Mars astronauts missed Internet – Sky News Australia


Sky News Australia

Mars astronauts missed Internet
Sky News Australia
Six 'astronauts' who spent eight months living on a remote simulated Mars base in Hawaii found that lack of internet was their biggest frustration. During the mission, the four men and two women lived in a 1,200sq ft dome perched on an 8,200ft high ...
NASA's HRP explores charged particles to solve effects of space radiation on human bodyNews-Medical.net


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Secret Spy Satellite Launches Atop Atlas V Rocket – Space.com


Space.com

Secret Spy Satellite Launches Atop Atlas V Rocket
Space.com
The National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-42 spy satellite lifts off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket early on Sept. 24, 2017. Credit: ULA. The United States has another eye in the sky. The NROL-42 spy satellite lifted off from California's ...
Atlas V Rocket Lights Up Sky with Vandenberg Air Force Base LaunchNoozhawk

Atlas V launches NROL-42 spy satelliteNASASpaceflight.com
Launch of NROL-42 delayed due to faulty batteryGears Of Biz
Los Angeles Times -The Australian -Lompoc Record -KABC-TV
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Secret Spy Satellite Launches Atop Atlas V Rocket

The National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-42 satellite lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base early this morning (Sept. 24), streaking skyward atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

How Milky Way Is Different From All Other Galaxies! Know Here – Gears Of Biz


SYFY WIRE

How Milky Way Is Different From All Other Galaxies! Know Here
Gears Of Biz
With the advancement in the field of science and technology, various theories and revelations surfaced the news and database. Our galaxy, which is home to Earth and its solar system, might not be as “typical” as previously thought, and therefore Milky ...
Could we be living in a misfit galaxy?SYFY WIRE (blog)

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Cosmic rays striking Earth come from outside Milky Way: study – Deccan Chronicle


Deccan Chronicle

Cosmic rays striking Earth come from outside Milky Way: study
Deccan Chronicle
Fifty years ago, scientists discovered that the Earth is occasionally hit by cosmic rays of enormous energies. The answer lies in a galaxy or galaxies far, far away, according to a study published in the journal Science. Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays ...
Researchers identify distant source of ultra-high energy cosmic raysFirstpost

Most Powerful Cosmic Rays Come from Galaxies Far, Far AwaySpace.com
High-Energy Cosmic Rays Come from Outside Our GalaxyScientific American
The Verge -Gizmodo -NBCNews.com -Science Magazine
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Stevie Wonder Interrupts Concert To ‘Take A Knee’ For America

Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc on Arecibo radio telescope – Engadget


Engadget

Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc on Arecibo radio telescope
Engadget
Puerto Rico is suffering on an unimaginable scale in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Many have been displaced from their homes, and the entire territory may go without electricity and reliable communication for months. And while the human tragedy is ...
Amateur Radio Reports: Arecibo Observatory Dish Sustained Serious Damage from MariaARRL


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Living On The Moon May Happen By 2030, Scientists Claim – Newsweek


Newsweek

Living On The Moon May Happen By 2030, Scientists Claim
Newsweek
In a little over a decade, a small number of humans will be living on the Moon. Then in the following ten years, about a hundred more people will join them, according to Bernard Foing, a scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA). He believes ...
We Just Got a Glimpse at What Life on The Moon Could Look LikeScienceAlert

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LeBron James Explains Why Trump’s Attack On The NFL Is Personal

NYC’s Guggenheim Museum Under Fire For Show With Live Reptiles, Film Of Dogs Strapped To Treadmills

Here’s Why Trump Can Call Kaepernick An SOB

Just in case you thought that Trump went way off the reservation in virtually calling former San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick an SOB to loud crowd hoots at a campaign rally for Alabama Senate Republican candidate Luther Strange, he didn’t. The truth is that Trump has kept a vengeful close eye on the Kap-NFL debacle from day one. Last march at a post victory rally in Louisville, Trump virtually commanded NFL owners not to even think about bringing him back into the league. To quote, “They don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump.”



Any owner who dared to sign Kap almost certainly would get that dreaded nasty tweet, and probably a lot more Trump bombast about betrayal and disgust at daring to sign him. Trump has got a thing about Kap for several reasons ― and to him, these are perfectly good reasons. The first is the owners. He really didn’t have to saber rattle the owners with the threat of a “nasty tweet,” not one was going to sign him anyway. Several owners played footsie with the press about considering him for a possible spot on their team roster. But they made it crystal clear that the fans would be in wholesale revolt against their team if they signed him.



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Trump Ranted About Kneeling NFL Players. Obama Praised ‘Their Right’ To Protest.

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It’s seriously repulsive.

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London's mayor said Saturday that people angry about the decision by transit authorities to strip Uber of its license to operate in the city should blame the ride-hailing company itself.

The Sun rises in new play about Murdoch’s tabloid revolution

Rupert Murdoch has power, wealth—and legions of detractors, who say the media mogul's tabloids and TV stations have fueled crass celebrity culture, phone hacking and fake news.

7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do)

7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do)

Have you ever re-watched your favorite childhood cartoon series as an adult and been hugely disappointed? Well, you’re not alone. Nostalgia can often put a nice, fuzzy aura around the things you loved growing up, blinding you to the real truth — that not everything you enjoyed as a kid was actually technically “good.” Sometimes, cartoons can be a victim of their time. If they try to be too topical or “of the moment” they risk looking incredibly dated incredibly fast. Of course, some properties that are really entrenched in a certain era can serve as a funny, retro representation of it for future generations.

RELATED: BANimated: The 15 Most Controversial Episodes Of Classic Cartoons

Technological innovations can play a part in a cartoon’s lasting appeal, too. Clunky movement, dodgy facial expressions, and badly synced dialog can turn new and old fans off when they’ve grown used to the comparatively slicker animation of modern shows. Changing times mean that children’s media has also become a lot more sophisticated over the last two decades. This is thanks to shows like Batman: The Animated Series, which — with its brooding atmosphere and well-crafted storytelling — raised the bar and is widely considered a timeless classic. But, while some cartoons have stood the test of time, others haven’t fared so well.

DOESN’T: HE-MAN

he-man-and-the-masters-of-the-universe

From its accidental campiness to its cheesy PSAs to kids, He-Man is quintessentially ’80s. Though there are a lot of chuckles to be had from rewatching it today, the show definitely isn’t the best its era had to offer. The poor animation quality of He-Man is infamous. Yes, it was made over three decades ago but other shows of that time look far better.

Most of the characters are just copy-and-paste lumps of muscle; plus, key details, like what on earth (or Eternia) Castle Grayskull’s “power” even is, are never explained. The Prince Adam/He-Man alter-ego shift also suffers from the same datedness as Shazam. In today’s media, kids don’t need to disguise themselves as adults to be taken seriously as heroes. If you like the He-Man mythology, just watch the ’00s remake instead. Yes, seriously.

DOESN’T: TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS

optimus-primal-transformers-beast-wars

The Transformers franchise has churned out some great series’ over the years, and Beast Wars is often considered among them. Fast-forwarding way into the future past Generation One, it breathed new life into the Hasbro property by evolving the ‘Bots into animalistic forms and kicking off a whole new era of war. It also featured cutting-edge CG animation and launched an equally innovative toy-line.

So, why does it deserve a place on this side of the list? To put it bluntly, Beast Wars has aged horribly. CG evolves faster than any other medium, and what looked “state of the art” in 1996 looks painfully dated now. This is honestly a real shame because the show is tightly-plotted and has excellent character development. Hardcore fans bemoan the limited cast, though, which is another side-effect of the expensive animation.

DOESN’T: X-MEN: EVOLUTION

X-Men-Evolution-teenagers

Coming off the back of the smash-hit that was X-Men: The Animated SeriesEvolution had a lot to live up to. Maybe that’s why it’s nowhere near as well-remembered as its predecessor. Unlike TAS, which was very faithful to the source material, Evolution chose to deviate hugely. The biggest change was that the teenage mutants had to attend a normal high-school as well as the Xavier Institute.

Although changes like these can help an adaptation appeal to a new fan base, this altered premise fundamentally worked against X-Men‘s core appeal, rather than reflected or enhanced it. (Mystique posing as a high-school principal? Reeeally?) Though the show’s focus on character development was good, it feels more like a New Millennium high-school drama that happens to have X-Men in it. If you want something fresher than TAS, watch Wolverine and the X-Men instead.

DOESN’T: SONIC UNDERGROUND

Sonic Underground

Affectionately known by some fans as “the worst thing to ever happen to Sonic The Hedgehog,” this series lulled you into a false sense of hype with the crazily catchy theme song, and then crushed those expectations with a bizarre premise and poor writing. In Underground, Sonic was one of three royal siblings who were separated from their mother after Robotnik takes over her planet and bans music.

