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This new species of brittle star lived 435 million years ago

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Scientists say the fossilized remains of a brittle star that lived 435 million years ago belong to a new species. 

The fossil was named Crepidosoma doyleii, after the paleontologist who discovered it. Eamon Doyle was a Ph.D. student when he discovered the remains of the thumbnail-sized creature in the late 1980s, embedded in a layer of fossils on a hillside in the Maam Valley in Ireland. 

Though this species of brittle star (which are closely related to starfish) first developed nearly half a billion years ago, its modern day descendants are remarkably similar.  

More about Ireland, Fossils, Starfish, Brittle Stars, and Science

Watch Joey Bada$$ spin a Prince cover with ‘When Thugs Cry’

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Rapper Joey Bada$$ put his own spin on a Prince classic on Friday, with a cover dubbed “When Thugs Cry.”

Performed at Australian radio station triple j on Friday, for the popular, weekly “Like a Version” cover songs segment, the Brooklyn artist paid tribute to The Purple One. 

“To this day my mum is the biggest Prince fan, she always played Prince around the house, put me on to Prince at such an early age. Me and her we used to always sing “When Doves Cry” together, so I made my own version. It’s called “When Thugs Cry,” he told triple j.

Joey Bada$$ is currently touring Australia, performing at Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain festival in Melbourne alongside Actress, A.B. Original, Jamila Woods and more on Saturday, Jan. 20. Read more…

More about Music, Cover Song, Joey Bada, Triple J, and Entertainment

Pesky crocodile steals fisherman’s catch like it’s NBD

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We get fighting for what you’ve worked for, but maybe not up against a crocodile.

A fisherman came a bit too close to the reptile while trying to reel in a barramundi at Cahills Crossing in the Northern Territory, Australia.

In a video posted on the Facebook page Bonker’s Adventure on Sunday, the crocodile can be seen chasing after the fish — still attached to the line — then wrestling it away as the fisherman retreats. 

Uh, yeah, no thanks.

“I knew it was a bit risky but the plan was to stay well away from the water, even once I got my fish,” fisherman Luke Robertson told NT News. Read more…

More about Australia, Animals, Crocodile, Crocodiles, and Culture

David Harbour from ‘Stranger Things’ makes another big fan promise for lots of retweets

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Good guy David Harbour is back with his big promises.

The Stranger Things star has pledged to become ordained and preside over the wedding ceremony of Twitter user @ErickaElizabth, but only if he gets 125,000 retweets.

There’s a bit of time though, the wedding is slated for September.

What would it take to get @DavidKHarbour to be the Officiant at my wedding in September?!

— Ericka (@ErickaElizabth) January 15, 2018

Of course, the wedding date will have to work with the shooting schedule of Season 3 of Stranger Things.  Read more…

More about Twitter, Celebrities, Culture, Wedding, and Weddings

Saudi Arabia just lifted its cinema ban, and well, the first movie screened was an interesting choice

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Saudi Arabia has just lifted a 35-year-old ban on cinemas, and picked an, uh, interesting movie for the first screening.

Ready? The Emoji Movie. Yep.

The very first film hitting cinema screens in three and a half decades was 2017’s animated feature about a city populated by talking emojis. It’s currently sitting at 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — although, granted, it has a 39 percent audience score. And it’s targeted at children.

But hey, let’s celebrate the fact that it was shown at all.

The conservative kingdom’s Ministry of Culture and Information agreed to issue licenses for cinemas on Dec. 11, 2017. According to Reuters, the country’s first permanent theatres could open as early as March 2018, and the authorities are sponsoring temporary cinemas for now — one, in Jeddah’s cultural hall, apparently has a popcorn machine. Films will be censored to adhere to the “moral values” of the kingdom — exactly what these censored films look like remains to be seen. Read more…

More about Saudi Arabia, Cinema, Ban, The Emoji Movie, and Entertainment

This chatbot wants to cut through the noise on climate science

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Noise and misinformation, especially on climate, has long been a problem on social media.

To counter this, Australian not-for-profit the Climate Council has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to inform people about climate science.

Launched on its Facebook page last week, it’s an effort to connect with younger people who are interested in issues like climate change, but aren’t the most engaged with the organisation — largely due to broader information overload.

