Back Issues: 5 Infamous Comic Book Movies from the 1980s

first_imgBefore the Avengers, before the Suicide Squad, even before ’90s Batman and his . . . anatomic batsuit, Hollywood relied on comic book heroes.Hot take: Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Endgame is probably going to do okay at the box office. This radical opinion is based on the fact that, even though the media loves to paint a picture of a public suffering from “superhero fatigue,” an exceptionally meh film like Suicide Squad can still manage to make serious bank.Yeah, Marvel definitely changed the cinematic landscape back in 2008 when Nick Fury appeared post-Iron-Man-credits to foreshadow a cinematic universe that now spans twenty films. But it is medium-worth remembering that Marvel didn’t create the — Hey, wasn’t that a comic book? — landscape.Image via Warner Bros.So, while the nerdiest/most committed of us marathon 11 years’ worth of films to prepare for Avengers: Endgame, let’s look back at five comic book movies that attempted to stick the superhero landing in the 1980s.(Oh, and it’s twenty-one Marvel films. Sorry, Ed Norton. Totally forgot.)Swamp Thing (1982)Image via Warner Bros.DC’s most famous human-scientist/swamp-plant hybrid gets his/its own television show in May. But your dad no doubt remembers Wes Craven’s (1982) Hollywood iteration, starring Adrienne Barbeau.Here’s the critical consensus from Rotten Tomatoes: “Unabashedly campy — often to its detriment — Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.”While that’s faint praise for anyone involved — who isn’t Adrienne Barbeau — none less than the great Roger Ebert offered a livelier take on the film, one that involved three out of four stars: “Swamp Thing had already won my heart, before its moment of greatness, but when that moment came, I knew I’d discovered another one of those movies that fall somewhere between buried treasures and guilty pleasures.”Read Ebert’s review for yourself.Supergirl (1984)Image via Columbia.Christopher Reeve had already truth’d-and-justice’d his American way through three Superman movies by the time Supergirl premiered in 1984. The film starred Helen Slater in the titular role, making her the first woman to play the lead in an English-language superhero film. Unfortunately, with a plot spotlighting a warlock named Nigel, a mouthful of a McGuffin called the Omegahedron, and a “Hey, small world” appearance by Lois Lane’s kid sister, the film flopped among critics and audiences alike.Nonetheless, even though the film didn’t spawn a big-screen franchise, Slater went on to get a few more Krypton-related gigs on the small screen. She played Clark Kent’s biological mother in the WB’s Smallville and the adoptive mother of Kara Danvers in The CW’s Supergirl.(Interesting aside: Supergirl (1984) is canon with the Christopher Reeves run. The movies share Marc McClure’s Jimmy Olsen, and Reeves’s Superman appears on a poster in the film.)Sheena (1984)Image via Columbia.Here’s another one to ask your dad about. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was the first female character to have her own comic book title — debuting on racks in 1937 — just a couple of years before Wonder Woman was introduced to the world.The film adaptation bounced around studios for several years, struggling to get made — even with big-time names like Raquel Welch and Bo Derek attached to the starring role. Eventually, ex-Charlie’s Angel (and future Bond girl) Tanya Roberts was cast in the production.In a quote Wikipedia sourced from a broken link to the LA Times, producer Paul Aratow explained his reasons for never giving up on his quest to bring Sheena to theaters: “Girls today need superheroes. And I want Sheena to be that superhero. I also want Sheena to be a character that parents will want to send their kids to see, and the type of picture that parents can go see with their children.”It seems, however, Aratow fell short of his goals (skip to 6:25).Red Sonja (1985)Image via MGM.Here’s your Red Sonja movie summary: Swords. Sorcery. A talisman. Castles. Sex. Someone probably transforms into a snake-priest at some point — I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.Instead of digging into the story told in this movie, let’s look at a story about the movie called A Tale of Two Sonyas/Sonjas (and One Arnold). It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. (It was the ’80s, so it was the worst of times.) Please try to follow along.Author Robert E. Howard created the character Red Sonya in 1934. (Red Sonya is a 16th-century woman who fights Turks.) Howard also created Conan the Barbarian in 1934. Conan the Barbarian is a Hyborian-Age man who fights transforming snake-priests (probably). Red Sonya has nothing to do with Conan the Barbarian — though Red Sonja really does.Image via MGM.The comic book character, Red Sonja, was created by Roy Thomas. She first appeared in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian series in 1973 with Robert E. Howard’s creations Conan the Barbarian and the Hyborian Age.Conan the Barbarian (the movie) is set in the Hyborian Age. It hit theaters in 1982, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. The sequel, Conan the Destroyer, is also set in the Hyborian Age. It hit theaters in 1984, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian Destroyer.The movie Red Sonja is also set in the Hyborian Age. It hit theaters in 1985, starring Brigitte Nielsen as Red Sonja.It also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Hyborian-Age warrior Conan the Barbarian Destroyer King Lord Kalidor, who may or may not be a transforming snake-priest but who is definitely not Conan the Whatever or might very well be actually.Howard the Duck (1986)Image via Universal.The first Marvel movie. Produced by George Lucas, just two years after Return of the Jedi. Visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic. Lea Thompson as the female lead, fresh off the success of Back to the Future. A popular, counter-culture character, whose edgy adventures were sharp exercises in satire and parody. What could go wrong?Everything. Just, so much of everything.Howard the Duck is one of the most famous flops in Hollywood history. Its problems are myriad. Shockingly, one of the problems isn’t that the main character is an anthropomorphic duck. In fact, Howard was a beloved fixture of ’70s pop culture — prominent enough to get threatened by Disney’s legal department due to Howard’s Donald Duck-like appearance.Perhaps the greatest problem was that the minds behind the movie were unconcerned with the very essence of what people loved about the comic books.Image via Universal.Co-creator Steve Gerber describes the existential heart of the comic he wrote: “There is no joke! There it is. The cosmic giggle. The funniest gag in the universe. That life’s most serious moments, and most incredibly dumb moments, are often distinguishable only by a momentary point of view. Anyone who doesn’t believe this probably cannot enjoy reading Howard the Duck.”The film’s screenwriter, Gloria Katz, felt differently: “It’s a film about a duck from outer space . . . It’s not supposed to be an existential experience.”The movie was marketed as a family-friendly, light-hearted romp, full of duck puns and wackiness. Fans of the comic book stayed away on opening day — and every day after — disappointed that the movie had strayed so far from the decidedly non-family-friendly source material.The $37 million production made just over $16 million. Marvel didn’t allow another film adaptation until 2002’s Spiderman, and director Willard Hyuck never helmed a feature film again. Frank Price, head of Universal’s motion picture group, was forced to resign (leading to the legendary Variety headline, “Duck Cooks Price’s Goose”).Additionally, George Lucas ended up in debt and was forced to sell off Lucasfilm’s upstart computer animation division to Steve Jobs — who turned it into an independent company called Pixar.Howard the Duck himself is doing okay in 2019. He’s an official part of the Marvel cinematic universe, having appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy — and its sequel — and there’s no reason to think he won’t appear on the big screen again.After all, he didn’t just survive one of the greatest film disasters of all time — he also survived the snap.Cover image via Red Sonja (MGM).Looking for more on the film and video industry? Check out these articles.The Cameras Behind Netflix Originals: Films and SeriesSpring and Summer Scares: 5 Highly Anticipated Horror FilmsThe Cameras and Lenses Behind HBO’s Original SeriesThe Secrets Behind Apollo 11’s Success Are a Story All Their OwnTom Cross on Editing First Man and Working with IMAX Footagelast_img read more