This musical show couldn’t have been more ’90s if it had a Will Smith rap breakdown during the opening credits. As such, it really doesn’t have the same timeless quality that other shows of the decade do. Watch the opening credits on YouTube, but, unless you enjoy cartoon rock operas that look like drug-induced hallucinations, the rest of it really isn’t worth revisiting.

DOESN’T: THE SMURFS

Smurfs 80s cartoon

The Smurfs have been smurfily entertaining kids and adults for over 50 years now. The ’80s cartoon series is not the best way to enjoy them, though. Like many ‘toons of its day, the show suffers from a lot of technical problems but it looks like the animators really struggled with this one. Some sequences have barely any actual movement at all.

Because the show was aimed at young kids it has an obligation to preach a lot of moral lessons to them, which, again is common for shows of the time with a similar target audience. Yet, while some manage to do this in a way that is only a little condescending, the writing in The Smurfs comes off as insultingly patronizing. It’s only really worth watching this one if you’re a Smurfs completionist.

DOESN’T: G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO

G.I Joe Real American Hero

First of all, the title of the show makes Joe sound like an ego-maniac considering he’s part of a team. It would be like The Avengers being named “Iron Man: Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.” This show suffers from the common ’80s animation problem of having very limited movement — not ideal for action sequences in a show that was all about action.

With the exception of the excellently named Sargent Slaughter and Snake Eyes, most of the characterization and stories are also pretty cookie-cutter and uninspired. Granted, it’s always hard for writers to tack concepts and personalities onto toys (especially ones that had fallen out of popularity like the Joes had by 1982.) But, when you consider what a good job The Transformers did, the genericness of the show is even more inexcusable.

DOESN’T: CAPTAIN PLANET

Captain Planet

Sorry to break it to you ’90s kids, but Captain Planet is firmly stuck in the era from whence it came. Does the eco-friendly superhero show have its charms? Sure. Its educational value is also still relevant, and superheroes are more popular in mainstream media now than ever before… just not ones like Captain Planet. The Captain suffers from the same core problem as He-Man.

Once Harry Potter came along, kids calling upon adults for help doesn’t have the same appeal. Tonally, the show is all over the place, too. Episodes filled with preaching wholesome and civilly responsible values to kids also throw hugely inappropriate sexual innuendos around. This makes it potentially too risqué for the very young but too childish for older audiences, begging the question — who was this show for?

DOES: X-MEN

X-Men Animated Series Phoenix Saga

X-Men: The Animated Series was one of the first in a string of ’90s comic book cartoon adaptations that helped elevate how children’s media was approached. The show’s legacy is big — not only did it introduce a whole new generation to the world of Marvel’s mutant superheroes, but it did it so astonishingly faithfully. Having said all that — does it still hold up?

Honestly, yes. Where some X-Men movies have sadly missed the mark, TAS serves as a high watermark of what an adaptation can do. Bryan Singer even used it for most of his research when prepping for the first movie. It’s not without faults — animation blips and hilariously hammy voice acting occur throughout — but the pros far outweigh the cons. Plus, those opening credits are still some of the best ever made.

DOES: THUNDERCATS

Thundercats

If you’re going to watch one high-fantasy cartoon series from the ’80s, make it Thundercats. The series has all of the cheesy “Lesson Of The Week” story structuring, barely believable premise, softcore fantasy action, and ludicrously-dressed warriors as He-Man, but pulled off with a lot more finesse. (Lion-O has much better hair, too.) The problems of stiff, ’80s animation still persist, there’s no getting around that.

But, the weird blend of fantasy and sci-fi works surprisingly well and the writing and character development is generally much better done than its contemporaries. You really do buy into this odd little family of superpowered space-cats. If you can get past how irritatingly often Lion-O loses his sword, it’s well worth revisiting. The 2010s remake deserves more love, too.

DOES: ANIMANIACS

Animaniacs

You might think that the main reason Animaniacs holds up today is because it was ahead of its time, but really, it couldn’t have existed in other decade. Animaniacs was a reaction to a very ’90s concern that kids cartoons were becoming too violent, something that the show frequently enjoyed addressing with its slapstick gags. It also operated under the pretence of harkening back to the “good old days” with a Looney Tunes-style segmented format.

Having said that, another part of the show’s lasting appeal is its self-referential humor, which has since become a more mainstream gimmick in media today. With a prestigious name like Stephen Spielberg’s attached, it’s probably not surprising how well it’s aged — or not aged. But honestly, the real secret to the show’s lasting success is a simple one: it’s really funny. Need proof? Just look up the “Finger Prints/Prince” joke.

DOES: GARGOYLES

gargoyles

Like most cartoon classics, Gargoyles has a premise that really shouldn’t have worked as well as it did. As well as actual, humanoid gargoyles, the show featured a crazy cast of characters that included robots, fairies, and even the Illuminati; spanning multiple genres. For a Disney show, it was unusually dark in tone and ambitious (for the time) in scope. Unfortunately, this was lessened after Season Two following the creator’s departure.

Gargoyles’ mythology is so rich that it still has an active fanbase to this day, a testament to its strong writing and the imagination of its creator. The animation also still holds up well — though not always consistent in quality. Unfortunately, it couldn’t escape Disney executive’s meddling completely, with its maturity being detrimentally toned down in Season Three.

DOES: THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

The Real Ghostbusters

Serving really as just a money-grabbing tie-in to a popular film, The Real Ghostbusters shouldn’t hold up as well as it does. Some cartoon nerds would even argue it’s actually better than the films. For an ’80s show, the animation isn’t too bad — still a bit stiff but far from the worst of the decade. It also has pretty decent voice acting, another exception for its time.

The show slots into the film universe comfortably with the premise that it was filling in the ‘busting gaps you didn’t see in the movie. In other words, it does what any great alternate media tie-in should do: expand on the original. Things unfortunately go downhill a bit in Season Two when executives bumped up mascot Slimer to a title role, but Season One is definitely worth a Ghostbusters fan’s time.

DOES: RUGRATS

The premise of Rugrats has much the same appeal as the premise of Toy Story — but with babies and toddlers instead of toys. What do they get up to when adults aren’t watching? The answer turns out to be, going on crazy adventures led by one brave baby with a screwdriver. A lot of cartoons struggle to keep their animation from becoming dated by striving for realism.

Shows like Rugrats beat this future problem by leaning hard into cartoonishness and having a more distinctive style. Part of the charm of watching the show now is that the kids’ quests often have hilariously baby-sized stakes from our grown-up perspectives. The show also still works because of how subtly progressive it was for the early ’90s, featuring a tyrannical but sympathetic antagonist, interracial families, and breaking gender stereotypes.

DOES: DUCKTALES

DuckTales was responsible for kicking off Disney’s entrance into animated TV and it certainly got its run off to a good start. Though many associate it with the ’90s, it actually began in 1987. It’s an easy mistake to make, of course, considering how much better the animation was compared to most ’80s cartoons, but not too surprising given it was a Disney property (and also benefitted from a lot of that Disney-dollar.)

The show also introduced a new audience to the charmingly curmudgeon, Scrooge McDuck, though he’s slightly less grouchy than his comic book appearances. The series has recently been revived for a whole new generation, evidence of its continuing appeal, but the original still feels just as fun, wacky, and well-crafted today.

DOES: SAMURAI JACK

Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack’s ageless appeal is partly thanks to its historical themes, and partly because of its gorgeous and unique visuals. The animation looks like a moving work of art, and though it was directly inspired by early anime movies and Japanese cinema classics, it still looks remarkably fresh and forward-thinking to this day. The show’s mature themes and abstract artsiness means it could easily be confused for an adult show.

But really, it’s one that truly transcends age demographics, though the creepiness of some of Jack’s enemies might give younger audiences a fright. Like other cartoon greats, it’s really hard to imagine this show ever falling out of relevancy. (Samurai are never not cool, either.) It’s certainly worth a binge-watch before you pick up the sequel series. 

Which cartoons do you think do or don’t hold up? Let us know in the comments!

The post 7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do) appeared first on CBR.

Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut

Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed is now publicly begging for Disney and Lucasfilm to release the original cut of the 1977-1983 Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray.

The Ant-Man and Bring It On helmer wrote in a post to Twitter, “Dear Lucasfilm, Please release a Blu-ray of the original, unmessed-with version of STAR WARS I loved when I was 13. Thanks, Peyton.”

Famously, George Lucas — the original writer and director of Star Wars — is intent on never re-releasing his original versions of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. It would take a lot of convincing on Disney’s part to get Lucas to give a re-release his blessing, which is extremely unlikely as the legendary helmer views his updated versions as superior to what came before. Whether or not the original theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy will ever see the light of day is truly one of the galaxy’s greatest mysteries…

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Wraps Post-Production

Arriving Dec. 15, director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

The post Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut appeared first on CBR.