“Young people are saturated on social media because they’re the most active on it, we know that they care and that they’ve got the thirst for information,” Nelli Huié, digital manager at the Climate Council, explained. Read more…

More about Facebook, Australia, Climate, Science, and Climate Change

Mark Wahlberg donated his $1.5 million ‘All The Money’ fee to Time’s Up

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In the wake of an uproar over the $1.5 million Mark Wahlberg was paid for his All The Money In The World reshoots, the actor announced Saturday that he will donate the money in his costar Michelle Williams’ name to the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

Wahlberg’s hefty reshoot fee made headlines earlier this week after it was reported that Williams earned just $1,000 for her time. 

The cast of All The Money In The World reshot multiple scenes after director Ridley Scott cut actor Kevin Spacey from the film following multiple sexual assault allegations. Christopher Plummer replaced himUSA Today first reported the massive pay discrepancy on Tuesday. Read more…

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CES’ sexism problem is about more than booth babes and pink robots

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CES is a place of extremes. Each year, tech companies big and small spare no expense in coming up with bizarre ways to showcase their (often relatively mundane) gadgetry: massive tunnels made of huge OLED displays, home appliances with built-in assistants, and weird concept cars unlikely to make it far beyond the Las Vegas Convention Center floor.

But, peer behind the over-the-top displays of headline-grabbing “innovation,” and there’s a troubling truth that should come as little surprise to anyone in the industry: CES still fuels the sexist narratives so many have worked to change over the last year.  Read more…

More about Tech, Ces, Ces 2018, Tech, and Consumer Tech

Trump’s racist ‘sh*thole’ comment: Who censored and who didn’t?

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Trump’s racist comment about “shithole” countries shocked with its crudity, leaving the press figuring out how to deal with the word.

The U.S. president used the word to refer to Haiti, El Salvador and other African countries. Trump questioned why its people were were coming to America, and asked lawmakers why the U.S. didn’t accept more people from Norway, a majority Nordic (white) country.

In the original Washington Post report, “shithole” appears in all its unsightliness throughout the article and in its headline.  Read more…

More about Media, Politics, Culture, Donald Trump, and Immigration

Twitter flooded after alleged creator of the ‘Shitty Media Men’ list steps forward

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The alleged creator of “SHITTY MEDIA MEN,” an anonymous spreadsheet used to report men accused of sexual misconduct in the publishing industry, has outed herself — and Twitter is ablaze.

Writer Moira Donegan came forward as the author of the shared document, launched in October, in an article for New York Magazine. In the piece, she explained that “the anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.”

More about Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault Allegations, and Sexual Misconduct

Stephen Colbert questions James Franco over sexual misconduct accusations

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James Franco was pressed for answers by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show on Tuesday, following accusations of sexual misconduct since his Golden Globe win.

The Disaster Artist star was interviewed by the talk show host, broadcast mere hours after The New York Times cancelled a TimesTalks event with Franco scheduled for Wednesday. 

A public supporter of the Time’s Up movement against systemic sexual abuse in Hollywood and other industries, Franco wore one of the widely publicized pins to the Globes on Sunday. But during and after the ceremony, in which Franco won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in The Disaster Artist, several women posted accusations of sexual misconduct on Twitter. Read more…

More about Celebrities, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stephen Colbert, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Online graphic design startup Canva is now worth $1 billion

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Canva is Australia’s first unicorn of 2018, after raising $40 million (AUD$50.9 million) to push the design startup’s value over $1 billion.

Now available in 190 countries, with over 10 million users, the online design and publishing platform was launched in 2012 by CEO and co-founder Melanie Perkins — now the youngest female entrepreneur to have reached unicorn status. 

“It’s still extremely early days for us yet, and we feel like we’ve done one percent of what we believe is possible but it’s quite exciting to get to this point in time, and it’s been a huge journey,” Perkins told Mashable. Read more…

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Google declares war against Alexa and Siri at CES 2018

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It’s an artificial intelligence showdown.

This year at CES, the world’s largest electronics trade show (running Jan. 9-12), thousands of companies will travel to Las Vegas to show off their newest products and build new partnerships. But this time around, one unusual exhibitor stands out from the rest: Google.

It’s the first time in many years that Google will have its own, large, standalone booth in the middle of the convention center. But the search giant has gone far beyond buying space on the showroom floor. It’s also commissioned several large advertisements around the city, including one you simply can’t miss. Read more…

More about Google, Amazon, Ces, Artificial Intelligence, and Ai

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop suggests you use coffee to clean your poop chute. Don’t.