Four more get bail in Kotkhai school girl rape and murder case

first_imgFive persons arrested for their alleged involvement in the Kotkhai schoolgirl rape and murder case were released on bail  by the the District and Sessions Court here on Tuesday. The court granted bail to the accused after the CBI failed to produce a charge sheet even after 90 days of their police and judicial custody. The accused should furnish a bail bond of Rs one lakh each within a week.One of the accused Ashish Chauhan was given the bail on Monday on the similar grounds. The four accused who were released today belonged to Uttarakhand and Nepal. They were arrested after the heinous murder and rape of a class 10 student of Kotkhai in anterior Shimla in the month of July. One of the accused, Suraj a Nepalese died suspiciously in the police custody on July 19 and the local police blamed a co-accused Rajender Singh for killing him.But interestingly when the case was handed over to the CBI at the instance of High Court, the premier agency found the involvement of the Himachal Police in the prison death.Eight policemen including an IG Police, Zahur H Zaidi have been named and have been sent into a judicial remand. The designated CBI Court had extended their remand by two more weeks on Monday. These police officers were part of a special investigative team constituted by the State Police to probe the rape and murder case. The police officials who were arrested on August 29 are presently lodged in the Kanda Jail near Shimla.Since the beginning the local villagers are doubting the involvement of some well connected youth of the area in this case and not the outsider Nepalese and Uttarakhand labourers. Mass protests were held in Kotkhai, Theog and Shimla against the wrong arrests by the Police and the involvement of Police itself in the custodial death.last_img read more

1,070 new courts for women and children from October 2: Ravi Shankar Prasad

first_imgThe Union Law and Justice Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday announced that on Gandhi Jayanti, 1,070 special courts will be set up all over the country to try sexual offences against women and children. Mr. Prasad was speaking on, “Law reforms by Modi government for New India” at the Convocation Hall, Mumbai University. He opened his speech by saying, “our government’s fundamental philosophy is reform and perform in order to transform and this is done in a democratic manner through legal processes.”He said, the first thing the government did after coming to power was to weed out 1,486 old archaic laws and brought out far reaching amendments in the Consumer Protection Act and the Medical Council Act. Apart from setting up special courts on October 2 this year, he said a tax reform will be brought where “no tax officer shall send any notice directly. It has to be sent to a designated booth which will consider all the records and based on random sampling and application of mind the notice shall be sent out.” He added, “to deal with prosecution for delay in paying taxes, the government has come with a helping hand” and said, “for delay of upto ₹ 25 lakh, there will be no prosecution and it will go to a collegium of two chief commissioners who will examine the matter and on the basis of what they say, action will be taken.”A designated senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Mr. Prasad said, “when we came to power, total income tax payers in 2013-2014, it was 3.82 crores and in 2017-2018, it was 6.86 crores.” He added, as far as tax collection is concerned, “it was ₹6.38 lakh crores in 2013-2014 and ₹10.02 lakh crores in 2017-2018.”On appointment of judges, he said, “we appointed, 126 high court judges in 2016, in 2017 – 115 in the year 2018 – 108 and till now in 2019, 38 judges. Since 1989, he said the average appointment of judges was 72 to 82 per year, and our record is 110 and above.”Addressing the law students present at the gathering, Mr. Prasad said, “I am very keen to establish All Indian Judicial Services. We have the finest minds from National Law Universities and they must get selected, like the Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Services, Indian Foreign Services, we must also have Indian Judicial Services.”An MP from Patna, Mr. Prasad spoke about triple talaq and called it “inhuman, barbaric and unconstitutional”. He also touched upon the abrogation of Article 370 and said now 153 laws are applicable to Jammu & Kashmir.last_img read more

Folayang to defend ONE title vs Nguyen at MOA Arena

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’ PLAY LIST 02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’00:50Trending Articles02:03MMA legends gather in Tokyo for historic ONE: New Era fight week01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa FILE – ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at Mall of Asia Arena last April 21. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang is set to defend his world title against reigning ONE Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen in a champion-versus-champion main event of ONE: Legends of the World on November 10 at Mall of Asia Arena.The 32-year-old Folayang (18-5) is embracing his latest the challenge after disposing of Ev Ting last April.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong Citycenter_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ The 28-year-old Nguyen (9-1) is currently on a five-match winning streak and the Australian is motivated to become a two-division champion in the promotion.“New Year will be coming early this year, because in this fight there will definitely be fireworks. I’m out not only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner,” he said.Other fights featuring Filipino fighters are still expected to be announced in the coming weeks.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Irving confirms he did not talk to LeBron about trade request: ‘Why would I have to?’ Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president “As a martial artist, I am constantly in search of the biggest challenges, the biggest tests of my skills. As champion, I welcome any and all challengers and Martin is one of the best in the world and it is an honor to share the ONE Championship cage with him,” said the Team Lakay stalwart.But what excites Folayang more for the fight is to showcase his talents in front of his countrymen anew.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHis first title defense against Ting was also held at MOA Arena.“This bout is for the fans and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again. I have complete respect for my opponent’s skills and together with my brothers at Team Lakay, my coach Mark Sangiao, I’m preparing to showcase the best version of Eduard Folayang on 10 November.”last_img read more