Donald Trump Can’t Stop Attacking Black Sports Figures

Jellyfish Shown Sleeping For The First Time As Study Offers New Insights On Sleep Evolution – The Inquisitr


The Inquisitr

Jellyfish Shown Sleeping For The First Time As Study Offers New Insights On Sleep Evolution
The Inquisitr
Despite the fact that they have always been brainless animals, jellyfish do sleep after all. And while this behavior was only detected in one genus of jellyfish, new research suggests that sleep might have originated at a much earlier time in the ...
Jellyfish Sleep at Night Even If They Don't Have a BrainThe Monitor Daily

Scientists spot sleeping jellyfishGears Of Biz

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The Radioactive Puppies Of Chernobyl Are Finally Getting The Help They Need

Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked

Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked

Besides Star Trek: The Original Series, which had an uncannily awesome first season, the beloved franchise has a bold tradition of rocky starts. It generally took a while for each series to reach its full potential, as most pilot episodes left fans with a sour aftertaste. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with the CBS revival Star Trek: Discovery. But in honor of its upcoming debut, it’s a good time to revisit all of the previous Trek pilots, from The Original Series to Enterprise, and rank them from worst to best.

RELATED: What Star Trek: Discovery Can Learn From Previous Trek Shows

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re counting “Where No Man Has Gone Before” as the proper pilot for TOS, and we’re leaving out The Animated Series.


5. Star Trek: The Next Generation – Encounter at Farpoint

Oh, Groppler Zorn. Star Trek: The Next Generation, by far, had the worst pilot of the 51-year-old franchise, despite being co-written by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Arriving in 1987, the first live-action Star Trek episode in nearly 20 years was a certified stinker, boasting a boring plot, stiff acting, a chemistry-less cast and a forced cameo from DeForrest Kelley’s Dr. McCoy.

RELATED: Jonathan Frakes Drops Major Star Trek: Discovery Spoiler

Even the debut of John de Lancie’s omnipotent Q couldn’t save the wreck of a pilot. Setting the stage for a lackluster first two seasons of TNG (besides a couple standout episodes, like Season 2’s outstanding — and Ted 2 story inspiration — “Measure of a Man”), the snooze-fest that is “Encounter at Farpoint” did no favors for the franchise. It wasn’t until Michael Piller came on board in Season 3 that TNG really found its groove — and boy, did it ever.

4. Star Trek: Voyager – Caretaker

“Caretaker,” in a lot of ways, is better than the series that followed. It established the overarching dilemma of the Voyager crew, and promised a different kind of Trek show. However, the result was a poor Next Generation knockoff.

Regardless, it’s not a bad episode of Star Trek, with some fun moments that showcase the personality of each main crew member. It’s a shame, though, that Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Janeway spends a chunk of the episode incapacitated in a chamber; she definitely deserved more than that in her first outing, considering how badass we would soon learn she was.

3. Star Trek: Enterprise – Broken Bow

Launching in 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise beamed its way onscreen with the most cinematic — and downright good-looking — pilot of the entire franchise, written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, and masterfully directed by James L. Conway. Unlike some of the other pilots that falter with their less-than-exciting plots (which take place in only a couple locations), Enterprise charts new territory, engaging the audience in an exciting mission that hits a ton of different locales as Archer assembles his rag-tag crew.

The pilot is also notable for showcasing a more “mature” Trek, boasting that memorably sexy scene with T’Pol and that decontaminate jelly. Good times.

Page 2:

The post Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked appeared first on CBR.

What Harley Quinn, Deadpool & Donald Trump Have In Common

What Harley Quinn, Deadpool & Donald Trump Have In Common

EDITOR’s NOTE: This feature was originally published in October 2016, before the first Presidential debate in the United States Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In light of Harley Quinn’s 25th anniversary, we’ve republished the story.

2016 has seen the unlikely, meteoric rise of characters — quite similar characters — that were considered relatively fringe years ago.

You’ve got Harley Quinn — created in the early-’90s — who’s been dubbed by Jim Lee as the “fourth pillar” of DC Comics. Meaning, DC Comics now considers Harley to be the fourth most important character in its publishing line, after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — thanks in no small part to Margot Robbie’s popular portrayal in “Suicide Squad,” and the recent work of comics creators including Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.

You’ve also got Deadpool — created in the early ’90s — who has starred in plenty (an understatement) of comics over the years. And, that little film released earlier this year, starring Ryan Reynolds, that tore through box office records — to the extent that it’s making studios reconsider their approach to R-rated superhero movies.

And, you’ve got Donald Trump — a nationally prominent celebrity throughout the ’90s. The Republican nominee for President of the United States who appeared as a fringe candidate, and managed to hijack the political party and reshape what’s considered modern conservatism in American politics. He may not be “popular” in the same way as Harley and Deadpool, but his rise in the mainstream consciousness is undeniable, and he’s got his hardcore supporters.

You may think Trump shouldn’t be spoken in the same breath as Deadpool and Harley Quinn, but despite his status as a major candidate for president, he’s still widely viewed as entertainment for general consumption — and that’s how he’s being sold — just like those fan-favorite comic book characters. His subversion of what we previously considered to be politics is not much different from the satirical work of Deadpool and Harley.

Whether or not he has a true political message, Trump has transformed the Presidential race into a ratings smash and must-see-TV. And he did so making a mockery of the status quo, to great success, generating a resonant response from a base that quickly grew over the course of last year.

How did this happen though? How did we get such popular characters in our media that are seemingly the opposite of what we consider to be “heroes”? Perhaps we don’t really want heroes anymore, or at least what we considered to be heroes in the past. There’s a sense that we’ve lost faith in the conventional idea of a hero. Even director Zack Snyder, when making “Man of Steel,” suggested that the conventional portrayal of Superman is boring, with nothing for modern audiences to latch onto. Thus, we got a darker, muddled portrayal of Superman that had a mixed reaction at best. Longtime fans of the Last Son of Krypton didn’t consider Snyder’s take to work, resulting in a disappointing box office take and perpetuating the notion that Superman doesn’t sell in modern day movies.

But that’s not the problem — the real issue is that Snyder didn’t accurately translate the core, traditional appeal of Superman that makes him so great, and instead felt the need to transform him into something he’s not. Which is where Harley Quinn, Deadpool and, yes, even Donald Trump come in.

More “authentic” characters like Deadpool and Harley are seen as the way to go because they’re interpreted as more interesting to audiences. There’s a notion that in order for a hero to be engaging, they now have to have an inherent cynicism, or bring with them a mockery of the medium to establish their appeal. And while he’s considered more of a villain than hero to many people, Trump has tapped into a similar vein of thought.

But is that really the only way to go? Do our entertainment icons have to subvert the medium they represent in order to be appealing? Why can’t we have our conventional heroes and still view them as interesting? Certainly, we can — we just need the right people involved to sell the idea that the traditional approach to our heroes can work.

Just look at the success of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative. Rather than continuing on the New 52 path of keeping its heroes young and single, DC has once more embraced the notion of legacy and age, delivering a take on Superman that has a wife and kid. This interpretation of the Man of Steel has seen great success, and it feels new, even though the character himself is older, and technically comes off as more traditional.

And in the political realm, is it not possible to have a figurehead that respects the status quo and what makes tradition so important, while recognizing room for improvement? It seems as though the political discourse has shifted to sheer criticism of the past, rather than what’s actually worked. Even with Trump’s recognition of a once “great” America, he feels the need to tear apart the status quo while pointing to a time…that can’t exactly be pinned down, for point of reference.

There’s a way to make conventional heroes feel new, while still being old. Comic books have been doing that for decades, and it’s a real testament to the longevity of the medium. It’s not about tearing apart what we expect to be normal, it’s about finding a way to honor the legacy and core appeal of a character, while making them, and the status quo, seem authentic and new.

But there’s that appeal of Deadpool, Harley Quinn and Donald Trump that will always be there. It always has been, but it’s just more apparent now and mainstream. In 2016, some folks don’t buy into the idea of reinvention. Some folks want to burn it all down…

The post What Harley Quinn, Deadpool & Donald Trump Have In Common appeared first on CBR.

Batman Crashes the Watchtower in Dark Nights Metal Tie-In Preview

Batman Crashes the Watchtower in Dark Nights Metal Tie-In Preview

DC Comics has released (via Newsarama) preview pages for the Batman: Murder Machine one-shot ahead of the Dark Nights: Metal tie-in’s release on Wednesday, September 27.

RELATED: Could DC’s Crime Syndicate Actually Originate From The Dark Multiverse?

You can check out CBR’s review of Dark Nights: Metal #2, the latest issue in DC’s hit event series, here, in addition to an annotated breakdown of the issue. The next issue in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “rock ‘n roll” epic hits stands on October 11.

Take a look at DC’s Dark Nights: Metal – Batman: The Murder Machine #1 preview below.

BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1

  • Written by FRANK TIERI
  • Art by RICARDO FEDERICI
  • Cover by JASON FABOK
  • As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues!
  • ONE-SHOT • On sale SEPTEMBER 27 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+

RELATED: Miller & Lee’s All-Star Batman is a G*ddamn Dark Multiverse Hero

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16 Uncovered Pieces Of Concept Art From Tim Burton’s Batman Movies

16 Uncovered Pieces Of Concept Art From Tim Burton’s Batman Movies

Long before Christopher Nolan brought Bruce Wayne’s alter ego to the big screen with Batman Begins, Tim Burton put the “dark” in Dark Knight with his gothic take on the character in Batman and its sequel, Batman Returns. Both films were received well by fans and critics and also “paved the way for superhero franchises”, as well as birthing the concept of a modern blockbuster. So why was Batman, in particular, so successful? Well, there’s plenty to love about it. Many comic book fans praise Burton, and writers Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren, for their depiction of the characters while more spend entire afternoons arguing that Michael Keaton’s Batman is the best cinematic version yet — even over Christian Bale’s — to this very day.

RELATED: The Dark Knight Trilogy: 15 Pieces Of Eye-Popping Concept Art

Surrounding its release, it was the film’s visual style that was lauded and earned production designer Anton Furst and art director Peter Young an Academy Award for Best Set Decoration. While Batman Returns didn’t win such accolades, it was nominated for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects, proving that the series’ aesthetics were their best features. But how did those visuals come to be? CBR looks back on the gorgeous concept art from both films to see…

BATMAN

With his tragic backstory, moody personality and fondness for the shadows, Batman is regarded as one of DC’s darkest characters today, but he wasn’t always. A few years after his introduction — until the ’80s, in fact — he became more lighthearted in the comics and that was reflected in the 1943 motion picture. Adam West emphasized this when he played Batman as a campy, cowl-wearer in his well-loved television series. But when Tim Burton was charged with bringing the Caped Crusader to the big screen, he was sure he wanted to go back to his gloomier origins.

“From the outset, Tim wanted Batman to be a very dark film,” concept artist David Russell said. “I started out designing in pencil, then black but Tim kept wanting an even darker style of imagery, so at the very end of my assignment, I switched to white pencil and black paper.”

BURTON’S JOKERS

As well as being a talented screenwriter, producer and director, Tim Burton is also a dab-hand at drawing. So much so, that he’s even had books and museum installations dedicated to displaying his artwork. With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that when it was time to knock-up some concept art for Batman, he rose to the challenge.

These images show his initial ideas for how Jack Nicholson’s version of The Joker should have looked, complete with bright green hair and manic expression. While the middle illustration is quite conventional, in terms of matching what the character typically looks like in the comic books, the others look wonderfully inventive. We particularly love the white and red pin-striped suit in the sketch on the right and the idea of The Joker being in disguise on the left!

BATWING

In Batman (1989), one of the film’s climactic scenes sees Batman use the Batwing to take down The Joker and of course, the machinery had to be designed before it featured so heavily in the movie. Above is one of concept artist David Russell’s early drafts as to what the vehicle should have looked like and we love that is actually resembles a real-life bat.

If you look closely, you can see the slight upturn on the front of the aircraft which reminds us of a common bat’s snout while its headlights are exactly where the animal’s eyes would be. The vehicle’s fixed wings also look like a bat’s, with their articulated design. Unsurprisingly, the Batwing ended up looking more streamlined and like the hero’s iconic bat-shaped symbol rather than a typical jet… but that’s still cool, right? Batman certainly has consistency when it comes to his gadgets…

CATWOMAN’S SUIT

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman suit from Batman Returns is one of cinema’s most iconic comic book-inspired looks. So it’s unsurprising that the striking ensemble was a collaboration of ideas between costumer designers Mary Vogt and Bob Ringwood and Burton himself.

“Tim came up with the stitches,” Vogt previously admitted. “Bob and I were like, stitches? On latex? How do we do that? So we sculpted stitches in cast and glued them on. It looked terrible! So we decided to brush her in silicon. After she had the costume on, we painted the [liquid] on her and she’s dripping all over the place. Because it’s so shiny and she was moving around at night, it looked really fluid. It’s like she’s wearing black glass, the suit looks like a beautiful, dark sculpture. We wanted it to be elegant, sexy and modern, very high-tech while still being kind of homey-looking and organic.”

DARK KNIGHT IN THE MOONLIGHT

Contrary to popular belief, Burton’s mind doesn’t always see things in muted color palettes or monochrome. In fact, his imagined visuals can often be quite colorful in and these two pieces of concept art prove just that. Unlike a lot of Batman’s dark imagery, Burton envisioned an almost romanticized moment during The Joker’s take on Gotham City’s 200th Anniversary Parade, where the Dark Knight would swoop down from a teddy bear-shaped balloon and try to put a stop to the villain’s pandemonium-fueled plans.

In the end however, Batman actually saved the day using the Batwing, zooming down between the skyscrapers of Gotham and severing the ropes that were keeping the poisonous gas-filled blimps tied to The Joker’s float. After he does so though, he flies high above the clouds and hovers the vehicle over the moon for just a split second; arguably paying homage to Burton’s art here.

GOTHAM CITY

“I wanted to make Gotham City the ugliest and bleakest Metropolis imaginable,” production designer Anton Furst previously said of his art deco-inspired vision. “We imagined what New York City might have become without a planning commission. [I wanted it to seem like a] city run by crime, with a riot of architectural styles. As if hell erupted through the pavement and kept on going.”

“All the buildings — except the cathedral — are dwarfed by the geometric savagery of the Flugelheim Museum, whose brutal exterior is more akin to locomotive design than an art gallery like the Guggenheim.” Furst emphasized the dark side of Batman’s story and heroism with his backdrop. His Gotham is nothing short of imposing, with its huge, garish skyscrapers packed so tightly together, they block out the sun from all of the city’s residents. Well, Mr. Wayne does love the shadows…

BATMAN’S SUIT

Batman’s suit has changed many times on the big screen. Most notably with his color shift from blue and gray to black; something that fans have Bob Ringwood to thank for. The British costume designer and concept artist previously explained that he “decided [early on] that his Batman was not going to be in blue knickers” because he “hated” them.

“Bats are black, of course — not blue — and black is much more sinister and sexy. After talking to Batman creator Bob Kane, we found out that he had always thought of Batman as being in black, but that it was very difficult to draw a black-on-black drawing for the comic strip. He had drawn it in blue so that he could use different tones of the color for effect. In his mind, the blue was just a symbolic version of black. Our black costume was nearer his original concept.”

THE BATCAVE

In Batman, Keaton’s Bruce Wayne reveals his crimefighting alter ego to his love interest, Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) and subsequently introduces her to the Batcave. David Russell visualized what that scene might have looked like and we love how his imagery looks as if it could have been lifted right out of a DC Comics’ issue.

You can see how Wayne — in full Batman get-up — is gesturing towards Vale, as the camera shoots her from behind. The frame only allows the future audience to see part of his private quarters, most notably a number of computer screens in the background. Interestingly, as director Tim Burton was so keen to have his visuals as dark as possible, Russell actually sketched the art with white pencil on black paper; only picking up the highlights rather than drawing outlines. His results ended up heavily influencing the way the scene was lit.

THE PENGUIN

With his short, rotund figure and pointed nose, supervillain Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, is arguably one of the most Burton-friendly characters. In the film, he’s almost caricature-like but all of that just adds to the creepy nature of his look. Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery’s sketches — from before Danny DeVito even stepped into the costume — are just as nightmarish with their up-close depictions of his face.

They see the concept artist experiment with different hairlines and alternative nose shapes and sizes, whilst also testing what Cobblepot would look like with a lavish fur coat and top hat on. The images also see what he’d look like carrying an umbrella — which comic book fans will know, is synonymous with his character — and how he could wear a monocle over one of his eyes. You see, for all of his sewer-dwelling, the Penguin was quite a smartly-dressed ol’ fellow!

BATMOBILE

While the year Batman is set is never explicitly stated, it is hinted at throughout the movie. For example, when Kim Basinger’s character is reading a newspaper and the hailing of Mexican President Miguel Aleman by President Truman at a Motorcade parade — which happened in 1947 — is mentioned and another newspaper stating that Hungary’s Prime Minister was Ferenc Nagy (who was elected in 1947).

It’s clear that that era inspired the final look of the Batmobile too. Talking about its design, production designer Anton Furst previously explained: “We looked at jet aircraft components. We looked at war machines. We looked at all sorts of things. “In the end, we went into pure expressionism; taking the Salt Flat Racers of the ‘30s and the Sting Ray macho machines of the ‘50s. The car was built upon a Chevrolet Impala when previous development with a Jaguar and Ford Mustang failed.”

THE JOKER

When it came to designing The Joker’s look for Batman, costume designer and artist Bob Ringwood previously confessed that it wasn’t too much of a challenge. The reason being that he took inspiration from actor Jack Nicholson, whose own style and love of fashion inspired the costumes of the character he famously brought to life.