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No matter what Gwyneth Paltrow’s dubious health website tells you, please talk to your doctor before shooting coffee into your colon.

In an article titled “The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics,” Goop writer Dr. Alejandro Junger suggests a specific brand of enema device for people who want to use a home system and know what they’re doing. Goop links out to the device which immediately advertises itself as “a clean way to do coffee enemas” for the low low price of $135.

If you don’t know what an enema is, it’s a procedure (usually performed by doctors) to clean out someone’s colon by injecting fluid up their butt. The product linked in Goop’s article claims to work well with coffee, and also claims that shooting coffee into your colon is good for your liver, removes “toxins,” and relieves depression, confusion(?), allergy symptoms, and severe pain. Read more…

More about Health, Coffee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop, and Enema

Faraday Future is the ultimate CES cautionary tale

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It was the “first of a new species.” It was going to change the game. It both was, and maybe was not, a car. It was the talk of CES. But that was then. 

Now, almost a year after Faraday Future unveiled the FF 91 at CES in January 2017, the would-be electric car manufacturer that sought to challenge Tesla has come close to crashing and burning. And while much has been written about the unfulfilled promises and stumbles of the company, its frothy CES showcase speaks to a much larger truth about the biggest consumer tech show in the world: Don’t believe the hype. 

More about Electric Cars, Faraday Future, Self Driving Cars, Ces 2018, and Tech

The first draft of that steamed hams script from ‘The Simpsons’ was excellent too

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So, the steamed hams skit in The Simpsons’ “22 Short Films About Springfield” is a pretty hot meme right now.

Also known as “Skinner & The Superintendent,” the scene featuring Superintendent Chalmers and Principal Skinner is one of the show’s funniest, but has landed an extra bit of comedic oomph thanks to the plethora of remixes by people on the internet.

In case you haven’t been keeping up, here’s the steamed hams skit performed to a custom Guitar Hero song, for some reason.

Or this guy who hasn’t seen The Simpsons before, so he improvises the whole scene in one take. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Tv, Television, Culture, and The Simpsons

Those huge CPU vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, explained

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By now you’ve probably heard. A large portion of the world’s computer processors are vulnerable to at least one of two exploits that render them susceptible to hackers. But what, exactly, is going on — and what can you do to protect yourself?

While the answer to the first question is complicated, thankfully the answer to the second isn’t. It turns out that companies like Google and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to create patches for what the security community has named Meltdown and Spectre. 

But we’re not out of the woods yet, and, depending on your operating system, you still need to take some proactive measures to make sure your data is safe.  Read more…

More about Google, Apple, Android, Microsoft, and Hackers

People in Oregon are freaking out about pumping their own gas

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For many people around the world, refilling your own car at self-service stations has been a very normal thing for years.

Not for many people rural Oregon, who from Jan. 1 were allowed to pump their own gas as a result of the introduction of new bill introduced in the state.

Passed last May, House Bill 2482 allows for self-service refilling in counties which have a population of less than 40,000. Oregon was one of two U.S. states which long banned the practice, the other still being New Jersey.

With the new year ticking over, there were a number of Oregonians angry about the potential change to self-service statewide in a viral Facebook post. Read more…

More about Culture, Gas, Oregon, Gas Station, and Gasoline

Pete Souza throws shade at Trump for ‘nuclear button’ tweet

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Pete Souza is back with more Instaburns for Donald Trump, after the latest scary-beyond-all-reason tweet from the president.

The former Chief Official White House Photographer during the Obama Administration, Souza has posted two images on Instagram in response to President Trump’s boast on Twitter that his “nuclear button” was bigger than the one apparently on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s desk.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018 Read more…

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YouTube star Logan Paul apologises for video depicting an apparent victim of suicide

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YouTube star Logan Paul has issued an apology for posting a video containing footage of an apparent victim of suicide, but it might not be enough for some.

In the now-removed video, the 22-year-old vlogger visited Japan’s Aokigahara forest on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji. The forest’s name translates to the “Sea of Trees” but is known internationally as the “Suicide Forest,” the site of hundreds of suicides every year.

