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Before the new version, let’s revisit 1984’s Dune—the greatest movie ever made

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Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel Dune gets a new film adaptation—this one helmed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049)—later this month. But before Ars Technica reviews the movie, there’s the matter of its predecessor: 1984’s Dune, made by a then up-and-coming filmmaker named David Lynch.

Detractors call Lynch’s saga—a tale of two noble space families 8,000 years in the future, fighting over the most valuable resource in the universe amidst sandworms the size of aircraft carriers—incomprehensible, stilted, and ridiculous. It lost piles of money. Yet fans, especially in recent years, have reclaimed Lynch’s film as a magnificent folly, a work of holy, glorious madness.

So which group am I in? Both. Am I about to describe Dune as “so bad it’s good”? No, that’s a loser take for cowards.

I once half-heard a radio interview with someone speculating that the then-current artistic moment was not “so bad it’s good,” and it wasn’t “ironic” either—it was actually “awesome.” (I didn’t catch who he was, so if any of this sounds familiar, hit me up in the comments.) Art can speak to you while at the same time being absurd. The relatable can sometimes be reached only by going through the ridiculous. The two can be inseparable, like the gravitational pull between a gas giant and its moon—or Riggs and Murtaugh.

The example the radio interviewee gave was of Evel Knievel, the ’70s daredevil who wore a cape and jumped dirt bikes over rows of buses. Absurd? Heavens, yes. A feat of motorcycling and physicality? Absolutely. But beyond that, we can relate to Knievel’s need to achieve transcendence at such a, shall we say, niche skill. We might also marvel at our own ability to be impressed by something that should be objectively useless but is instead actually awesome.

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Jose Ferrer is more subdued than the moniker “Emperor of the Known Universe” might lead you to believe. His son Miguel was on Twin Peaks. Siân Phillips plays his personal space nun.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/10/before-the-new-version-lets-revisit-1984s-dune-the-greatest-movie-ever-made/?utm_source=pocket_discover

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NBA preview 2021-22: Power Rankings, projections, breakout stars and storylines for all 30 teams

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Less than three months ago, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy after winning Game 6 of the NBA Finals over the Phoenix Suns. After somehow squeezing in the NBA draft, free agency, summer league, and preseason into another truncated offseason, the league is ready to roll for 2021-22.

Are the Bucks on the road to a repeat, or will the star-studded Brooklyn Nets exact revenge? How will the Ben Simmons saga end for the Philadelphia 76ers? Are the reloaded Miami Heat Finals contenders again?

Can the Atlanta Hawks make another magical run? Was the Chicago Bulls’ flurry of offseason moves worth it?

Speaking of moves, the Los Angeles Lakers made a few.

This summer, LeBron James and Anthony Davis welcomed in Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony and welcomed back Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard. After a disappointing seventh-place finish and first-round postseason exit, are the Lakers destined to return to glory this season? The rest of the West — the conference is as stacked as ever — sure hopes not.

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The 2021-22 NBA season is here!

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/32399420/nba-preview-2021-22-power-rankings-projections-breakout-stars-storylines-all-30-teams?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Windsor is a historic market town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England, close to London. It is the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British monarch.

The town is situated 21.7 miles (34.9 km) west of Charing Cross, central London, 5.8 miles (9.3 km) southeast of Maidenhead, and 15.8 miles (25.4 km) east of the county town of Reading. It is immediately south of the River Thames, which forms its boundary with its smaller, ancient twin town of Eton. The village of Old Windsor, just over 2 miles (3 km) to the south, predates what is now called Windsor by around 300 years; in the past Windsor was formally referred to as New Windsor to distinguish the two.

Windlesora is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. (The settlement had an earlier name but this is unknown.) The name originates from old English Windles-ore or winch by the riverside. By 1110, meetings of the Great Council, which had previously taken place at Windlesora, were noted as taking place at the Castle, referred to as New Windsor. By the late 12th century the settlement at Windelsora had been renamed, Old Windsor. Wikipedia

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Images of Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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This Physicist Discovered an Escape From Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox

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In 1974, Stephen Hawking calculated that black holes’ secrets die with them. Random quantum jitter on the spherical outer boundary, or “event horizon,” of a black hole will cause the hole to radiate particles and slowly shrink to nothing. Any record of the star whose violent contraction formed the black hole — and whatever else got swallowed up after — then seemed to be permanently lost.

Hawking’s calculation posed a paradox — the infamous “black hole information paradox” — that has motivated research in fundamental physics ever since. On the one hand, quantum mechanics, the rulebook for particles, says that information about particles’ past states gets carried forward as they evolve — a bedrock principle called “unitarity.” But black holes take their cues from general relativity, the theory that space and time form a bendy fabric and gravity is the fabric’s curves. Hawking had tried to apply quantum mechanics to particles near a black hole’s periphery and saw unitarity break down.

So do evaporating black holes really destroy information, meaning unitarity is not a true principle of nature? Or does information escape as a black hole evaporates? Solving the information paradox quickly came to be seen as a route to discovering the truth, quantum theory of gravity, which general relativity approximates well everywhere except black holes.

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https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2021/08/Netta-Engelhardt_Lede.jpgNetta Engelhardt puzzles over the fates of black holes in her office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Ira Khan for Quanta Magazine

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/netta-engelhardt-has-escaped-hawkings-black-hole-paradox-20210823?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Could the Moon Actually Crash Toward Earth?

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There’s a trailer out for a new science fiction film called Moonfall, to be released in early 2022, in which the moon is about to crash into Earth. It features several shots of a reddish moon hovering extremely close to the planet, crumbling apart while sucking the oceans toward it, the debris flying into spacecraft and mountains. It doesn’t actually show a collision—you know, it’s just a trailer and they don’t want to spoil everything.