NBA changes All-Star Game format; captains will pick teams

first_imgStephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors jumps for a rebound with Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks during 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — The NBA is scrapping the East vs. West format for its All-Star Game and will have captains pick teams this season.The league said Tuesday the two starters with the highest fan vote totals from each conference will choose teams from the pool of players who were voted as starters and reserves.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong Citycenter_img The 10 starters will continue to be chosen by a combination of fan, player and media balloting, with the coaches from each conference then selecting the 14 reserves. The captains will then draft their teams at an undetermined time — making certain that those chosen starters are split up so they remain starters.The teams will play for charity. They will select either a Los Angeles-area or national organization for donations to go. Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Archers still seeking old form The change will begin with this season’s game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.Players and league officials have been eager to inject new interest in the often defense-absent game, and they decided to act after another dull affair last February in New Orleans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us,” National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in LA.”The sides worked closely — with Charlotte owner Michael Jordan, chairman of the league’s Labor Relations Committee, heavily involved in the conversations — and chose a format that has been used by the NFL and NHL for what will be the first NBA All-Star Game that doesn’t pit the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READlast_img read more

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS a head turner on road

first_imgBajaj Pulsar 200NS is a definite head turner on the road since it was launched in January 2012. Weighing 145kg, this machine from the Bajaj Auto has most of its mass concentrated at the centre presenting the bike with superb handling and cornering abilites.The new Pulsar NS is priced at Rs 85,000 (ex-show room, Delhi).According to reports, the motor pumps out 23.52PS of power at 9,500rpm and 18.3Nm of torque at 8000rpm. The new Pulsar, with a large 33mm carburetor and new 6-speed gearbox, is capable of reaching 100km/h from a standstill in less than 10 seconds and can reach speeds in excess of 140km/h.The 200 NS is fitted with petal disc brakes on both front and rear (280mm front and 230mm rear with floating callipers). The Bybre (Brembo’s proprietary brakes for bikes under 600cc) brakes are very efficient and can bring the heavy bike (145kgs at the kerb) to a standstill from higher speeds.  The perimeter frame and its twin steel spars, side-cowls and knee-recesses incorporate the same muscular design philosophy, with neat cuts and sharp lines. The rear is the same old tapering design with the two LED-strip tail lamps. The Pulsar sports a Nitrox Mono Suspension at the rear (with a piggy-back Nitrox canister usually seen on older Pulsars rear shocks). The wide tyres give the Pulsar 200NS a further aggressive look. With Agency inputslast_img read more

Hardik Pandya eyes India comeback in ODI series against Australia

first_imgHardik Pandya is eyeing a comeback into the national side for the one day international series against Australia in the New Year. India will play a three-match ODI series from January 12-18.Pandya suffered a lower-back injury during India’s match against Pakistan at the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates in September.Pandya had to be carried off on a stretcher after falling down in his delivery stride after bowling the fifth ball of his fourth over.The injury ruled him out of the tournament that India went on to win for the seventh time.”I’m trying hard to be fit for the ODI series against Australia to start in January 2019. To get back to full fitness, I’m going through rigorous bowling sessions in Mumbai. I have just started bowling after 60 days. Once I bowl a few overs in the ODIs, I think I should be on the right track,” Pandya was quoted as saying by the Times of India.The 25-year-old was recently seen smoking at Sakshi Dhoni’s birthday bash at the weekend.Next day, he posted a couple of videos on Twitter sweating at nets.”Focused and determined! Feels good to be bowling after 60 days, on my road to recovery,” Pandya tweeted.Focused and determined! Feels good to be bowling after 60 days, on my road to recovery pic.twitter.com/D5moHZKVfdhardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 19, 2018″Finding my form with the bat, slowly but surely.”Finding my form with the bat, slowly but surely pic.twitter.com/SjtAI7k8g5advertisementhardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 20, 2018The all-rounder is a key member of the Indian side and the team management would hope for him to recover in time for the ODIs in January.In Hardik’s absence, his elder brother Krunal Pandya is making the most of the opportunities in the national side.After a good debut against the Windies in the T20Is, Krunal was also picked for the T20 series in Australia.In the first game, Krunal became the third most expensive Indian bowler in a T20I match as he finished with none for 55 from his four overs against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane.”I am very happy to see Krunal is representing the country Down Under,” Hardik said.Hardik has played 11 Tests, 42 ODIs and 35 T20s for India so far.last_img read more

Hazard: De Bruyne best in the Premier League

first_imgPremier League De Bruyne the best in the Premier League, says Hazard Dom Farrell Last updated 2 years ago 03:42 11/10/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) EdenHazardKevinDeBruyne - cropped Getty Images Premier League Kevin De Bruyne Belgium v Mexico Belgium v Japan Leicester City v Manchester City Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid Japan Belgium Mexico Real Madrid Manchester City Friendlies Primera División Eden Hazard Zinédine Zidane The Chelsea forward concedes he has to fall into line behind his Belgium team-mate at the moment Eden Hazard has declared Belgium colleague Kevin De Bruyne to be the best player in the Premier League.Chelsea playmaker Hazard scooped the PFA and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards for his displays during the 2014-15 season and also inspired Antonio Conte’s side to Premier League glory last time around.Man City 3-1 Leicester 9/1 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Manchester City are leading the charge to dethrone Chelsea this season and De Bruyne has been their standout performer with a series of impeccable midfield performances.Speaking ahead of Belgium’s friendly at home to Mexico on Friday, Hazard was quick to concede his compatriot is currently number one in England’s top flight.”Kevin is definitely the best player in the Premier League at the moment,” he said.”City are the best Premier League team and Kevin is an important player in [Pep] Guardiola’s system.”It’s easy to play with Kevin because we’re good players.”Hazard’s start to the current campaign was delayed as he completed rehabilitation following a fractured ankle suffered on international duty in June.What dreams are made of#RoadToRussia #HereToCreate@hazardeden10@adidasfootball pic.twitter.com/c3QRd78sTu— BelgianRedDevils (@BelRedDevils) November 6, 2017Although the 26-year-old feels back to his best – his excellent display during last weekend’s 1-0 win over Manchester United would add weight to that view – he was realistic over his likely workload during this round of internationals, with Japan facing Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils next week.”Will I play both games? It would be silly to play 90 minutes twice but I still want to play,” he said.”Personally I feel good. There is no apprehension related to my return from injury.”I am already at the top but I still hope to improve.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Egypt confirm Salah will be fit for World Cup