According to New York Magazine, Paul posted a video to his 15 million YouTube subscribers with the title “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” that was meant to be the third part of his “Tokyo Adventures,” series. The publisher reports that the video contained footage of a person who had apparently died by suicide, with their face blurred. Read more…

More about Watercooler, Entertainment, Youtube, Suicide, and Apology

Dave Chappelle just dropped two Netflix specials, but there’s a problem

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Dave Chappelle is widely considered to be a comedic genius. So when Netflix announced it had released two Chappelle stand-up specials, people freaked. A little comedy to wrap up this bitter year has to be a good thing, right?

Well, maybe. But maybe not. The specials just dropped, but there’s already some pushback when it comes to Chappelle’s thoughts on the transgender community. 

Of the two videos, “The Bird Revelation” and “Equanimity,” it’s the latter that is once again bringing Chappelle’s controversial views into the spotlight. In it, he reflects on past jokes of his that critics have called transphobic.  Read more…

More about Netflix, Comedy, Transgender, Transgender Rights, and Dave Chappelle

My favorite Twitter account is a bot

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Human Twitter accounts serve their purpose, but I prefer tweets from bots.

Research suggests there are now some 30 million tweeting bots — though this might be a low estimate. Some of these bots provide weather updates, make stock recommendations, or attempt to subvert democracy. 

I, however, like bots that aren’t necessarily so useful nor ambitious. I look forward to their musings because their primary directive is to produce creative or absurd content — and I’m not alone. 

“I like anything that’s going to inject a little strangeness, beyond the normal strangeness that we have every day now,” Charles Bergquist, the creator of my favorite twitter bot, NewFound Planets, told Mashable. Bergquist is also the director of the public radio program Science FridayRead more…

More about Tech, Twitter, Creativity, Bots, and Twitter Bots

Niagara Falls is a frigid, beautiful wonderland right now

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It’s bitterly cold across parts of the U.S. and Canada right now, and the freezing temps aren’t going away anytime soon

The bright side? Pretty pictures. In Chicago, people captured stunning images of their frozen city. And the images hitting Instagram from Niagara Falls have been beautiful. 

I mean, look at these photos, which went viral after journalist Muhammad Lila posted them on Twitter: 

More about Cold, Winter, Cold Temperature, Niagara Falls, and Winter Weather

Even Australia’s prime minister isn’t immune from being fined

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Politics might’ve been mad as ever in 2017, so perhaps there’s something oddly normal about a country’s leader getting what is a rather boring fine.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was issued a A$250 ticket (US$193) on Friday for not wearing a lifejacket when he was moving his dinghy near his Sydney home earlier this week.

The fine was confirmed by the New South Wales maritime authority, who are on the lookout for boaters who are breaking the law — seemingly no matter how distinguished they may be. 

The executive director for NSW Maritime, Angus Mitchell, said it was “a timely reminder during the holiday season to always wear a lifejacket.” Photos of the prime minister sans lifejacket were published in The Australian, which noted the law that had been broken. Read more…

More about Politics, Australia, Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Ticket

Lorde’s cancellation of Israel show sparks meeting request with its ambassador

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Lorde’s decision to cancel her performance in Israel has been suitably contentious.

Now Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand has requested to meet with the Grammy-winning singer following her decision to pull out of her Tel Aviv show in May.

In an open letter posted on Facebook Wednesday, ambassador Itzhak Gerberg called the decision “regrettable” and criticised the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for pressuring the singer into cancelling her show.

“Music is a wonderful language of tolerance and friendship, which brings people together,” the letter reads. “Your concert in Israel could have spread the message that solutions come from constructive engagement that leads to compromise and cooperation.” Read more…

More about Entertainment, Music, Israel, New Zealand, and Lorde

Someone made a bad lip reading Trump Christmas song and it’s annoyingly catchy

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Bad lip readings are mostly unrealistic, which makes them a hoot to watch. Their latest video, however, is all about Christmas and the Trump. It doesn’t ask you to stretch your imagination too much, except imaging the president singing with a reasonable pitch. 

The Donald sings and dances his way through a holiday song we didn’t really need in our lives, but it’s here and it’s unfortunately for us all, a little catchy.  Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Bad Lip Reading, Christmas Carol, Culture, and Web Culture

Why Google’s new Doodle is dedicated to Marlene Dietrich

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One of Hollywood’s Golden Age legends has been glorified in a Google Doodle.

