Parker dies, no matter the universe, it is a heart-breakingly tragic affair.


Flashpoint letter to Batman

The Flashpoint event consisted of brutal slayings of beloved characters. Steve Trevor is left hanging by his throat by Wonder Woman with the Lasso of Truth, after having already beheaded Mera for attacking her. Then, of course, there’s the fact that she forced Captain Thunder (Shazam or Captain Marvel for those who don’t know) to reveal the secret to his power, before executing the children (yes, children) who come together to create him. Suffice it to say, Wonder Woman was one person who no one wants to mess with in Flashpoint.

These, coupled with the storyline full of other murders, death and truly biting tragedies that we don’t have time to mention, helped solidify the brutality of this landmark event, which led to the death of the DC Universe as we knew it (its own tragedy, to some). That, and of course, Batman shoving a sword through Reverse Flash near the end really helped send the message home that this is a bad timeline to be a part of.


When the heroes fell, Wolverine thought that he had been fighting a massive horde of super villains sent to put an end to one of their biggest threats, and he tore every one of them down as they came. Bullseye was the last one to go down, and as he lay dying in Wolverine’s arms, he’s heard saying “Logan, stop… you’re supposed to be our friend…”

It is then revealed that the entire thing was an illusion created by Mysterio, an illusion that, when lifted, shows a room full of the bodies of the X-Men; Jubilee lay dead in, and indeed by, Wolverine’s own hands. This scene is without equal in scale of effect to both the reader and the characters, and any writer would be hard pressed to one-up this story.

Which other tragedies left you quivering in a little puddle of tears? Let us know in the comments!

The post 15 SOUL-CRUSHING Superhero Tragedies appeared first on CBR.

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