Category Archives: News

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Monsoon IV, The Beauty of the Southwest Summer Skies Captured in a Gorgeous Timelapse

In the fourth video from of his “Monsoon” series, photographer Mike Olbinski, a Phoenix-based stormchaser, once again captured the beauty of the skies over the American southwest during the summer storm season of 2017.

One bonus this summer was a few successful chases up at the Grand Canyon. Finally. A couple of gorgeous sunsets, rain dumping into the Canyon, lightning at night, Milky Way…All told I covered about 13,000 miles and chased as far west as Desert Center, CA, as far east as Wilna, NM and as far north as Tonelea, AZ. And two great storms down in Organ Pipe National Monument, which is only about 10 miles from Mexico.

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An Amazing Stop Motion Video of Cleverly Carved Pumpkins Dancing to Music Made by Pumpkins

Stop Motion Pumpkin Carving

Creative director Sean Ohlenkamp and friend Rob Popkin created “Oh My Gourd“, a wonderful stop motion video of seasonally appropriate, cleverly carved pumpkins dancing to a soundtrack of music made with pumpkins by Grayson Matthews.

Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pumpkins were cut, gutted, rotated, scraped, poked, slapped, and banged to make this stop-motion animation and the music that bring it to life. It took a few years – pumpkins rot, schedules get busy – but we loved discovering the methods that worked and the many that didn’t.

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A Couple of Adorably Competitive Cats Try to Keep Up With Each Other on a Quickly Moving Treadmill

Cats on a Treadmill

A couple of adorably competitive cats named Sweetie and Sam, attempted to keep up with one another while striding upon a quickly moving treadmill. Both cats got knocked off the machine a couple of times, but in the end received a lot of love from their nearby human.

Sweetie and Sam were sharing the treadmill. The sound of their little feet is so soothing.

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Simon’s Cat Logic Dispels the Myth That Black Cats Cause Bad Luck

Just ahead of National Black Cat Day on October 27 and Halloween, animator Simon Toland and animal behaviorist Nicky Trevorrow of the adorably animated advice series “Simons Cat Logic“, do their best to dispel the myth black cats cause bad luck and instead explain why it’s so difficult for black cats to get adopted, despite the fact that they are just as wonderful as any other cat of any other color.

Black and black-and-white cats account for over half of all the cats in cat protective care. They often take longer to re-home and often overlooked for the brighter colored cats such as tabbies and gingers. Our theory is that when people come to visit, their eyes are naturally drawn towards brighter colored cats.

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Scary Clowns Ride Past a Confused Boy on a Bicycle On Their Way to Get a Free Whopper at Burger King

Scary Clown Night

In a rather creepy Burger King commercial that appears to combine elements from the Netflix series Stranger Things with the Stephen King film It, a teenage boy who was riding his bicycle on Halloween night, suddenly and inexplicably found himself surrounded by clowns (including one dressed similarly to the mascot of the competition) who were heading the same direction as he. Keeping his cool, the boy continued on to his local Burger King, where he realized that the first 500 people who came dressed like a clown could lay claim to a free Whopper (at selected restaurants).

On Tuesday, October 31st, from 7PM to close, the first 500 guests that come to select BURGER KING® restaurants* near Miami, Boston, LA, Austin and Salt Lake City dressed as a clown get a free WHOPPER® Sandwich. …Valid for the first 500 guests. One WHOPPER® Sandwich per person. Validity of clown costume to be determined by BURGER KING® restaurant personnel in their sole discretion.


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Merging Neutron Stars Deliver Deathblow To Dark Matter And Dark Energy Alternatives (Synopsis)

“Dark matter is interesting. Basically, the Universe is heavier than it should be. There’s whole swathes of stuff we can’t account for.” -Talulah Riley

One of the most puzzling facts about the Universe is that 95% of the energy in it, in the forms of dark matter and dark energy, are completely invisible, and have never been directly detected. Perhaps, the story goes, it’s our theory of gravity that’s to blame, rather than needing new components in the Universe. While dark matter and dark energy can explain a whole slew of observations, gravity modifications do a better job of explaining galactic rotation, but require altering Einstein’s theory of gravity.

The cosmic web is driven by dark matter, with the largest-scale structure set by the expansion rate and dark energy. The small structures along the filaments form by the collapse of normal, electromagnetically-interacting matter. Image credit: Ralf Kaehler, Oliver Hahn and Tom Abel (KIPAC).

But merging neutron stars provide a unique test: electromagnetic and gravitational waves both originate from an ultra-distant source over 100 million light years away. The first signals arrive separated by mere seconds, allowing us to constrain models where gravity and light are bent (and delayed) differently by the presence of masses. While theories like Bekenstein’s TeVeS and Moffat’s Scalar-Tensor-Vector predict differing delays by years, the observed arrival time difference was just 1.7s.

The various mass sources in between NGC 4993, where the neutron star-neutron star merger occurred, and the quantified delay that they cause in light/gravitational wave travel time. Image credit: Sibel Boran, Shantanu Desai, Emre Kahya, and Richard Woodard, ‘GW170817 Falsifies Dark Matter Emulators’.

With these new observations, models that attempt to do away with dark matter and dark energy are largely busted, leaving only contrived, non-local modified gravity theories behind. It’s an incredible victory for Einstein and the dark Universe.