The Doodle depicts Marlene Dietrich, famous for her breakout 1930 role as cabaret singer Lola-Lola in Germany’s first talking picture, Der Blaue Engel, and who was born on this day in 1901 — that’s 116 years ago.

Illustrated by artist Sasha Steinberg (also known as drag queen Sasha Velour and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9), the Doodle shows Dietrich performing in a gender-bending top hat and tuxedo, worn in her Hollywood debut role as nightclub dancer Amy Jolly in 1930’s Morocco. Read more…

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Cyborg strums ‘Star Wars’ theme song with bionic hand

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Jason Barnes has used robotic prosthetics before, but this is the first time he has been able to move each finger independently and even play the piano again. 

Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology developed the unique robotic arm using ultrasound sensors that allow amputees to control each prosthetic finger using muscles in their residual limbs. Read more…

More about Music, Piano, Star Wars, Research, and Real Time Video

Rian Johnson says Adam Driver had no problem with shirtless ‘Last Jedi’ scene, duh

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Slight spoiler alert for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Adam Driver agrees with you that he’s looking good in The Last Jedi – at least, according to Rian Johnson.

People caught up with the Star Wars: The Last Jedi director to ask how the much-buzzed-about beefcake moment came about.

“Adam looks so damn good because he’d been training hardcore for the past six months for those fight scenes,” Johnson told the magazine. “I’m like, ‘Eh. He looks so good. We should put him up there.'”

Rian: I like the way you think.  Read more…

More about Kylo Ren, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Adam Driver, Entertainment, and Star Wars

Miss America CEO resigns after sexist, offensive emails surface

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There he goes, Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell.

Haskell had been suspended Friday after a HuffPost story detailed his email correspondence over the years leading the beauty pageant. His leaked emails included many sexist, offensive comments about contestants and winners.

By Saturday afternoon he had resigned. 

Board chairman Lynn Weidner also offered her resignation, but she will remain on for up to 90 days to help “facilitate a smooth transition.” Weidner had been involved in targeting Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, whom Haskell and other MAO colleagues had insulted because of her weight after she won the competition. Read more…

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Our favorite books of 2017

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Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

2017 is coming to a close, but if there’s one thing that stands out from this year, it’s all of the great books. 

From poignant, socially conscious YA novels like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas to haunting short stories like Things We Lost In The Fire by Mariana Enriquez, 2017 was a year that shined bright with unforgettable literature.

This week on the MashReads Podcast, we look back and chat about what we read in 2017.  Read more…

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People are angry over Miss America CEO’s alleged sexist and fat-shaming emails

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Miss America has lost its TV partner following troubling emails allegedly written by the pageant organization’s CEO, Sam Haskell.

The leaked emails were published in the Huffington Post on Thursday, accusing Haskell and his colleagues of ridiculing past winners on their weight, sex lives, and using vulgar language to describe them.

According to the report, Haskell appeared to have a “special disdain” for 2013 winner Mallory Hagan, conversing with other Miss America Organization (MAO) colleagues about her weight and speculating about her sexual activity. Read more…

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Lost submarine from World War I found after 103-year search

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One of World War I’s biggest mysteries has finally been solved after a 103-year search.

On Sep. 14, 1914, Australia’s first submarine, the HMAS AE1, disappeared off the coast of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. 

It followed a successful mission to help capture what was then known as German New Guinea, and was the first loss for what was a young Royal Australian Navy. 

35 crew members went missing without a trace.

The AE1.

The AE1.

Image: Department of Defence

That’s until an expedition this week, the 13th search for the submarine, which located the AE1 on Wednesday off the coast of the Duke of York Island group, in east Papua New Guinea.  Read more…

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How a majority-Indigenous owned wine company is giving back

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While there are already a handful of wineries run by First Nations people in Canada, Gondwana Wines is hoping to do the same in Australia.

It’s a majority-Indigenous owned wine company and social enterprise founded by Worimi entrepreneur Alisi Tutuila, that aims to simultaneously make great wine, promote Indigenous Australian culture and give back to the community itself.

A multifaceted business, Gondwana Wines gives a portion of its proceeds to the “Leading The Way” program, which provides training and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. Read more…

More about Social Good, Wine, Indigenous, Indigenous Australians, and Wines

Oh nothing, just ‘spider lightning’ dancing across a stormy sky in Australia

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“Spider lightning”: It’s a thing.

