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Friday, May 16, 2014

New Interstellar Trailer: Travel Through A Wormhole With Matthew McConaughey

New Interstellar Trailer: Travel Through A Wormhole With Matthew McConaughey


New Interstellar Trailer: Travel Through A Wormhole With Matthew McConaughey

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:59 AM PDT

A new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar, was released Friday. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut who must leave his family on Earth and travel through a wormhole to save the world from famine. The details of his mission are still fuzzy, but judging by all the shots of swirling storms and burning crops, our planet seems to be trapped in an extreme Dust Bowl scenario, leaving humans no choice but to look elsewhere in the universe for sustenance.

You can expect a few familiar Nolan features: a gloomy color palette, some friends from the Dark Knight trilogy (Michael Caine as mastermind rocket scientist, Anne Hathaway as fellow space traveler), and a dramatically swelling Hans Zimmer score.

Interstellar opens in November.

Heathrow Airport Getting a ‘Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5′

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:25 AM PDT

For two weeks starting on May 19, Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport will be rebranded top to bottom, name and all, to promote Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone.

In addition to providing Galaxy S5 phones for travelers to try out while passing through the terminal, Samsung is rebranding everything brandable with its logo and images of its flagship mobile device, including, the company says in a press release, "the signage, wayfinding, website and every single digital screen at the UK's newest terminal" (emphasis ours).

This is, Samsung notes, the first time Heathrow has allowed a brand to completely takeover Terminal 5, which is one of the least surprising things about the campaign.

Weary travelers might fear Samsung Galaxy S5 overload—especially if (can you imagine?) the terminal sees some kind of massive multiday layover situation—but if the intercom announcers start periodically squawking "DRRROOOOOIIIID" it will all have been worth it.

[Android Central]

‘Godzilla’ Means ‘Gorilla-Whale’ and 7 Other ‘Zilla Things You Didn’t Know

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Godzilla, the King of Monsters, has amassed quite a bit of canon over 60 years of film. From Japanese pop-duo The Peanuts summoning Mothra in Godzilla vs. Mothra, to the comic relief character Godzooky in the 1980s Hana Barbara cartoon, Godzilla’s lore extends far beyond his nuclear origins. Before Godzilla terrorized San Francisco in 2014′s iteration of the film, he fought King Kong, found a replacement and even tempted North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to kidnap the ones behind the monster movie magic.

Watch the above video for more ‘Zilla facts.

How Today’s Fear of Russia is 1850 All Over Again

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:13 AM PDT

As the United States and Europe struggle to understand Vladimir Putin’s motives and goals—the subject of TIME’s cover story last week—it’s worth remembering that the West has been consumed by those questions before.

Yes, there was the Kremlinology and containment of the Cold War. But a century before brought a period of high Russophobia. In the mid-19th century, Europe was gripped with fear about Russia’s territorial ambition and consumed with how to stop it. Some of the echoes between then and now are downright eerie.

In the mid-1800s, Russia was controlled by autocratic ruler who distrusted Europe and sought to assert his nation’s greatness. This caused high alarm in Europe, and particularly in Great Britain—which worried that Russia might snatch its Indian empire. (This was a core component of the famous “Great Game.”)

One person sounding the alarm, as chronicled in this fine account of the time, was the British General and influential polemicist Sir Robert Wilson. The Russian Tsar Alexander was “inebriated by power,” he wrote in 1817. He was plotting to exploit European weakness for territorial gain. And he harbored grandiose visions of empire, perhaps even “to accomplish the instructions of Peter the Great”— who on his death bed called for massive Russian conquest.

Compare those ideas to today’s depictions of Putin. The Russian president is said to be “drunk on power.” His aggression is routinely cast as a response to the weakness of the West. He’s even depicted as going to bed at night “thinking of Peter the Great.”

And just as the West struggles to deter Russian aggression today, so did the Europeans of 150 years ago. One artifact of those debates is an 1828 manifesto by a British army general named George De Lacy Evans titled On the Designs of Russia. His bellicose pamphlet called for a pre-emptive war against Russia—something no one advocates today. But Evans did propose sending arms to countries on Russia’s western border, including Poland, much as today’s Russia hawks do.

Evans also proposed, in now-antiquated terms, the equivalent of today’s economic sanctions. Europe could curb Russia, he argued, by “cutting off her commerce, and thus placing the present pecuniary interests of the nobles at variance with the projects of the government.”