“He adores clothes,” Ringwood said. “So all we did was just reinterpret the clothes that The Joker wears in the drawings to work with Nicholson’s personality. To do clothes with him is a joy ride, really, because he just loves them. He is really with you and he’s suggesting things and inventing things and doing things. He’s wonderful.” Turns out, one of the reasons why Nicholson embraced The Joker’s iconic color scheme wholeheartedly was because the character’s purple overcoat reminded him of the Lakers, the basketball team he supported.

GOTHAM CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Concept artist Bob Ringwood has made no secret of the fact that his designs for both the sets and characters in Batman were inspired by the ’40s. Just how much that era influenced the film’s look however, is perhaps best evidenced in the Gotham City Police Department’s clothes. In his sketch, the men are seeing wearing pinstriped suits with large lapels and flashy buttons, smart-looking ties and trilby hats. They’re even shown smoking at their desks; a quintessential image if trying to set the scene of a male-orientated office which would have existed decades ago.

We especially love the dark browns, blue and blacks of the police force which seem to align them closer to Batman than the law-breaking Joker and his brightly colored hair and suits. It somehow eludes to an allegiance between the officers and the vigilante who helps them dish out justice.

BURTON’S BADDIE BUNCH

When he’s not producing, writing or directing movies, it’s well-known that Tim Burton is a keen artist. So it stands to reason that he was heavily involved throughout the concept art stages of both Batman movies. Here, he conjured up what his baddie bunch might look like; a group consisting of Danny DeVito’s Penguin, a fire breather, a Strong Man, two clowns and an organ grinder and his monkey.

For those who aren’t too familiar with the film, the cronies depicted are actually Burton’s visualization of the Red Triangle Circus Gang, a ragtag team of carnival performers who team up with the Penguin to take down Batman. However, they soon turn their backs on their former leader when his plans to destroy Gotham fail and they fear they will get caught. Other members of the group include the sword swallower, the snake lady, an acrobatic thug and The Poodle Lady.

PENGUIN HENCHMEN

It doesn’t really get any better than penguin henchmen, does it? And fortunately, Batman Returns delivered the goods by having several of them! But before they could appear in the film, concept artists Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery and Tim Flattery had to work out what they were going to look like.

In McCreery’s black-and-white sketches, the penguins are realistic and sport all kinds of interesting weaponry such as a bullet-dispensing headdress and stripy gas canisters. Flattery’s images — on the other hand — are much more cartoon-like and embody the campy tone of Burton’s final film a little more closely. His penguin’s gadgets are slightly more out-there (and threatening) too. We particularly love the one with the pop-out boxing glove, even if it does resemble something The Joker uses to smash his own television in Batman.

A RUNNING JOKE…R

Towards the end of Batman (1989), the titular hero and The Joker face-off, after the latter plots to kill the residents of Gotham City by throwing a celebratory parade and then spraying them with his namesake’s venom. In the scene, Batman goes after the baddie in his Batwing; something that concept artist David Russell visualizes in the painting above.

The artwork shows Nicholson’s Joker running away from the Batwing but unsurprisingly, such a perilous moment isn’t enough to wipe the huge grin of his face. While it may look like Batman has got the upper hand here, as he aims for his enemy’s turned back, The Joker actually stands firm against the Batwing’s fire in the film. As the aircraft approaches, he pulls out a big gun — just like the one Russell envisioned above — and shoots the Batwing out of the sky.

UNUSED ROBIN

After Batman Returns, Burton was set to helm the third instalment. However, the studio ended up ditching the director — as they wanted to tone down the darkness of the franchise — and hired Joel Schumacher instead. Before he was ousted out, Burton intended to have Marlon Wayans play Robin in the film but Schumacher had other ideas; casting Chris O’Donnell in the role.

The movie — which also starred Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman — was slated by critics and fans, with many claiming Schumacher’s colorful, campy Batman Forever didn’t sit well with how people perceived the Caped Crusader’s big screen version. Batman and Robin’s costumes were a particular sore spot or more accurately, the addition of “nipples” on the suits were. Looking at what Burton and artist Bob Ringwood had in mind in the above image makes it even sorer.

Which piece of art is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Kingsman Sequel Set to Dethrone Stephen King’s It at the Box Office

Kingsman Sequel Set to Dethrone Stephen King’s It at the Box Office

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It has already become the highest-grossing horror film of all time, and the movie’s third weekend at the box office is set to bring in a respectable $30 million dollars. However, that won’t be enough to hold the top spot. 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle is expected to earn between $39 and $40 million dollars at the domestic box office this weekend, edging out the acclaimed horror film.

RELATED: Stephen King is ‘Fascinated’ by Peoples’ Reactions to It’s Underage Orgy

Kingsman: The Secret Service, the first film in what director Matthew Vaughn envisions as a trilogy, opened to $36.2 million domestically in 2014. That film went on to earn $414 worldwide. Although the sequel is opening stronger than its predecessor, it hasn’t been as well received critically. The Golden Circle has 51% on Rotten Tomatoes in comparison to The Secret Service’s 74%. It beats out both movies, as it’s certified fresh with 84%.

A script is already in the works for It: Part Two. News broke earlier this month that Gary Dauberman, who co-wrote the first film, will return to write the sequel with director Andrés Muschietti expected to return behind the camera.

RELATED: Kingsman: The Golden Circle – How Colin Firth’s Harry Hart Returns

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Golden Circle stars returning cast members Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Sophie Cookson, joined by Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges. The film is now in theaters.

(via Deadline)

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EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day

EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day

The latest collection of Berkeley Breathed’s recently revived Bloom County comic strip features ALL-NEW strips from 2016 and 2017, that have NEVER appeared in print before (never ever!!). These newly-minted masterpieces present the continuing adventures of Opus, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas, and the rest of the delightful denizens of Bloom County—and heaven knows how we survived all those years without you!

  • All-new strips collected for the first time!
  • Advance solicited for September release!

The post EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day appeared first on CBR.

Medical News Today: Can you increase your height as an adult?

In this article, learn about what determines height and if height can be increased as an adult. Are there ways to prevent a loss of height?

See How Kylie Jenner Has Been Hiding Her Growing Baby Bump

A look at the most recent photos of Kylie.

Trump Called White Supremacists ‘Very Fine People’ But An Athlete Who Protests Is A ‘Son Of A Bitch’

Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters

Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters

Mark Hamill and Lena Headey will join the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix animated series Trollhunters.

RELATED: Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters Comes to Comics with Dark Horse OGN

According to an official press release, Hamill will play the older brother of one of the Trollhunting team’s members. The role will be a villainous one as Hamill’s unnamed character has pledged his loyalty to antagonist Gunmar. While probably most well-known for his work on Star Wars, Hamill is also famous for his voice work, having played the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.

Netflix didn’t give much information on Headey’s role, only describing her as “an extremely powerful and evil sorceress who must be stopped at all costs.” She currently plays Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Hamill and Headey will join the likes of the late Anton Yelchin (Jim Lake, Jr.), Kelsey Grammer (Blinky), Ron Perlman (Bular), Steven Yeun (Steve), Anjelica Huston (Queen Ursurna), Jonathan Hyde (Strickler), Amy Landecker (Barbara) and Charlie Saxton (Toby).

The official synopsis for Trollhunters reads:

DreamWorks Trollhunters features a tale of two fantastical worlds that collide in an epic saga. Set in the fictional suburb of Arcadia, our unlikely hero, Jim, and his two best friends make a startling discovery that beneath their hometown lies a hidden battle between good trolls and bad, the outcome of which impacts their lives forever.

Season two of the hit series will have Jim leave behind his best friends, Toby and Claire, in order to venture into the Darklands alone.

RELATED: Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhungers Gets Second Season

The first season of Trollhunters is currently available to stream on Netflix. The second season, which consists of 13 episodes, will debut in late 2017.

The post Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters appeared first on CBR.

Colin Kaepernick’s Mom Has No Time For Trump Calling Her Son A ‘Son Of A Bitch’

Colin Kaepernick’s mom wasted no words Saturday responding to President Donald Trump’s statement that athletes like her son, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who protest during the national anthem are a “son of a bitch” and should be fired. 



The World Won’t End Saturday, But The Next Extinction Could Happen in 2100, Says This MIT Scientist – Newsweek


Newsweek

The World Won't End Saturday, But The Next Extinction Could Happen in 2100, Says This MIT Scientist
Newsweek
A new analysis of previous mass extinctions adds more support to the idea that there will be another—soon. Daniel Rothman, a geophysict at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, compiled a database of information about previous mass extinctions ...
Thresholds of catastrophe in the Earth system | Science AdvancesScience Advances

Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinctionMIT News
By 2100, oceans may hold enough carbon to launch sixth mass extermination of species, mathematics predicts (Update)Phys.org
Tech Times
all 117 news articles »

Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures

Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures

In 1964, Hasbro successfully broke into the gigantic doll market with an entry designed for boys. Its innovation was as simple as calling the dolls “action figures.” Their G.I. Joe line was a massive success. However, by the end of the 1970s, the costs of producing the over-sized figures were becoming cost-prohibitive, so the line was in trouble. Luckily, a rival toy company, Kenner, came up with a clever solution to the problem. In the late 1970s, Kenner obliterated the competition with the release of its line of Star Wars action figures to tie in with the then-new film. Kenner was so taken aback by how popular the film was, they didn’t even have the toys ready in time for Christmas 1977, so they had to sell pre-orders instead.