first_imgWorld Cup Salah fit for World Cup as Egypt confirm three-week injury absence Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 23:54 5/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2017-18 Getty Images World Cup Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt Premier League It was feared that the Liverpool forward could miss out altogether on a global showpiece, but it is hoped he will play some part in the group stage The Egyptian Football Association has revealed that Mohamed Salah’s absence through injury will “not exceed three weeks”, meaning that the Liverpool forward will play some part at World Cup 2018.After being forced to leave the Champions League final in tears , fears were immediately raised as to the 25-year-old’s possible participation at a global showpiece in Russia this summer.Various timescales have been put on Salah’s recovery, although the man himself was quick to declare himself “confident” that he would be ready for international duty as the furore surrounding an untimely knock swirled around him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Hani Abo Rida, president of the Egyptian FA, has now confirmed that a talismanic presence for the Pharaohs will need three weeks in which to recover full fitness, with it possible that he could play some part in the group stage for Hector Cuper’s side.A statement released by the EFA on their official social media channels read: “After the meeting of Abo Rida and the doctor of the national team in Spain today, the Football Association reaffirms that, God willing, Salah’s absence at the World Cup will not exceed three weeks.”Salah is currently in Spain to undergo treatment on a shoulder problem.He faces a race against time to recover full fitness in time to feature for Egypt at their first World Cup finals since 1990.Their 2018 campaign is due to get underway against Uruguay on June 15 , with Salah seemingly destined to sit out that encounter.He may come back into contention for a meeting with hosts Russia on June 19, while Egypt will be hoping there is still something riding on a clash with Saudi Arabia on June 25 if their star frontman is to be unavailable until then.Mohamed Salah World Cup CartoonThey are desperate to get Salah involved in their plans after seeing him net 44 times across a remarkable 2017-18 campaign with Liverpool.Those exploits landed him the Premier League Golden Boot and PFA Player of the Year award, among countless other prizes, with a standing now established as a global superstar.His popularity has surged inside and outside of Egypt, with the current struggles of a national icon seeing some extreme measures taken by his most loyal followers.A petition calling for Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to face punishment for the arm grab which caused Salah’s injury has passed 500,000 signatures, while an Egyptian lawyer has filed a €1 billion (£873m/$1.2bn) lawsuit against the Blancos defender .last_img read more

Iowa Commit Has A Giant Recruiting Bump

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p The site’s David Eickholt and Allen Trieu reveal how Richman’s reputation has taken off the way it has:At the end of May, offensive lineman Mason Richman was ranked 2,110th in the country. After earning an Iowa offer, talking to those close to him, analyzing film and more– Richman is now a four-star prospect by 247Sports. The 6-foot-6 260-pounder out of Kansas is now ranked 248th in the country and the 22nd best offensive tackle in the country.“Mason is a really good athlete at his size,” 247Sports Midwest Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu said of Richman when he committed. “I think we wondered if he was twitchy enough as a defensive end, hence his ranking was held back some. Once we evaluated him as an offensive tackle though, his growth potential and explosive qualities speak to a kid who could be really good there. I am hoping his senior film shows as glimpses of him at that position because he could be a rankings riser if so.”The composite rankings now have Richman as a three-star, and up to No. 545 overall. It isn’t as stark as the 247 site rankings jump, but the composite is also predicated on Rivals and ESPN, which haven’t given Richman the same huge bump.Iowa has often thrived with undervalued recruits, and was clearly ahead of the game on Richman. The 2020 Hawkeyes class is shaping up to be one of Kirk Ferentz’s best.The 22-player class is ranked No. 21 overall and fourth in the Big Ten.[247Sports] A group of Iowa Hawkeyes football helmets.WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – NOVEMBER 03: General view of Iowa Hawkeyes helmets are seen during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 3, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)247Sports recently adjusted its recruiting rankings for the 2020 class, which has vaulted a number of major recruits. Few have seen an ascent like Iowa pledge Mason Richman.Just a few months ago, Richman was an uncommitted three-star lineman, ranked down in the 2000s. That is certainly nothing to scoff at, plenty of productive players and stars come from rankings like that, but it doesn’t have the flash of a blue-chip recruit.He has steadily made his way up the rankings since then. In June, his commitment to Iowa brought his status as a recruit into new light.With the new 247Sports update, Mason Richman has been shot up to a four-star ranked in the top 250 in the site’s rankings.247’s individual rankings now have him at No. 248 overall. He’s the No. 2 recruit in Kansas, and the No. 22 offensive tackle.last_img read more

Maya says BSP will fight all polls alone gets flak from SP

first_imgLucknow: BSP president Mayawati on Monday declared her party in the future will contest all elections “small and big” on its own, signalling the end of the much-discussed Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party alliance forged for the Lok Sabha polls.Hours after Mayawati announced her plans of going solo in future elections in a series of tweets, a senior SP leader accused her of “weakening” the fight for social justice. Her announcement came a day after she held a meeting with party workers to take stock of BSP’s performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France”Everyone is aware that forgetting everything of the past as also the anti-BSP and anti-Dalit decisions like reservation in promotions and bad law and order during the SP rule in 2012-2017, BSP adhered to the ‘gathbandhan dharma’ with the Samajwadi Party in the interest of the country,” she tweeted in Hindi. “But the SP’s attitude after the elections has forced the BSP to think, will it be possible to defeat the BJP in the future? This is not possible,” she said. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize”Therefore, in the interest of the party and the movement, the party will contest all small and big elections on its own strength,” Mayawati added. She did not elaborate on what she meant by the SP’s attitude. Soon afterwards, SP national general secretary Ramashankar Vidyarthi told journalists in Balia that Mayawati was speaking against the SP in haste because of the Dalit support to his party and its leader Akhilesh Yadav. The BSP entered into an electoral alliance with Akhilesh Yadav-led SP and the Chaudhary Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls. The alliance, however, failed to live up to the hype in the politically crucial state. While the BSP managed to win 10 seats, the SP got five seats and the RLD drew a blank. See P5last_img read more