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Punk Pioneer Vivien Goldman on Bob Marley, Jewish Music, and How the Internet Ravaged Creativity

Until September 16th, there was something missing from Vivien Goldman’s musical resume. She’d written a handful of classic songs, recorded with Robert Wyatt and Johnny Rotten, worked as Bob Marley’s publicist, penned books about the 80s punk scene, had her music sampled by Madlib and Massive Attack, and amassed a collection of reggae records of such historical import that it was acquired by NYU, where she also teaches classes on a history of punk and reggae that she witnessed and in some instances even created. In 2016, Pitchfork proclaimed that no one was more punk than her. Still Goldman apparently didn’t share a recurring fantasy common to say, a sometimes-music journalist like myself: Amazingly, her set opening the second day of Basilica Soundscape, a yearly glorification of noise staged under the industrial vaulting of a converted 19th-century factory in Hudson, New York, was her first-ever performance under her own name. “This is an experiment in the Basilica tradition,” she said, as rhomboid bolts of late-afternoon light beamed through the high windows. She performed with backing tracks and two musicians, set against the backdrop of billowing pink canvas hangs that resembled wrecked weather balloons, or swollen gums.

Goldman has worked as a journalist, historian, and television producer. Her late 70s and early 80s career as a recording artist amounts to a half-dozen songs, but nearly all of them are significant: “Laundrette” and “Her Story” are touchstones of punk’s amplification women’s voices and stories; the still-menacing “Private Armies” is a disquieting vision of cops and fascists stalking the streets. Onstage in Hudson, the red-headed and plaid-stockinged Goldman swayed, twirled her hands, and smiled as she hit a series of clean high notes on “Laundrette.” During the chorus to “Private Armies” she ululated and bellowed, throwing her arms out and scowling through the song’s descriptions of bloody streets. Not everything went perfectly; opening nights never do. But she won over a crowd that was primed for louder and heavier fare. After all, we were the first audience ever to experience the blunt hypnotic power of the line “if you can’t get a hard-on, get a gun” together, which Goldman shouted into a swelling and ironically militant chant.

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Report | Jaguars sign Telvin Smith to extension

Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) smiles as he leaves the field after an NFL football game between the Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. The Jaguars won the match 44-7. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

[UPDATE]: The Jaguars have since confirmed the news. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed linebacker Telvin Smith to a four-year, $50 million contract extension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Smith has become a vital part of the Jacksonville defense since entering the league in 2014, having totaled better than 100 tackles per year each of the first three seasons of his career. This year, he has started all seven games he has appeared in, having already tied his career high with two interceptions, while forcing the fourth fumble of his career. He’s more than halfway to the century mark in tackles with 58 with more than half the year to go.

Earlier this season, he won AFC Defensive Player of the Week during the team’s dismantling of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. He made 10 tackles that day, including an interception that he returned for the second touchdown of his career.

Jacksonville snagged Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Florida State, where he won a BCS national title. After appearing in all 16 games as a rookie, he entered the starting lineup on a full-time basis in 2015. He finished his second season with 128 tackles, including a pair of forced fumbles and the first touchdown of his career. Last season, he made 118 tackles and recorded a single sack, while defending a career-high eight passes.

Smith has been a key member of a defense that has allowed the second-fewest points in the AFC to open 2017.

With the Jaguars on their bye this week, the next time he’ll take the field with the financial guarantee comes on Nov. 5 when the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.

The post Report | Jaguars sign Telvin Smith to extension appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Jaguars LB Smith signed to 4-year, $50 million extension

The Jaguars produced another big victory during the third day of their bye week Wednesday when they signed linebacker Telvin Smith to a four-year contract extension.

A fifth-round pick of the Jags in the 2014 NFL Draft, Smith has emerged as one of the teams’ best players and he will now be paid like it as his new deal is reportedly worth $50 million.

 “I am excited about the opportunity to continue my career in Jacksonville and stay with the team that believed in me coming into the league in 2014,” Smith said in a statement released by the team.

 “I am grateful for my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches and the incredible Jaguars fans for always supporting me and allowing me to play this game that I love.

 “It’s been a privilege (playing for the Jaguars and owner Shad Khan) these last four years, and there is so much that I want to accomplish as a teammate and as an individual in this league.

 “We have created a bond in that locker room and everyone is committed to our goal of winning football games. I am honored to be a part of that culture and help continue to lead this team in the right direction.’’

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Smith was named a captain for the first time this year and has now played in 53 games (47 starts) and currently leads the Jaguars with 58 tackles, including at least 10 in each of the last three games.

Smith earned the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 5 by recording 10 tackles and a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Jaguars 30-9 victory over the Steelers and he “earned this extension,’’ said Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

“We want to identify the players who will contribute to helping this team win going forward, and reward those who can do that,’’ Coughlin said. “ Telvin is certainly one of those players for us.

 This is a high performance business, and we look for his continued development as a team leader both on and off the field. Along with this new contract, Telvin must accept the high expectations that go with it.’’

The post Jaguars LB Smith signed to 4-year, $50 million extension appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Corey Seager explodes after giving Dodgers lead with HR off Verlander

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager celebrates after a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager sat out the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs with a back injury, but he wasn’t sitting out the World Series. His team didn’t require his services to make quick work of Chicago, but he delivered on Wednesday night with an opposite-field, two-run smash off Justin Verlander in the bottom of the sixth to give his team a 3-1 lead.

He marked his return with a multi-hit performance in Game 1, upping the ante with his first playoff home run since last year’s NLDS.

The post Corey Seager explodes after giving Dodgers lead with HR off Verlander appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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