RELATED: Masters Of Your Bank Account: The 15 Most Expensive He-Man Toys Ever

Hasbro took that idea and used it on its G.I. Joe line, creating a whole universe where the heroic military figures fight against villainous terrorists. Hasbro’s innovation was to make its toys highly articulated, so you could do a lot more with the figures than the Star Wars equivalents. G.I. Joe became a cultural sensation, with a hit toy line, cartoon and comic book series. Here, according to ToyWorth, are the 15 most expensive G.I. Joe action figures. These are all figures that were released individually and in stores. No mailaways or prototypes or special two-packs. Prices are based on figures sealed in original packaging.

FLINT ($375)

One of the interesting aspects of the G.I. Joe line of toys is that the ongoing cartoon series that tied into the toy line did not debut until 1985. Therefore, the characters of the fourth series of G.I. Joe toys, released that same year, became the main faces of the new TV series. As a result, it was characters like Flint who became household names, while most of the original members of the team faded into history.

As part of the fourth series, Flint was one of the first G.I. Joe figures that came with a unique neck joint that was a ball, allowing the character to look up, down and left and right. It is impressive that Hasbro kept trying to improve the figures even as the line was selling like crazy.

DUSTY ($400)

Besides being one of the more popular characters on the G.I. Joe TV series, the Dusty figure was a very popular one back in the day, likely because of the unique way that designers worked actual felt into his “dust helmet” that he uses as a desert soldier. One of the most amusing things about the G.I. Joe squad was how specialized some of these characters were and yet they all went on the same adventures together.

A soldier who knows how to handle himself in the desert is very useful, but he is a bit less useful outside of that environment. Dusty’s real name, Ronald Tadur, was based on Ronald Rudat, the popular Hasbro artist who designed most of the early G.I. Joe figures (on the cartoon series, Dusty’s last name became Rudat).

BARONESS ($450)

One of the hardest things to do with a toy line geared towards young boys is to develop female figures, as the very same gender politics at work in pushing the idea of a toy “for boys” naturally leads to the idea that a “girl” toy in said line of toys “for boys” would not be desirable. And sure enough, the Baroness toy was not particularly popular at the time. That, though, likely helped its collectability years later.

In general, the Baroness was a good role overall. There weren’t many female villains given as much of a personality as the Baroness was back in the day. The comic book tends to treat her better than the animated series, but even in the cartoon she comes off pretty well compared to other characters.

ZAP (TWO-HANDED BAZOOKA) ($500)

As noted, we’re not going into this to spotlight rare prototypes. This list is for toys that you literally could have just gotten on the shelf if you wanted to buy a G.I. Joe figure in 1982 or whenever. However, with that in mind, when there are variations on a figure that was released to the public, we’ll count it, if it makes the figure valuable.

That’s what happened with Zap, the Joe squad’s bazooka soldier. On the drawing that comes with the figure, it shows Zap firing a bazooka that has two handles, so unsurprisingly, the bazooka was originally released with two handles. However, the second handle kept breaking the the thumb off of the figure, so Hasbro eventually fixed it and released a single-handled bazooka that wouldn’t break off the thumb, but naturally, those original versions are very rare and thus, more valuable.

DESTRO ($500)

There are so many things about Destro that make him such a fascinating character. First off all, there’s the notion that he is not exactly an active enemy combatant, which allows Destro to attempt to portray himself as above the fray. This ties into his second notable trait, that he is a member of Scottish royalty. He tries to act like that makes him better than the other members of Cobra, and sometimes, he does act more noble, but in general he’s just as bad as the others.

Finally, though, there’s the most notable Destro trait – that freakin’ awesome looking metal mask that he wears! The shiny metal head (which was designed to evoke the Man in the Iron Mask) made the Destro figure a must-have at the time (and today).

SHORT-FUZE (CLOSED MORTAR HANDLE) ($600)

One of the major concerns with the G.I. Joe line of toys was maintaining the “Kung Fu grip” that the toys had become famous for back in the days when they were using strong rubber hands to make them grip things easier. The rubber, of course, then fell apart and the grip was useless. What’s even more hilarious is how the term has no meaning — there is no connection to Kung Fu at all.

The 1980s toys used plastic with a little give, allowing them to expand enough to let an object into their hands, but strong enough to grip it. Thus, their big problem was when toys would spread the grip too far off and break the toy. That was an issue with the closed mortar handle for Zap, so they added an easier-to-grip open handle. The original closed grip mortar with Zap are rarer and more valuable.

STORM SHADOW ($600)

The way that the G.I. Joe system used to work in the old days was that Hasbro would design the figures and then they would give them to Larry Hama, the writer of the G.I. Joe comic book series for Marvel, the creatives of which would then help Hasbro come up with the overall G.I. Joe vs. Cobra plotline for the toy series.

Hama would then come up with a background and a personality for the character, and often a real name. Hasbro came up with the codenames (and occasionally the real ones, too). Storm Shadow, released in 1984 as part of series 3, was the first Asian character released in the series, and Hama didn’t like that the first Asian character was a villain, so he slowly turned Storm Shadow into a good guy.

SCARLETT (VERSION TWO) ($625)

An impressive aspect of the G.I. Joe toy line by Hasbro is that they were constantly working to improve the figures. Sometimes, when they would come up with a particularly notable improvement, they couldn’t keep themselves from wanting to use it as much as possible. This is what led to the famous “series 1.5” figures of 1983.

You see, in the original G.I. Joe figures, the arms of the figures did not bend. That naturally limited the amount of articulation that kids could do with the figures, so Hasbro worked out new arms and legs that could bend at the knees and elbows and re-released the entire first series again with the new arms and legs. So, while this is not technically another edition of Scarlett, it is a different version, since the arms bend.

FIREFLY ($650)

The collectibility of Firefly is an interesting one, since he was not a particularly early figure release — he came out in the third series — nor was he all that prominently featured on the cartoon series or the comic book series. He did get a bit more attention in the comic book than the cartoon, though.

No, Firefly is just one of those rare examples of a toy becoming really popular because of how cool he looked. The Cobra saboteur’s design was striking, with a sort of mixture between a ninja and a commando and he became a huge hit with fans. As a result, the demand on the figure has been strong enough that it is one of the most valuable ones in existence.

SNAKE-EYES (FOURTH SERIES) ($650)

In the history of the G.I. Joe toy line, there were two figures that were so popular, they had to constantly make new editions. One was Sgt. Slaughter and the other was Snake-Eyes. As a result of there being so many Snake-Eyes and Sgt. Slaughters made, you would think that it would depress the value of the figures a bit. Interestingly, for Slaughter, that’s certainly been the case (plus, of course, the character’s popularity hasn’t exactly held up in the ensuing years).

With Snake-Eyes, though, the second revamp for Snake-Eyes (released as part of the fourth G.I. Joe series in 1985) also came with the inclusion of Timber, Snake-Eyes’ pet wolf! That helped to make this release such a unique one, since it has more than held its value over the years.

DUKE ($700)

Duke was originally not offered as an individual figure. He was just a mail-order figure with the second series in 1983. However, the character was so popular that he was then released individually as part of the third series release in 1984. Duke’s high ranking on this list is clearly an example of a character’s popularity driving the value.

Duke was introduced in 1983, which is when the first cartoon miniseries debuted, and thus, Duke got a huge boost by being shown as the leader of the team in that first miniseries. This was despite the Joe figures coming with a leader figure when they debuted in Hawk! The cartoon, though, was the most popular way that people got to know the Joes, so Duke was locked in as the leader.

SCARLETT (FIRST SERIES) ($700)

Looking back, you really have to give Hasbro some credit for launching the G.I. Joe toy line with such a progressive lineup (for the time) of having both a woman and an African-American soldier (Stalker) on the original team. Of course, the downside of that from a sales perspective is the problem that we mentioned earlier with Baroness, which is that when you are specifically targeting boys with your toy line, it is hard to then sell them a “girl” toy.

As a result, Scarlett, despite being featured so prominently on the G.I. Joe cartoon series and the comic book, was not a particularly strong-selling toy. Amusingly, she had different love interests in both series. In the cartoon, she was with Duke while in the comics, she was with Snake-Eyes. But we digress. The strength of the character’s appeal, or lack thereof in the past, directly led to the toy being more valuable today, since she’s harder to find!

COBRA COMMANDER ($900)

The main villain of the G.I. Joe series was Cobra Commander, who, naturally enough, commanded the terrorist group known as Cobra. The character was a charmingly vicious bad guy and he was in great demand as a toy at the time. Initially, he was available only as a mail-in figure.