Four criminals nabbed after two separate encounters

first_imgGreater Noida: Four criminals were arrested by Gautam Buddh Nagar police in two separate gunfights from Dadri area of Greater Noida on Wednesday and Thursday night. Cops said that these accused were wanted in an armed robbery at a garment showroom in Dadri area, earlier in the week.According to police, the arrested accused were identified as Rajeev Sharma, Rahul Kashyap, Gaurav, all natives of Bulandshahr district and Lokesh alias Rocky of Dankaur area in Greater Noida. “All the accused were wanted in two sensational robbery incidents which occurred Dadri area. A reward of Rs 25, 000 each on their head was also declared on these criminals,” said police officials. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderKumar Ranvijay Singh, Superintendent of Police (rural), Gautam Buddh Nagar said that two criminals were arrested after an gun battle on Wednesday night while the other two criminals were arrested on Thursday night. “Acting on a tip-off about the movement of criminals, police intercepted these four accused travelling on two motorcycles near Shefali school in dadri area on Wednesday night. The criminals opened fire on police party and tried to flee. However, police had to retaliate and two criminals, identified as Rajiv and Rahul, were nabbed by police after a gunfight. The other two criminals managed to flee the spot, however, police interrogated the arrested accused who told us about the whereabouts of their accomplices. Later on Thursday night, police successfully nabbed Lokesh and Gaurav from near Bisahda flyover after a brief exchange of fire,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe officer further said that these criminals were wanted in two sensational robbery incident other than several cases of heinous crimes. “All these four criminals holds a long criminal history. The accused had shot at man and robbed him with his laptop and cash in Dadri area earlier in the months of April. Later the gang had also committed robbery at Cobb garments showroom in Dadri area on August 1,” added Singh. Police have recovered Rs 19,000 cash, three illegal country made pistols along with few cases of lives ammunition and two two-wheelers from the possession of the accused persons.last_img read more

Jallianwala Bagh massacre centenary Rahul Amarinder pay floral tributes

first_imgAmritsar: Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh paid floral tributes at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial here on Saturday to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Gandhi, Singh, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, accompanied by some other Congress leaders, paid floral tributes at the memorial inside the Jallianwala Bagh in the morning. They also observed a two-minute silence to remember those who were massacred in the tragic incident on April 13, 1919. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Gandhi arrived at Amritsar late on Friday night. Upon his arrival, the Congress chief, accompanied by Singh, went straight to the Golden Temple here and paid obeisance. Singh and Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore had also taken part in a candlelight march on the eve of the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on Friday evening as part of the various events organised by the Punjab government to mark the historic occasion. Singh had termed the tragic event as a heart-wrenching moment in India’s history. The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival in April 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Dyer opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving several dead and scores injured.last_img read more