An especially hard weather phenomenon to catch on film but one savvy videographer managed to capture it illuminating the sky in South Australia.

During an electrical storm illuminating the seaside suburb of Glenelg outside of Adelaide, local man Caleb Travis shot the stunning lightning on Monday night.

What’s spider lightning? It occurs when lightning bolts branch out and creep along the underside of stratiform clouds.

Seriously, if there’s an indication wizards are battling in our atmosphere, this could be it. Read more…

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Chick-fil-A steps in to feed the stranded at Atlanta airport… on a Sunday

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Chick-fil-A, famed for never opening on Sundays and will likely never be, has made an exception.

The fast food chain is stepping in to feed passengers left affected by the Atlanta airport blackout, according to the City of Atlanta

They’ll be served at the Georgia International Convention Center, where they are able to stay overnight, which is a pretty nice consolation given what some of these people have gone through.

The City of Atlanta has mobilized the Georgia International Convention Center and will provide shuttle services for anyone who needs a place to stay for the night@ChickfilA will provide food for passengers.

— City of Atlanta, GA (@Cityofatlanta) December 18, 2017 Read more…

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Dark vs. Light: ‘Star Wars’ fans storm social media with dueling ‘Last Jedi’ opinions

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Spoiler alert! This post contains big spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Seriously, get out of here now if you don’t want to know what happens.

The critical response to The Last Jedi has been overwhelmingly positive, with reviews lauding the film for — among other things — deviating from the Star Wars norm.

Audiences online, though, haven’t been quite so enamored of the movieAs Mashable reported earlier this week, the gap between Rotten Tomatoes scores from critics vs. those from moviegoers was, at one point, a whopping 37 percent.

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‘The Last Jedi’ gave us the perfect answer to the question of Rey’s parents

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Spoiler alert: This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

As promised, Star Wars: The Last Jedi gives us a definitive answer to the question of who Rey’s parents are.

And with apologies to every fan who’s spun an elaborate theory about why she’s definitely a Kenobi, or a Skywalker, or a Solo, or a Palpatine, or what have you, she’s none of the above.

After a movie and a half’s worth of wondering about and pining after her missing family, Rey finally comes to terms with the truth in The Last Jedi: her parents were just a couple of random deadbeats who, as Kylo sneers, probably sold her off for drinking money, and are now in a pauper’s grave. Read more…

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Behind the ambitious plan to build and race flying cars

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Since Back to the Future, you’re far from alone if you’ve wondered where the heck your flying car is already.

Sure, we’ve seen pitches by the likes of Kitty Hawk, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, and Slovakian startup AeroMobil — but the reality of a flying car still seems a way off.

An Australian startup called Alauda has an ambition to fast-track that reality with its electric, low-altitude aircraft, the Airspeeder Mark I. 

Alauda is founded by Matt Pearson, who also cofounded space startup Fleet. Over the past two years, Pearson has been working on the project as part of a team of five in a Sydney warehouse. Read more…

More about Tech, Australia, Transportation, Racing, and Flying Cars

Roy Moore lost the election and everyone made the same joke

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Roy Moore is bad at riding horses, and on Tuesday night, he was bad at winning elections. 

Moore lost the Senate race in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones and a lot of people were happy about it. Moore’s win came as a surprise, as Democrats haven’t fared well in Alabama elections for about a quarter decade.

But back to the horse thing. Here is the Republican candidate — who was endorsed by Donald Trump, even though he’s been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women and said America was last “great” when slavery was legal — trying to play cowboy earlier in the day.  Read more…

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Spy agency launches interactive online test to see if you’re cut out for the job

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Recruiting spies is seldom a public exercise, but Australia’s intelligence agency is doing something different.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), equivalent to the CIA and Britain’s MI6, has launched an online interactive test to discover people who are cut out for the job. 

Through a series of visual and aural exercises, the test seeks to identify suitable applicants that have the perception and empathy to work in the service. 

You’ll be required to pick out a missing number from a sequence, pick out faces in a crowd, and try and decipher information while three people are talking at the same time.  Read more…

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Chris Evans is a real life superhero in lending his support to bullied kid

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By now you might’ve heard of middle schooler Keaton Jones, whose teary video details what bullies at school do to him.

Well, it’s been a wild and heartwarming 24 hours. The video has racked up more than 20 million views and support from thousands of people, proving that maybe all of humanity isn’t terrible.