In fact, throughout the first few series, Cobra Commander continued to be just a mail order figure. However, remember when we noted how Hasbro went back and added bendable arms to all of their figures? Well, when the company did that with all the original figures, it also did so with Cobra Commander and then briefly offered him up for individual release. The relative rarity of this figure’s release led to it being one of the very most valuable G.I. Joe toys.

SNAKE-EYES (VERSION TWO) ($1050)

One of the most amusing aspects of Snake-Eyes’ design is that one of the most popular toy designs of all-time was done simply to save money. You see, with the rest of the G.I. Joe team, they would be produced in little pieces of plastic that would then be painted to match the figure that they were going with, so a whole lot of green paint was involved.

With Snake-Eyes, however, they could just produce black pieces of plastic and then, voila, no paint required! Snake-Eyes was already finished as soon as he was produced! Of course, a dude dressed all in black turned out to be very popular with fans, so it worked out well. This version of Snake-Eyes is the first one with bendable arms.

SNAKE-EYES (FIRST SERIES) ($1300)

When you look back on the original G.I. Joe team, it is easy to see why writer Larry Hama was drawn to the characters that he ended up writing the most. You had a bunch of nondescript looking white guys and then you had a black guy, a woman, a guy named “Rock and Roll” with a big blond beard and a cool-looking ninja. Hama soon built almost all of his stories around those four characters.

As the series continued, there was no escaping how unique Snake-Eyes was, both in his design but also in how Hama wrote him as a scarred veteran who learned the ways of the ninja. He is one of the most influential characters of the 1980s — Deadpool’s look was partially inspired by Snake-Eyes — and it is no surprise that the first edition of Snake-Eyes’ action figure is the most valuable G.I. Joe figure.

What’s the most expensive G.I. Joe figure you ever owned? Let us know in the comments section!

The post Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures appeared first on CBR.

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Scientific American

Fossilized Poo Reveals Vegetarian Dinosaurs Had a Taste for Crabs
Scientific American
Plant-eating dinosaurs usually found plenty to eat, but occasionally they went looking for a nutritional boost. Fossilized dinosaur droppings from Utah now reveal that 75 million years ago, some of the animals were snacking on prehistoric crayfish or ...
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Scientists shocked by astonishing dinosaur discoveryBABW News
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Astronomers find strange, comet-like double asteroid – EarthSky


EarthSky

Astronomers find strange, comet-like double asteroid
EarthSky
Comets are loose collections of ice and dust, sometimes with long tails. Asteroids are more rocky or metallic. Now astronomers have found a comet-like double asteroid. Tweet. Share. Share. Pin. Mail. Share. This set of Hubble Space Telescope photos ...
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New technique spots warning signs of extreme events – DeathRattleSports.com


www.MICEtimes.asia

New technique spots warning signs of extreme events
DeathRattleSports.com
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Scientists have learned to predict major world disasterswww.MICEtimes.asia (press release)


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Brilliant Baking Hacks That Make Your Apple Pie Healthier

Healthy EatingHealthy Cooking
It only takes a few small tweaks to trim calories and add nutrients to your fave apple pie recipe.
Photo: Shutterstock Apple pie certainly sounds wholesome, but in most recipes, apples are where the healthy ingredients stop. Pies are usually loaded with sugar, butter, and white flour, and one slice can set you back around 400 calories. Thankfully, a few brilliant baking tweaks can help make your favorite fall dish healthier, without sacraficing the flavors you love. (Up next: Healthy Apple Recipes for Fall) Make a lattice top crust Aside from being freaking adorable, making a lattice crust instead of a full second crust will save you some calories. Less crust on your pie = fewer calories from crust. #Math. Try a crumble topping If a lattice top sounds way too complicated, you could also do a complete crust change-up and try an oat crumble topping with a little oil instead of butter and flour. My go-to easy crumble topping recipe is: 1 cup rolled oats (or ground-up oats as an oat flour options) ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ teaspoon cinnamon Dash of sea salt Optional: 1 tablespoon brown sugar Mix ingredients until well combined and scatter evenly over the surface of the pie. The pie is done when the apple filling it soft and bubbling and the crumble topping is browned. Use less sugar Because apples are already sweet, you can easily cut back on the sugar in any given recipe. If the recipe calls for one cup of sugar, use three-fourths of a cup. Chances are you won't even miss it. If your pie serves 8, that's a savings of about 1.5 teaspoons per serving, or about 25 calories—not huge, but not nothing. Load up on spices Aside from being absolutely delicious, pie-friendly spices like cinnamon and ginger have been studied extensively for their health benefits. As an added bonus, the extra flavor means you need to rely less on the sweetness of sugar. Make it rustic For an earthy twist that's also higher in fiber, leave some or all of the apples unpeeled before you chop them. You'll retain all those nutrients in the skins (like fiber, for example) and get a more robust flavor and texture. For more variety, use up a few different types of apples. Flour fix Upgrade your crust by swapping in a whole grain flour like white whole wheat (yes, that's a thing) or doing a mix of white flour and a whole grain. The texture won't be as flaky but will instead be rich and more filling, so you can get away with enjoying a smaller slice. Add nuts and seeds Adding a few tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your crust is a great way to up the fiber factor while adding a rich, nutty taste and a tiny boost of omega-3 fatty acids. Using ground nuts to your crust in place of some of the flour is another delicious way to sneak in a little extra protein, heart-healthy fat, and fiber. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts—it's hard to go wrong! Again, this will make for a heartier, denser crust so you can enjoy a smaller piece. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the dough will be less elastic and may be slightly harder to roll out, so this would be a good one to use for the base and then to do a crumble topping. Don't over-healthify All this said, eating is about pleasure and enjoyment. It is totally possible to overdo it with healthy tweaks and suck the life and soul from a favorite food, which tends to lead to trying to hit the sweet spot loading up on substitutes that don't truly satisfy. If nothing but the old-fashioned double-crust, flaky-crusted, sugar-tastic classic will do it for you, enjoy a slice (with ice cream) and know that you can move right on with your life and enjoy your usual healthy fare, starting with your next eating occasion. See also: Why the 80/20 Rule Is the Best

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Star-Crossed: 15 Savage Star Trek VS. Star Wars Memes

Star-Crossed: 15 Savage Star Trek VS. Star Wars Memes

Since Star Wars premiered in 1977, there’s existed a never-ending (we hope) debate between Trekkers and Warsies over which sci-fi franchise reigned supreme. Two of the fiercest fandoms in pop culture have been going at it for decades, arguing the merits of phasers vs. lightsabers, Kirk vs. Solo, the Enterprise vs. the Millennium Falcon. The battles have been fought in every conceivable venue, from convention halls to the deepest, darkest corners of Reddit. And as technology’s moved forward, some new debate forums have opened up. Like memes!

RELATED: 20 Hilarious DCEU Memes That Will Split Your Sides

While funny captions on doctored photos don’t provide the most trenchant support for whatever side you choose, the argument itself is (mostly) in good fun. While there are definitely people who argue way, WAY too hard that the Death Star would be no match for a Borg cube (if you feel like you just took a shot of adrenaline to the heart while you’re making your point, you’re arguing too hard), we like to think most of us can maintain some perspective. So, to keep us all laughing as a Star Trek series and a new Star Wars movie come out in the same year, we’ve gathered some of the most ridiculous (and most savage) Star Trek vs. Star Wars memes the internet has to offer. Take a read-through and see if any of them change your mind. #1 certainly changed ours.

PICARD HAS IT COVERED

Not that it needs to be said, but only a plebe would pilot his own ship. The Millennium Falcon is neat and all, and the name is top-notch, really. But Picard’s ship comes with replicators, transporters, holodecks and a bar. Oh, and pilots. Jean-Luc Picard is in command of the Federation Flagship, a.k.a. the U.S.S. You Want One. Its crew contains numbers in the thousands, and like, 200 of those guys are pilots. If their wearing red, they’re disposable pilots. Not great for the environment, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

The Enterprise D is one of the most tricked-out ships in the galaxy, and it belongs to Picard. Basically, this meme points out the obvious — JLP has levels of game Han Solo hasn’t even read about. (We’ll just overlook the spelling and grammar errors, btw. JLP never could spell.)

NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT

In the grand tradition of either you like (fill in the blank) or you’re wrong memes, here’s Han Solo laying down a serious truth bomb. Either you like Star Wars, or you’re wrong. While there are plenty of Star Trek and Star Wars fans that happily admit to “enjoying” the “other” franchise, there are just as many who refuse to give any credit to the opposing viewpoint. This meme is for them.

For the die-hard loyalists out there who would rather set fire to their autographed Death Stars than admit Star Trek might be better at SOME things than Star Wars… we cherish you. But really, the funniest thing about this meme is that we can actually hear Harrison Ford’s frustrated sarcasm whenever we read it. It’s almost like Luke Skywalker timidly complimented Kirk’s hair or something.