Skeptical Football Goatslingers Manning vs Messi And The Andrew Luck Experiment

In last week’s column, I pointed out the importance of teams’ early records when trying to predict their playoff fates. This prompted a few skeptical tweets, like so:This tweeter is obviously right. The first few games of the season are predictive in part because losing games makes it harder to make the playoffs, and in part because they tell us something about the strength of the teams that lost them.That said, “Correlation is not causation” is what I like to call The Hammer to end arguments against all kinds of statistical findings. People use it to bash anything, but it’s blunt and dangerous.1Every time someone uses The Hammer on me, a puppy loses its wings.The artist and writer Randall Munroe took on The Hammer in xkcd:In the alt text of that comic, he hits the nail on the head: “Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing ‘look over there.’”Let’s break down an example2Rookie Quarterback Watch has pretty much devolved into “How Bad Will the QBs Ahead of Rookie QBs Get Before the Rookie QBs Get to Start?” Watch.: Last week I observed that quarterbacks who (A) start more games in their rookie seasons (B) tend to have better careers. What does this observation imply?There are several possibilities:Starting rookies causes them to have better careers (A causes B).The types of rookies who are likely to have better careers are more likely to earn a rookie starting spot (B causes A).Rookies who are drafted higher are more likely to get starts, and are also more likely to have better careers (something else — call it C — causes both A and B).This is all just a coincidence and we should go home.Some combination of the above.That covers a lot of bases, but by making the observation, Nos. 1 through 3 become more likely than they were before. In this case, it’s fairly easy to establish that the relationship between A and B (rookie starts and non-rookie career AV) exists even when controlling for C (draft position).Following the observation that A and B are correlated, basically any possible state of the universe in which A and B are causally related has become more likely. For a Bayesian, determining which possibilities have seen their likelihood change the most involves consulting his prior beliefs, establishing which possibilities were the most likely before his new observation, and how likely the observation would be if each possibility were true. This leads to an updated set of beliefs about the likelihood of each scenario, which becomes the baseline for evaluating new observations, and so on.Charitably, “correlation ≠ causation” itself is a kind of limited Bayesian analysis. When people use it, they often mean simply that the “A causes B” scenario still doesn’t seem very likely to them, and thus they think other explanations are more likely. This is the case for most popular statistics examples, like the fact that lemon imports correlate negatively with highway fatality. That lemons are somehow preventing accidents is obviously ridiculous, so it doesn’t matter how strong the correlation is: It’s either a coincidence or we’re going to need other explanations.3I should note that for a true Bayesian, the odds that lemon imports actually do reduce highway fatality has still increased on the margins.But the idea that rookies playing could help them develop is not ridiculous — it’s highly debatable. After observing the relationship between rookie QB starts and career success (plus controlling for draft position), I must conclude that playing rookies is more likely to be good for their careers than I thought before, barring any other evidence. But that doesn’t mean it’s true. The alternative (or concurrent) explanation is also plausible: If coaches are good at determining which rookie QBs are actually good, and then tend to start the better ones, it’s still possible that starting them has a neutral (or even negative) effect on their careers individually. Regardless of which explanation is true, the observation remains the same: a rookie QB getting the start is good news for his prospects.Charts of the weekAaron Rodgers had his ups and downs against the Jets last week:I jest, of course. Rodgers brilliantly brought the Packers back from a 21-3 hole, but the comeback was complete by the end of the third quarter.This was Rodgers’s first-ever win after being down 15 points or more4I picked this number because it’s the smallest margin which Rodgers has never overcome, but as a separate and interesting point, I’ve found that 15-16 point margins, while technically “two scores” because they can be reached with two touchdowns plus two point conversions, actually act more like three score margins (17) than two score margins (14). against an opponent — though it was only his 12th opportunity. Here’s how he stacks up against other QBs since 2001 in comparable situations:Whoa, Peyton Manning! Forget Rodgers, Manning is the story here. But, it’s only 10 wins. Crazy things happen right? Let’s widen the scope, taking a look at all games in which a player’s team trailed by eight or more points, rather than just 15 or more:Peyton Manning is a practically Messi-esque outlier, complete with his own Cristiano Ronaldo to keep him company.Goatslinger of the weekThis was a tough week for gunslingers, as QBs who threw interceptions went 1-14, most of those games weren’t that close, and many of the interceptions were terrible. (Our nominal winner: Matt Ryan, whose three interceptions were at least all thrown downfield while his team was trailing.)So I’ve invented a new (hopefully temporary) award of ignominy: the Goatslinger.Andrew Luck, last week’s Gunslinger, is a contender for Goatslinger this week. With just 5:15 left, up seven against the Philadelphia Eagles, and already in field goal range, he threw an interception to Malcolm Jenkins. Plays like that give gamblers a bad name!But the top Goatslinger was Colin Kaepernick for his amazing effort to throw away San Francisco’s win against Chicago. He managed four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble), three of them with his team up, including the interception up 20-14 in the fourth quarter that led to Chicago’s game-deciding touchdown.Twitter question of the week, Part 1I had two interesting questions on Twitter this week related to the timing and length of drives. First up:The answer is essentially “none,” or that there ends up being even less scoring in these scenarios. But the question is deceptively interesting. It’s also a fun vehicle for exploring the relationship between turnover rates and scoring/touchdown rates.In general, teams score more per drive when they are behind, but are also more likely to turn the ball over. I’ve broken down drives by quarter and point margin (tied, up or down 1-3 points, 4-7 points, 8-14 points, and 15 points or more) and compared how often the drives resulted in touchdowns to how often they resulted in turnovers.5To pre-empt a question I will almost certainly get despite this attempt to pre-empt it: Yes, obviously a lot more can happen on drives than just touchdowns or turnovers. For example, drives that end in field goal attempts count as neither, even though they may lead to points. This matters in situations where there’s no time for a touchdown, or where a team only cares about the three points. But we’ve excluded a lot of those situations by filtering out the last two minutes of each half. It’s also possible to do the same analysis on a points-per-drive, or even “expected points added” basis, but the results are similar. Considering the implications are the same, I prefer the symmetry and ease of interpreting touchdowns vs. turnovers. This gives us a sense of the trade-off between the two.Think of a drive when the game is tied in the first quarter as a kind of baseline: If a team starts at least 70 yards out, 15.5 percent of such drives will end in TDs, and 12.5 percent will end in turnovers. Compare that to the situation where teams are most aggressive: when they’re down 8-14 points in the fourth quarter. In those scenarios they score touchdowns 21.2 percent of the time and turn it over at a 27.5 percent clip.As teams play more aggressively, their chances of scoring go up, but so do their chances of turning the ball over. You can think of the ratio between these chances as the “price” of marginal scoring. For example, increasing your chances of scoring a touchdown by 1 percent requires increasing your chances of turning the ball over by up to 2 percent.6I should note that this exchange rate is likely skewed a little by the fact that worse teams tend to be behind more. I’m working on deskewing this to get a more exact comparison for a future project. In some situations, that’s a price you’re willing to pay (such as when you’re behind and stalled drives are pretty much just as bad), and in some it’s not.Understanding this trade-off is useful in analyzing a whole range of things in football, and my study of it is ongoing. But in the meantime, we can use our immediate findings to look at the situations our tweeter asked about and see what’s going on there.Before the half, it’s apparent that teams are extremely willing to settle for the points they have. With between one and two minutes on the clock in the second quarter, teams score touchdowns on 7 percent of their drives and turn the ball over on 12.9 percent. These are both lower than our baseline, so they’re definitely being conservative. It’s unclear what effect more aggression would have.With between one and two minutes on the clock at the end of the fourth quarter in games separated by between four and eight points, teams score touchdowns on 15.3 percent of drives, and turn the ball over on 42.1 percent of them. This is interesting because they spend a large number of turnovers on a completely average number of touchdowns. I think this reflects time pressure, but it could also suggest that true last-ditch “prevent” defenses may be pretty effective.Twitter question of the week, Part 2The simple answer is: Absolutely, a drive that eats up clock is valuable — when a team is ahead and wants to shorten the game. But shortening the game can also be useful when one team is a lot worse than the other.Imagine trading 100 drives with a team led by Peyton Manning, the Chiefs’ opponent in Week 2. Manning scores more per drive than anyone, and his accumulated points scored over 100 of them would be impossible for all but the best teams to overcome. Say the difference between your team and Manning’s was that Manning’s was one point per drive better — in a 100-drive game, your team would have to run 100 points above expectation to have a fighting chance. Statistically, that’s virtually impossible.7A team’s standard deviation on points scored over 100 drives is only 10 times the standard deviation of points scored for a single drive, so it can’t be more than 35, which would make a 100-point swing a three-standard-deviation event.But if each team got only one drive, yours would win every time it scored and Manning’s didn’t. That’s orders of magnitude more likely.This was pretty much exactly what happened with the Chiefs against the Broncos. The Chiefs had two extremely long drives in the second half: The first came at the start of the third quarter, lasted 10 minutes, and ended with a missed 37-yard field goal. The second came at the start of the fourth quarter, lasted 7:42, and ended with a Chiefs TD that drew them within four and set up a potential game-winning drive after Manning failed to score. As a result, Manning had only two meaningful possessions in the entire second half. Down 11 points, the Chiefs needed to score twice in their three possessions and have Denver score none in their two to win. Given the circumstances, those aren’t terrible odds.But let’s focus on their second drive at the very beginning of the fourth. It’s extremely risky to draw up a drive that lasts that long when down 11, as the end of the game quickly approaches. But leaving that aside, they did score a TD in a supposedly back-breaking fashion. Are such TDs any more valuable than regular TDs in similar situations?Using play-by-play data from ESPN, I looked back at all touchdown-scoring drives starting in the third quarter8I excluded the fourth quarter to minimize end-of-game effect. since 2001 in which a team was down 11-13 points at the start. I was kind of surprised by the results:The sample sizes on these aren’t very big (it’s only 107 cases total, and the most likely drive is right around the middle), but teams have won nine of 19 cases (47 percent) in which their scoring drives lasted longer than three minutes. That’s a pretty big number for being down, and it’s way higher than the 20 percent teams won after scoring on more normal drives. Why and if that’s significant, I don’t know, but it certainly leaves open the possibility that long drives like that may indicate/affect something larger.The Hacker Gods read FiveThirtyEightAs we all know, the Hacker Gods — who probably created this universe, by accident, while simulating a fourth-dimensional supernova — obviously read FiveThirtyEight. Last week they appeared to enjoy bolstering my analysis of Philip Rivers, but this week they are trying to undo me.Aaron Rodgers, whom I previously criticized for playing too conservatively (especially when behind), somehow brought the Packers back from 18 down against the Jets, earning the first 15+ point comeback victory of his career.Last week I talked up the majesty of gambling even if it risks an interception, but in Week 2 quarterbacks who threw one or more interceptions went 1-14.The only INT-throwing QB to win was Nick Foles against the Colts, but he won in part because inaugural Gunslinger of the Week Andrew Luck basically gave the game away by throwing his own INT with his team up seven and in field goal range in the fourth (suffice to say, that is a terrible spot to gamble).Experimental chart of the weekInspired by the Aaron Rodgers comeback, I asked on Twitter who people would want leading their team if it was down 15 or more points. Andrew Luck won the straw poll by a landslide with 47 percent of the votes, versus 20 percent for Peyton Manning. (Turnout was poor.9Only 15 votes total.)From the Charts of the Week above, this might seem pretty silly. For the most part, it is: Manning has won a higher percentage of games in which he has been down by 15 points than Luck, over a lot more games, even though it seems Luck has been on a tear for a couple of years. Impressive, but Manning has been down 15 much less often than Luck.This chart plots the percentage of 15-point comeback opportunities won vs. how often those opportunities have come up. I’ve also represented the total number of games, the number of comeback opportunities, and the number of successful comebacks as concentric circles, and plotted like so:Manning is even more impressive relative to Brady/Rodgers, but Luck managing to win in 3 of just 13 tries despite being on a team that ends up in that spot 36 percent of the time isn’t too shabby (the other data point near Luck at 20 percent is Matthew Stafford). If he can keep that up for another decade or so, he might just be a worthy successor to Manning.Most empirically significant game of Week 3If I could only watch one game, obviously it would be the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl rematch. But there is probably nothing that could happen in that game that would surprise me.Minnesota at New Orleans, on the other hand, holds some mystery. It may have even more empirical effect on Peyton Manning’s legacy than Manning’s own game: Every game that Matt Cassel bombs is more evidence that Bill Belichick has more to do with Tom Brady’s success than Tom Brady (because then it’s more likely that Cassel’s/Brady’s success in New England was because of Belichick), that Randy Moss is likely responsible for much of Brady’s (and Cassel’s) statistical accomplishment, and thus that Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of this generation.Charts by Reuben Fischer-BaumCORRECTION (Sept. 18, 1:50 p.m.): This article originally misstated the time and recipient of Andrew Luck’s interception in the Colts’ game against the Eagles. Luck threw the interception with 5:15, not 5:32, left in the fourth quarter and Malcolm Jenkins, not Rahim Moore, intercepted it. read more