Substitute “oligarchs” for “nobles” and you have a core rationale for the West’s sanctions strategy.

These historical echoes are not lost on the Kremlin, which spins them as evidence that Russophobia—which achieved hysterical dimensions in the mid-1800s when one U.K. columnist joked that Alexander’s critics feared he would conquer the moon—has seized Europe.

Nor should they be. The escalating tension between Russia and the west produced the Crimean war of the 1850s, which left some 350,000 dead. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself quite so fully.

Measles Vaccine Cures Woman Of Cancer

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:11 AM PDT

The claim: Mayo Clinic researchers employing "virotherapy"—or virus-based treatment—completely eradicated a 49-year-old woman's blood cancer using an extremely heavy dose of the measles vaccine (enough to vaccinate 100 million people), according to a newly released report in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The research: The study team injected two cancer patients with "the highest possible dose" of an engineered measles virus. (Past research had shown the virus was capable of killing myeloma-infected plasma cells while sparing normal tissue.) Both patients responded to the treatment and showed reductions in bone marrow cancer and myeloma protein. One of the patients, Stacy Erholtz, experienced complete remission and has been cancer-free for 6 months.

More From Prevention: Medical Tests That Can Save Your Life

What it means: This is the first study to show that this type of virotherapy may be effective when it comes to some types of cancers, says study coauthor Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, a Mayo Clinic hematologist and co-developer of the treatment. "Viruses naturally destroy tissue," Russell explains. And the measles virus appears to cause cancer cells to group together and "explode," which not only destroys them but also helps alert the patient's immune system to their presence, says one of Russell's coauthors on the study, Angela Dispenzieri, MD. While the second myeloma patient did not experience such a dramatic recovery, the virotherapy was still effective in targeting and treating sites of her tumor growth, the Mayo researchers say.

The bottom line: The two women included in the study were chosen because their cancer had failed to respond to other treatments, and so they were out of options, the study authors say. Also, neither of the women had much previous exposure to measles, which means they had few antibodies to the virus. While a lot more work has to be done to develop the treatment for other cancer sufferers, Russell says the ultimate goal for this therapy is "a single-shot cure for cancer."

More from Prevention: 20 Ways To Lower Your Cancer Risk

The article was written by Markham Heid and originally appeared on Prevention.com

 

 

Intense Movies May Be Dangerous for People With Weak Hearts

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:57 AM PDT

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s felt their heart jump into their throat while watching a scary movie that these scenes can be stressful. But can that stress be measured by scientists — and is it dangerous?

In a small study published yesterday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, researchers tracked how emotional stress — in this case, watching a harrowing five-minute clip of the rock-climbing movie Vertical Limit — affects the heart. They measured the blood pressure, heart rhythm and breathing speed of 19 heart patients while they watched the scene and found that the clip affected the stability of their heart beat while also increasing blood pressure and how quickly the patients were breathing.

“If someone already has a weakened heart, or if they experience a much more extreme stress,” said study author Dr. Ben Hanson of University College London, “the effect could be much more destabilizing and dangerous."

(Researchers recreated those breathing patterns without subjecting the patients to the clip and found no such change in heart rate, suggesting that the emotional stress — and not just the increased respiration — was to blame.)

In a statement about the study, Dr. Ben Hanson, one of its authors, said that the results did vary but the observation of cardiac changes was consistent. So, though there’s no reason for healthy movie fans to worry, those with preexisting heart problems might want to take it under consideration.

Watch the clip at your own risk here:

 

Five Things You Need To Know About India’s Next Prime Minister

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:56 AM PDT

Humble Beginnings

Modi, 63, began his life in Gujarat as the son of a tea-seller. He started working at an early age, hawking chai—tea—at the Ahmedabad railway station and a bus terminus with his brother. It was as a tribute to these humble beginnings that the BJP came up with the innovative “Chai Pe Charcha” campaign (A Chat Over Tea), where Modi interacted with potential voters at tea stalls around the country using video, internet and mobile links. Modi’s campaign also made extensive use of social media to whip up support. In another eye-catching move, Modi held simultaneous campaign rallies using technology that beamed his holographic image to gatherings across India.

Veteran Politician

Dubbed one of India's most eligible bachelors for years, it was only recently that Modi publicly acknowledged he was married to a retired school teacher, Jashodaben Chimanlal, who still lives in Gujarat. They were wed at 17, but Modi soon left her to pursue a life devoted to religion and politics. (The two are still legally married.) Shortly after, he became a pracharak, or activist, for the right wing Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). At 36, he was assigned to the BJP, which has close links to the RSS, and rose through the party’s state ranks to become his home state’s chief minister in 2001. In 2012, he won his fourth term, becoming the state's longest serving leader.