TRANSPORTERS: GAME. OVER.

Given the nerdy nature of the Star Wars and Star Trek fandoms, it’s no surprise that the eternal debate over which is better eventually devolves into which characters would win in a fight based on SCIENCE. Yes, we’ve actually been known to debate which fictional side would win in a fictional fight based on our analysis of fictional science. It’s really, really fun, too!

Star Trek fans really like to sink their teeth into these because when it comes to Trek, they have some pretty impressive tech to show off. And, let’s face it, the Rebels, while lovable underdogs, would have a really hard time deflecting an explosive that just magically appeared on their bridge. Blah, blah, blah, the Force, blah, blah, WE KNOW. But still, tech-to-tech, Star Trek definitely has an edge.

FAIR POINT

While Star Trek might be more intellectual and its crew careful to use their words before they use their fists, there’s something to be said for more decisive action. In Star Wars, the only force powerful enough to make use of diplomacy is the Empire, and the Rebels are, like, really committed to wiping them out. Kill or be killed situations typically don’t leave a lot of room for stun settings.

Plus, despite the fact that a phaser has a kill setting (if there’s a scorch mark on your shirt, you’re dead; no scorch mark means stunned), it just works like the electric fence did in Jurassic Park. Remember how Tim just kind of buzzed and flew 50 feet? YAWN. Lightsabers can actually disembowel people with light. Take that, you silly handgun.

DON’T F**K WITH GARAK

Elim Garak and Boba Fett actually make pretty apt meme buddies. Both are wildly popular, morally questionable supporting characters, and both are indisputable badasses. Garak was a high-ranking operative in the feared and reviled Cardassian intelligence agency, the Obsidian Order. When he was exiled (by his father and boss, Enarbran Tain), Garak then survived years as an enemy of the order playing tailor on DS9. Boba Fett was onscreen for less than 10 minutes and was on so much fire he still might get his own damn movie.

So who would win in a fight? In this meme’s universe, both are armed, and it looks like Garak’s got high ground. But knowing what we know about Boba Fett’s skillz, we can’t count him out. Draw? Let us know your pick in the comments!

DON’T F**K WITH DWIGHT

This meme is funny if you like The Office, but it’s really funny if you have a basic understanding of the Kardashev scale. Type II civilizations are those that have gained the ability to harness the energy of their planet’s parent star (the sun) and transfer it directly to their homeworld. An example of this would be the Dyson Sphere from the TNG episode, “Relics.” It’s a structure that’s actually built to surround the star and transfer the energy directly to the planet. Dope, right? Type II civilizations are the very best!

Fools! No they are not! Because a Type III civilization can do the same thing, but with all the energy in its parent galaxy. The Force would constitute just such a thing, so by Kardashev’s (and Dwight’s) logic, Star Wars is the clear victor.

JACK SPARROW’S PROBABLY JUST DRUNK

If you’re ever at a dinner party and you feel the conversation waning, slam both your hands on the table and loudly and resolutely declare that Star Trek is better than Star Wars. You’ll make new friends, new enemies and lots of drama. The fun thing about this never-ending debate is that it’s anything but niche. Both Star Wars and Star Trek are beloved (or at least known) the world over, and that makes it easy to find people with opinions.

Granted, if you say this at Star Wars Celebration wearing a red shirt, you should probably expect something similar to what’s happening to Jack Sparrow to happen to you. And while that would make for a sick meme in and of itself, we beg you — tread with caution!

DISNEY! ANYTHING BUT DISNEY!!

At first glance, this meme almost looks like the Enterprise is about to get blown to smithereens (or just get run over) by the Destroyer on its tail. If you’re a Star Wars person, that might make you cheer… until you read the caption. This meme is poking fun at Disney’s recent acquisition of the Star Wars franchise and collective fears the Mouse would pollute the story with its own fiercely held brand.

Star Wars is set in a dystopia, though generally a cheery and hopeful one, and Disney doesn’t really do dystopia well. Fans were worried the studio’s commitment to family entertainment would dull the series’ edge. Star Trek fans clearly share the same concerns if this meme is any indication.

TRUTH BOMB

On the surface, it might seem as though Kirk, Sulu and Uhura are suffering from a loss of atmosphere on the Enterprise. That’s usually what people gasping for air in space are suffering from — unless they’re within range of Darth Vader’s Fist of Fury. Then it’s probably him.

One of the reasons Darth Vader makes for such a compelling villain is that he rarely needs to make a big display to get his point across. Sometimes all it takes to make a point is a good air-strangling and people fall in line, and it’s a good leadership strategy to never punish more than you have to. The thing is, if Darth Vader has access to the energy in the very fabric of the universe, it stands to reason his reach could extend across space/time and franchises.

MORPHEUS HAS UNSETTLING NEWS

On the off chance you haven’t seen The Matrix (or haven’t since it came out because you really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about), this meme is parodying the Morpheus’ famous revelation to Neo that their world is all an illusion. It’s pretty paradigm shifting for The One they call Neo (or Ne-WHOA, as we like to call him), and there’s definitely an adjustment period.

We get it. If someone told us that Star Trek’s clear superiority was all some kind of computer simulation, we’d need some time, too. Kirk certainly seems to. That said, if you’re one of those people who find themselves eternally torn between both franchises, odds are you can really relate to the reaction shots at the bottom. Half, “F**k yeah!” and half, “Go f**k yourself!”

STARWHO?


We know this picture looks familiar, but we thought this variation deserved a spot on the list, if only for its ability to totally flip the script. This meme is particularly savage, given that it’s clearly for people who are so unimpressed with Star Trek that they’ve never heard of Starfleet. That would be like a Trekker defiantly refusing to acknowledge that they knew Luke Skywalker’s last name.

Of course, the other implication is that the Destroyer’s firepower would blow the much-smaller Enterprise to smithereens. While it’s true that size does matter, anyone who saw Rogue One knows that maneuverability is also pretty essential. We’re not counting the Enterprise out just yet. Feel free to work out the spatial dynamics of that in the comments and let us know if you think Kirk & Co. would escape!

ANOTHER FAIR POINT

It makes sense that Dwayne Johnson would be Team Star Trek — he did guest star on an (unfortunate) episode of Star Trek: Voyager back when the WWE and Voyager were the jewels in UPN’s Wednesday lineup. But in this movie still doctored into a meme, his mouth is shut pretty effectively by an epic takedown of Star Trek firepower compared to Star Wars.

Though it should be said, it’s way easier to destroy a Death Star when you have blueprints, a structurally engineered fatal design flaw and the ability to walk around without worrying about getting turned into a cyborg. The same cannot be said of a Borg cube, AND their shields adapt to any weapon used more than once. Just sayin’…

TROOPER VS. RED SHIRTS

If you can’t find it in your loyalist heart to like both sides of this meme, then we might suggest that you’re taking the rivalry a little too seriously. This. Is. Hilarious. Because. It. Is. True. Trained Stormtroopers typically can’t hit the broad side of a barn and redshirts legit might be disposable clones of the same five or six dudes.

If you’re so far from a Trekker that that reference means nothing to you, it’s poking fun at the fact that on the original Star Trek, every time the crew went on an away mission, someone usually died, and it certainly wasn’t going to be any of the contract players. So, who would actually win in this fight? It would be the fans now imagining this imaginary confrontation of incompetence.

TIP JARS

18 Star Wars Tip Jar Wars Meme

This meme is particularly savage on two different levels. Clearly whatever Starbucks decided to run this little experiment is surrounded by wealthy Star Wars fans. Unless someone unfolded the dollars to make it look like there were more in there (this fight gets dirty sometimes), Star Wars is the clear winner. Or it could be that the neighborhood Star Trek fans are just hella bad tippers. Trekker frowns, either way.

We would like to take the time to recognize the artistry and attention to detail in the dueling tip jars. If you look closely at the bottom corners of each jar, one has a “v” and one has an “s.” Star Wars vs. Star Trek. You know, just in case you didn’t catch that these guys aren’t friends.

FIREFLY FTW

The only thing wrong with being completely obsessed with the eternal and unwinnable Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate is that it steals your attention from other, worthy sci-fi space operas. Since the ’70s, pop culture’s become way more crowded with quality content, and new generations are really leaning into the concept of the universe blend. This meme is a welcome dose of perspective.

It’s not just about Star Wars vs. Star Trek anymore. It’s about Star Wars vs. Star Trek vs. Firefly vs. The Expanse vs. …Orville? Ok, that last one still has some dues to pay, but you get the idea. The best part about the fact that the SW/ST debate has never and will never die is just what makes it so interesting. The older it gets, the more jokes like the one directly above we’ll get to see.

Trek or Wars: where do your loyalties lie? Let us know in the comments!

The post Star-Crossed: 15 Savage Star Trek VS. Star Wars Memes appeared first on CBR.

Trump Says ‘Fake News’ Won’t Show Crowd Size As CNN Shows Crowd Size

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