Former diplomat expelled from UK over rape allegations

Officials said in the case of the rape allegations, the embassy involved was so small that identifying the nationality could result in inaccurate speculation about other mission staffCredit:Prisma by Dukas/Universal Images Group Editorial Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Foreign Office also revealed three allegations of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime between 2009 and 2013, made against a former Cameroonian diplomat and two locally employed members of staff at the African country’s High Commission, which were not previously made public because they were still under investigation.Other allegations relating to 2017 included one report of sexual assault involving an individual representing Algeria, one of blackmail (Egypt) and one possession of a firearm with intent to injure (Cambodia). A foreign diplomat was expelled from the UK after allegations of two rapes and one attempted rape, the Foreign Office has revealed.The individual involved and the country represented have not been identified.The Foreign Office said that the diplomat – who also faced an allegation of malicious communication – was thrown out of the UK after the country involved rejected a request for immunity to be waived in the case.The allegations were among 12 serious or significant offences allegedly committed by people entitled to diplomatic immunity in 2017.Nationalities – but not identities – of diplomats facing criminal allegations are normally made public in the round-up of cases released annually by the Foreign Office (FCO).But officials said that in the case of the rape allegations, the embassy involved is so small that identifying the nationality could result in inaccurate speculation about other mission staff. Officials from the Austrian embassy and Commonwealth Secretariat were accused of drink-driving, a representative of Sierra Leone of driving without insurance or a licence and individuals from the Finnish and Saudi Arabian missions of driving without insurance.Revealing the cases in a written parliamentary statement, the Foreign Office said: “Around 23,000 people are entitled to diplomatic immunity in the UK and the majority of diplomats and dependants abide by UK law. The number of alleged serious crimes committed by members of the diplomatic community in the UK is proportionately low.”Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, we expect those entitled to immunity to obey the law. The FCO does not tolerate foreign diplomats breaking the law.”We take all allegations of illegal activity seriously. When the police bring instances of alleged criminal conduct to our attention, we ask the relevant foreign government to waive diplomatic immunity where appropriate.”For the most serious offences, and when a relevant waiver has not been granted, we request the immediate withdrawal of the diplomat.” Officials said in the case of the rape allegations, the embassy involved was so small that identifying the nationality could result in inaccurate speculation about other mission staff read more

Mine of Steel expertly puts the new Superman movie in Minecraft form

first_imgThere are claymation films and stop motions films, but have you ever seriously considered watching a movie rendered in Minecraft‘s iconic blocky designs? What if that movie was the upcoming Man of Steel?It’s always fascinating to see the incredible amount of work that goes into some Minecraft creations. From massive sculptures of the Enterprise to binary computers, you can find just about everything in someone’s Minecraft server. (My favorites are the recreations of places like Disney’s Magic Kingdom or Penn Station in NYC.) So much detail goes into the ability to wander the digitally remade halls of these great places, and more are being made all the time. If you could take that one step further, if you could re-create a movie in Minecraft right down to the expressions on the faces of the actors, what might that look like?Creative studio Steelehouse decided to take the “Ideal of Hope” trailer for the new Man of Steel and reproduce it frame for frame as though Superman and all of Metropolis existed in a Minecraft instance. The audio from the trailer is reproduced in this trailer to help complete the experience for the viewer. It’s a fantastic way to spend a couple of minutes, and a great reminder that the next Superman film is right around the corner.last_img read more