Here’s the upsetting video, if you haven’t already seen it:

This is Keaton Jones. He is amazing. I hope those who bullied him get what’s coming to them. And soonpic.twitter.com/qgRObI0rto

— Jamie O’Grady (@JamieOGrady) December 9, 2017 Read more…

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‘The Last Jedi’ first premiere reactions are here and – you guessed it – the Force is strong

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi held its star-studded world premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and the credits had barely finished rolling before attendees hit Twitter to share their first reactions to Rian Johnson’s take on the Skywalker saga.

While spoilers and plot details are under strict embargo until Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. PT, that didn’t stop fans from weighing in on the tone of the movie, which has drawn inevitable comparisons to the second (and most critically acclaimed) film in George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back.

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‘Jumanji’ is a great video game movie that’s not actually based on a video game

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It’s a truism that Hollywood has a terrible track record when it comes to video game movies. But it’s not entirely accurate. There are lots of great video game movies out there – they’re just not based on actual video games.

This month, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, joins films like Edge of Tomorrow and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on the list of excellent films inspired by video games but not directly adapted from one. This one is a loose sequel to 1995’s Jumanji, which reimagines the dangerous board game as a ’90s-era video game. Read more…

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Ambassador posts adorable proposal after marriage equality legalised in Australia

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Marriage equality is finally law in Australia, which means LGBTQ couples can start planning their weddings. Or in plenty of cases, start proposing.

As in the case of the Australian ambassador to France, Brendan Berne, who spared no time proposing to his longtime partner Thomas Marti on Thursday in Paris. 

The video was posted on Berne’s Twitter account mere hours after marriage equality was made legal in Australia.

“Now, as Australia has just approved marriage equality, it is my turn now. My turn to ratify my own relationship with my partner of 11 years Thomas. He is not aware of what I would like to do now,” Berne said in French. Read more…

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LAPD warns that navigation apps are steering people to neighborhoods on fire

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There are currently multiple fires raging across Southern California, one of which forced the notoriously clogged 405 Freeway in Los Angeles to shut down

Big fires force people to find new routes — including people using apps like Waze and Google Maps. 

The problem? Those apps look for roads without many cars on them, and try to route you there. Which is great when you’re trying to avoid run-of-the-mill traffic. But not when the roads are clear because of nearby fires.  

“The Los Angeles Police Department asked drivers to avoid navigation apps, which are steering users onto more open routes — in this case, streets in the neighborhoods that are on fire,” the Los Angeles Times reportedRead more…

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Aspiring poet’s rejection letter from 1928 is delightfully brutal

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No one likes being rejected, especially when you receive a letter that gives your work an absolute dressing down.  

Penned by Australian publisher Angus & Robertson in 1928, the letter is addressed to Frederick Charles Meyer of Katoomba, who had sent a sample of his writing to the company.

The letter was sent by Kylie Parkinson to the Twitter page Letters of Note, who posted it on Tuesday. You’d rarely come across a letter as stern, albeit eloquent as this.

All other rejection letters can step down. We have a winnerpic.twitter.com/dQijZsIgqL

— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) December 3, 2017 Read more…

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Latest ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ teaser features a T-rex in a crate

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Another 15-second Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom teaser has been released, if you’re into being drip-fed sneak peeks.

Teaser content for the Jurassic World sequel will be released each day this week leading up to the trailer launch on Thursday, Dec. 7 — the first teaser featured a dinosaur stampede.

The next little taster features Chris Pratt returning to his role as ex-Navy guy Owen Grady, and Bryce Dallas Howard returning as Claire Dearing, the Jurassic World operations manager. And a casually sedated Tyrannosaurus rex packed into a crate. Cool, cool.

The full trailer arrives on Thursday, before the film opens on June 22, 2018. Read more…

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Madonna brings back Photo Booth, covers ‘Toxic’ for Britney Spears’s birthday

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Saturday was singer and internationally renowned artist Britney Spears’s 36th birthday, and to celebrate, Madonna booted up her Photo Booth app (#tbt) and covered “Toxic.”

In an Instagram post, the icon explained that the cover was also her song for World AIDS Day, which was Friday. (She certainly did a better job raising awareness than the president.)

Watch the wonderful, thermal-y cover below.

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on

And yes, Britney liked the post.

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