No Stranger to Controversy

Not so long ago, the prospect of a Modi-led government would have seemed a remote possibility to many, especially in the then-Congress bastion of New Delhi. Shortly after he took office as chief minister, bloody sectarian riots broke out in Gujarat in 2002, in which more than 1000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Modi's critics blamed his administration for not doing enough to stop the anti-Muslim wave of violence as it unfolded; some alleged that he had a role in inciting it. Modi has always strongly denied any wrongdoing or involvement in the tragedy, and Indian courts have cleared him of the same. But the controversy has followed him. The BJP heralded today's results as a victory over caste- and religion-centric politics, but many Muslims both in and outside Gujarat continue to harbor deep apprehensions about Modi's leadership.

India Inc Has High Hopes for Him

One of the central themes of Modi's successful campaign was his pledge to get India's flagging economy back on the high-growth path of yesteryear. In Gujarat, Modi has successfully attracted major companies like Ford, Nestle and Colgate by setting up a suite of business-friendly practices, including streamlining India's notorious bureaucracy and giving businesses easy access to officials and land. Those policies — and Modi's famously decisive leadership style — have earned him the support of some of India's biggest companies who are counting on him to restore the shine to India. (Voters, too, are hoping he can tackle other pressing issues like rising food prices.) As soon as early results began to trickle in on Friday morning, the BSE Sensex shot up and the Indian Rupee strengthened, though analysts cautioned that the tangible economic impact of a Modi government will take time to materialize.

A Relative Newcomer to Delhi

Another refrain among early doubters of Modi's meteoric rise to the PM’s seat was the fact that India's leaders have typically cut their teeth in the political circles of the country’s capital, New Delhi, not in state-level politics. Observers say this election may signal a major change in the way the Indians are voting, away from the dynastic politics of the Congress Party and toward a populist figure who has not spent his career in India's capital. It also raises questions of how Modi will build political foundations in India's schmoozey capital city. Will the same commanding leadership style that makes him a hit amongst businessmen fly amongst his parliamentary colleagues?

Looking for Single Guys? Try the Great Plains

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:54 AM PDT

Small rural towns are losing young women faster than they’re losing young men, a new study of the population of Kansas and Nebraska shows. For some of the really tiny places, the ratio of men to women doubled in the 10 years.

But before checking the Nebraska real estate listings, women should realize the imbalance might be because there’s not as much for women to do work wise out there.

Robert Shepard, a doctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who did the study, says rural communities need to think about opportunities for young women as they make their development plans. “There’s a lot of awareness that younger people are leaving rural communities,” said Shepard. “Where some of the men come back, because there are a lot of traditionally male jobs like agriculture and industry to return to, many rural communities don’t often provide the same opportunities to women.”

In more than half the of 1,627 places with fewer than 800 residents that Shepard looked at, the ratio of young men to young women increased between 2000 and 2010. Census data showed that the median increase wasn’t that huge: just 7%, but some very small communities saw very big gaps opening up between the number of men and women. The average increase was about 40%.

Shepard looked at the ratio of boys to girls aged between 12 and 17 in 2000 and then looked at the ratio of young men and women aged between 22 and 27 in 2010. He found a significant drop off in young women. The years between 17 and 27 are when people go off to college. Since more women are becoming more educated with every decade, it could be that the small town women are not coming back, although Shepard isn’t so sure. “Industrial and agricultural jobs still heavily favor women,” he says. “I’m not sure if that’s institutional or because women don’t choose to work in those fields.”

The numbers would certainly accord with other data that suggests there are many more women than men in metropolitan areas. Washington DC, Boston and New York skew paricularly female with some reports saying the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick area of Maryland has 20% more women. This is also true of metro areas in the plains like Topeka, Kansas and Scottsbluff, Neb. where there are more women than male peers. Genderwise, “even middle sized communities are more stable,” says Shepard.