How computer science helped out Robert Galbraith as JK Rowling

first_imgAs has been proven time and again, handwriting cannot tell you a writer’s personality, but it can, sometimes, identify one. A low-swung ‘J’ can be almost quite personal and unique, and a measured analysis of hand-written notes has helped solve an untold number of crimes. It’s also muddied the waters with plenty of false leads, and even entered bad evidence into trials. But what if we could use computers to get at an aspect of writing far more basic and subconscious than handwriting?Forensic linguistics does just that, and its most high-profile test has turned out successful; analysis of language usage prompted The Sunday Times to correctly accuse J.K. Rowling of publishing under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Computers sifted the evidence straight out of the novels themselves!Well, sort-of. An anonymous Twitter-tipster (Twipster?) was the starting point for the investigation, and suspicions are high that the literary whistle-blower might have been the publisher itself. Even without Rowling’s blessing, someone might have decided the book, Cuckoo’s Calling, ought to be selling a few thousand times more copies than it was. Regardless, there are not as yet any computers neurotically checking every novel against every other, but the algorithms did find strong enough evidence for a call-out, once given Rowling’s style of prose as a starting point.Rich enough to test herself without resorting to name recognition.Computer scientist Patrick Juola of Duquesne University explains that the key is not the long, characteristic words, since an author seeking to deliberately hide their identity will change those words first. Rather, it’s the little things that make a big difference, the uses of prepositions and connective words, short phrases and articles. Even a few of these markers is weak evidence, but many of them, analyzed for frequency in a large sample, can return a statistically meaningful result.In their tests, Juola compared The Cuckoo’s Calling with four works: Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, Ruth Rendell’s The St. Zita Society, P.D. James’ The Private Patient and Val McDermid’s The Wire in the Blood. The analysis said that it was most likely to be Rowling’s writing, but that only proves Rowling was the most similar of the four. That tends to be the sort of evidence you get from techniques such as this, relative rather than absolute.Still, it’s often seen as enough to, say, challenge a will as written by someone other than the supposed author. It’s enough to help police figure out whether a letter from a criminal might be from an impersonator. And it’s apparently enough to justify outing one author as another. Rowling has since copped to writing under the pen name, validating the tipster and very possibly a publisher’s sneaky marketing trick.Most interesting in all of this, though, is that the software used to make this analysis is freely available. Play around with it yourself by downloading it here.last_img read more

Volcan Eyjafjöll le nuage de cendres devrait se déplacer vers lArctique

first_imgVolcan Eyjafjöll : le nuage de cendres devrait se déplacer vers l’ArctiqueIslande – Après avoir paralysé le trafic aérien d’Europe du Nord, le nuage de cendres émis par le volcan Eyjafjöll devrait être poussé vers l’Arctique par le vent. L’activité du volcan se calmerait pour sa part sensiblement.Si mardi matin, trois cratères continuaient à cracher des cendres, le volume de ces dernières a nettement diminué, assurent les scientifiques islandais. Alors que le trafic aérien reprend timidement dans plusieurs aéroports du nord de l’Europe, “le panache qui s’élève au-dessus du volcan est plus petit et plus clair, ce qui signifie qu’il n’y pas beaucoup de cendres dedans” a précisé la police dans un communiqué. Dans la nuit de lundi à mardi, le volcan Eyjafjöll s’est montré relativement calme et de premières projections de lave laissent espérer qu’il cessera rapidement de rejeter ces cendres sur lesquelles sont rivés les yeux du monde entier depuis près d’une semaine.Ces informations sont toutefois contredites par les observations des autorités aéronautiques anglaises qui auraient repéré lundi soir un nouveau nuage se dirigeant vers les îles britanniques. De son côté, l’Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) indique que “la situation actuelle de haute pression (anti-cyclonique) avec des vents faibles et de l’air descendant lentement au centre de la haute pression n’aide pas beaucoup à disperser le nuage de cendres”. Une situation qui devrait évoluer à la fin de la semaine. De basses pressions atmosphériques sont en effet attendues sur l’Islande. Allié à des pluies, ce système de basse pression devrait pousser le nuage vers l’Arctique, tout en contribuant “à lessiver les cendres à de plus basses altitudes” .Le 20 avril 2010 à 16:07 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

HandsOn Prey 2017 is Every Video Game Except Prey 2006

first_img Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Stay on target In 2006 there was a video game called Prey. You played as a Cherokee dude shooting aliens in first person on a big space station. For years developers tried and failed to make the sequel the original ending teased. Meanwhile, Arkane Studios started developing its own game about shooting aliens on a big space station in first person, and because Bethesda owned the rights to the Prey brand, we’re finally getting a new Prey by sticking the name of this game. While Prey 2017 may be just a spiritual successor to the original at best (like Final Fantasy for sci-fi shooters) the ideas it’s synthesizing from other games give me some faith.If Dishonored was Arkane Studios basically making a new Thief, Prey is the team’s attempt at making a new System Shock, along with the other sci-fi immersive sims that classic inspired. The demo I played limited me to one section of the haunted, haunting alien-infested space station. But it was a fairly dense and scientific environment where I could test how the systems interacted with each other, and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of the results.Along with standard shotguns and Half-Life wrenches, I also had a big gun that could shoot balls of sticky glue at things and harden on impact. I discovered that I could use glue to do everything from patching up fire and electrical hazards to briefly immobilizing enemies and landing some free hits. Meanwhile, previously hardened glue in other spots of the map could be shattered leading the way to new paths.The demo was full of neat little “Aha” moments like that. One particularly nasty alien could reanimate corpses left in a test chamber. You have to fight at least one but if you manually dragged more corpses into the chamber, you could up the challenge and farm more crafting materials like alien tumors. I also stumbled across a prisoner, and by choosing to free him instead of murdering him, he gave me access to a powerful armory. I probably spent more time exploring than fighting, which just made combat more tense. The full game even lets you turn into a cup, which I, unfortunately, didn’t get to try for myself.Player choice like that is appreciated, but it’s also very much in vogue these days. The Prey demo, while not necessarily generic for a AAA game, still constantly reminded of other video games. Neuromods introduce light RPG upgrades out of Deus Ex or Fallout like hacking turrets or unleashing psychic blasts. The inventory screen full of items of different sizes to rearrange gave me Resident Evil 4 flashbacks. The horror in space vibe should satisfy fans of Dead Space or, I guess, the original Prey. You even find a scanning visor for some Metroid Prime action. The final game promises a single, interconnected world, not unlike the beloved Nintendo series.Those are great influences, but it leaves the game itself a little lacking when it comes to personal identity. That also describes the main character, who suffers from typical video game amnesia and has to rely on questionable guidance from other survivors and past, BioShock-style recordings to untangle the extraterrestrial plot. In case the inspirations weren’t clear enough, the demo was followed by a screening of the original Total Recall at the Alamo Drafthouse theater.If you haven’t played the new Doom, you should play the new Doom. But if you’re looking for another Bethesda space shooter, maybe one with more brains than brawn, consider the new Prey when it comes out May 5. Or maybe wait a few days later thanks to Bethesda’s asinine ongoing reviews policy. Wait long enough and you might even get to play a better looking version on Xbox Scorpio.RIP old Prey.last_img read more