Why aren’t women making their little homes on the prairies? In previous studies, women have cited the low level of career opportunities and high level of patriarchy. “Anecdotally, I hear both stories from people,” says Shepard. “A lot just feel women don’t have a very big place. But they might not say so right away. No-one wants to say their hometown is sexist. “

One thing Shepard noticed, however, was that the imbalance wasn’t universal. Some places that had a high ratio of guys bordered counties with a higher proportion of women. Because the numbers are so small it’s hard to get funding to study the root causes of the female-drain from small towns, so it may be a while until that’s sorted out. Probably wise to postpone booking the U-Haul until then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found: North America’s Most Remarkable Skeleton

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:36 AM PDT

Just a few months ago, a report on the remarkably preserved skeleton of a child buried 12,500 years ago in what is now Montana shed some important new light on the earliest humans to reach the Western Hemisphere. The child, known as Anzick-1, showed a direct genetic kinship to most modern Native Americans. That proved what scientists have long believed: the people Columbus and other explorers encountered when they arrived from Europe were descended from ancestors who had crossed over from Asia more than 12,000 years ago.

Whether those First Americans came in one wave or many, however, and whether they set off from different parts of Asia or one has been unclear. The facial features of many ancient skeletons don't resemble modern Native Americans all that closely, raising the possibility of different waves of immigration, from different points of origin. Since Anzick-1 didn't come with a complete skull, he didn't help settle the question.

But a remarkable new skeleton, discovered in an underwater cave in Mexico, may have just done so. As described in a new paper in Science, the remains belong to a teenage girl, nicknamed Naia, who lived and died between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago. Her skull, like others from her era, is narrower and taller than those of modern Native Americans. Her DNA, however, is a match for people living today.

"This suggests," said James Chatters, an independent forensic anthropologist at a press conference, "that Paleo-Americans and Native Americans descended from the same homeland. The differences between them likely arose from evolution after [their] gene pool became separated from the rest of the world." In short, say the authors, Naia is a sort of missing link that argues strongly for a single migration out of Asia and into the Americas.

The conclusion isn't a slam-dunk, the researchers acknowledge: their genetic analysis is based on Naia's mitochondrial DNA, which lives outside a cell's nucleus, and which is passed on only by the mother. In principle, that could point to an intermingling between two immigrant groups, because one female who bred with males in both groups would pass on a single mitochondrial fingerprint. The offspring who resulted might be heirs to very different paternal genes, but they would look closely related. Only DNA from a cell's nucleus can truly establish a single origin, and, said co-author Deborah Bolnick of the University of Texas at Austin, "we don't have data from the rest of the nuclear genome."

They're hoping to get it, though: only some of Naia's remains have been removed from the cave, in order to disturb the site as little as possible. But the scientists are planning to retrieve more, which will make more-thorough testing possible.

There's also the remaining mystery of why the skulls—and thus the faces—modern Native Americans look so different from those of their first-generation ancestors, but it’s a mystery that may have a simple answer. Even subtle changes in diet or environment could have exerted evolutionary pressures that reshaped the skull in some adaptive way. The changes could also be due to what’s known as genetic drift, a more or less random process that happens in all organisms over time.

Chatters and his colleagues don’t pretend that the story of North American migration has now been told. There are so few well-preserved skeletons of this age—a half dozen at most—that each new find has the potential to change things significantly. It took a long time for our ancestors to arrive here and settle the continent, and it will be a long time before we fully understand their journey.

Lithuania Is Banning Red Bull for Some Reason

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:19 AM PDT

Lithuania’s parliament voted on Thursday to ban the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to minors, as companies like Red Bull and Monster face increased scrutiny in the European Union.

The small Baltic country’s legislation prohibits drinks that contain 150 milligrams of caffeine per liter to be sold to minors, reports the Wall Street Journal. Monster Energy and Red Bull have 338 milligrams and 319 milligrams of caffeine per liter, respectively, according to caffeineinformer.com.

Lithuania’s law could have a large impact on industry sales: a European Food Safety Authority study found in 2013 that adolescents are far more likely to consume energy drinks than adults, with 68 percent of Europeans aged 10 to 18 years old drinking them.

Other countries are cracking down, too: the U.K. will require companies to label drinks with more than 150 milligrams per liter of caffeine, and German regulators have called for tighter energy drink controls.

And in the United States, legislators in Chicago, Maryland sought to introduce restricting sales to minors, but both efforts failed to take hold. Red Bull and Monster were questioned in Senate hearing last summer over allegations they were targeting youth.

The energy drink market has boomed over the past 10 years, with global energy-drink sales more than quadrupled to $27.54 billion in 2013, according to research firm Euromonitor. Red Bull, based in Austria, has a 31.5 percent global share, and California’s Monster has 14 percent.

[WSJ]

 

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