This isn’t the first movie to stretch the bounds of believable physics. (Remember Sharknado?) But just because it’s science fiction doesn’t mean it’s totally wrong. That’s why I’m here: I’m going to go over the actual physics that would apply if the moon ever got too close to us.

How Could the Moon Crash Into Earth?

According to the movie’s official IMDB entry, “a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit,” precipitating its plunge toward Earth. That’s not a lot to go on. Would there really be a way to make that happen?

Let’s start with a basic model of how the planet and its satellite act on each other. A gravitational force pulls Earth and the moon toward each other. This force depends on the mass of both objects and has a magnitude inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the centers of the two bodies.

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Photograph: Nasa

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.wired.com/story/could-the-moon-actually-crash-toward-the-earth/

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Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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Daytona Beach or simply Daytona is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It lies approximately 51 miles (82.1 km) northeast of Orlando, 86 miles (138.4 km) southeast of Jacksonville, and 265 miles (426.5 km) northwest of Miami. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, it had a population of 61,005. It is a principal city of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area, which was home to 600,756 people as of 2013. Daytona Beach is also a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida.

The city is historically known for its beach, where the hard-packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, and the old Daytona Beach Road Course hosted races for over 50 years. This was replaced in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR.

Daytona Beach hosts large groups of out-of-towners during the year, who visit the city for various events, notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 race in August, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.

The area where Daytona Beach is located was once inhabited by the indigenous Timucuan Indians who lived in fortified villages. The Timucuas were nearly exterminated by contact with Europeans through war, enslavement, and disease and became extinct as a racial entity through assimilation and attrition during the 18th century. The Seminole Indians, descendants of Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, frequented the area prior to the Second Seminole War.

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An image from Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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Daytona Beach, FL, USA – Bing images

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Dark energy might be neither particle nor field

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What is it, at a fundamental level, that makes up the universe? When we ask this question, we typically think about starting with things that we directly observe — things like stars, planets, humans, gas, dust, plasma, and other forms of the matter we know — and dividing them up until you reach something that is indivisible. Although we originally thought that atoms would be these “uncuttable” things, we soon discovered they could be further divided: into electrons and atomic nuclei, which themselves are composed of quarks and gluons.

As we mastered the laws of physics and began to manipulate these subatomic particles, we gained the ability to accelerate and collide them, enabling the creation of a wide slew of particles and antiparticles: everything described by the Standard Model of particle physics. And yet, if we add up the sum total of all of these forms of matter, including photons, neutrinos, and everything that does not compose atoms, we fall far short of what is needed to describe our universe. Two additional components are necessary: dark matter and dark energy. Moreover, although we fully expect there to be a particle responsible for dark matter, that is not the case at all for dark energy.

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https://bigthink.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/https___specials-images.forbesimg.com_imageserve_59c1b43731358e542c029535_Illustration-of-the-Big-Bang-and-the-subsequently-expanding-Universe-_960x0.jpg?lb=1536,864There is a large suite of scientific evidence that supports the picture of the expanding Universe and the Big Bang, complete with dark energy. The late-time accelerated expansion doesn’t strictly conserve energy, but the presence of a new component to the Universe, known as dark energy, is required to explain what we observe. (Credit: NASA / GSFC)

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Click the link below for the article:

https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/dark-energy/?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Future Space Travel Might Require Mushrooms

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The list of mycologists whose names are known beyond their fungal field is short, and at its apex is Paul Stamets. Educated in, and a longtime resident of, the mossy, moldy, mushy Pacific Northwest region, Stamets has made numerous contributions over the past several decades— perhaps the best summation of which can be found in his 2005 book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. But now he is looking beyond Earth to discover new ways that mushrooms can help with the exploration of space.

In a new “astromycological” venture launched in conjunction with NASA, Stamets and various research teams are studying how fungi can be leveraged to build extraterrestrial habitats and perhaps someday even terraform planets. This is not the first time Stamets’s career has intersected with speculative space science. He also recently received an honor that many researchers would consider only slightly less hallowed than a Nobel Prize: the distinction of having a Star Trek character named after him.

Scientific American spoke with Stamets about the out-of-this-world implications for the emerging field of astromycology.

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Future Space Travel Might Require MushroomsPaul Stamets. Credit: Trav Williams Broken Banjo Photography

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/space-travels-most-surprising-future-ingredient-mushrooms/

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Twelve Apostles Victoria

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The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Seven of the original eight stacks remain standing at the Twelve Apostles viewpoint, after one collapsed in July 2005. Though the view from the promontory by the Twelve Apostles never included twelve stacks, additional stacks—not considered part of the Apostles group—are located to the west within the national park.

The limestone unit that forms The Twelve Apostles is referred to as the Port Campbell Limestone, which was deposited in the Mid-Late Miocene, around 15 to 5 million years ago.

The Twelve Apostles were formed by erosion. The harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then become arches that eventually collapse, leaving rock stacks up to 50 m (160 ft) high. The stacks are susceptible to further erosion from waves. In July 2005, a 50-meter-tall (160 ft) stack collapsed, leaving seven standing at the Twelve Apostles viewpoint. Due to wave action eroding the cliffs, existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.

The stacks were originally known as the Pinnacles, and the Sow and Pigs (or Sow and Piglets, with Muttonbird Island being the Sow and the smaller rock stacks being the Piglets), as well as the Twelve Apostles. The formation’s name was made official as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having had eight stacks.

In 2002, the Port Campbell Professional Fishermens Association attempted to block the creation of the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park at the Twelve Apostles site. The association approved of a later decision by the Victorian government to prohibit seismic exploration at the site by Benaris Energy, believing such exploration would harm marine life. Wikipedia

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An image from the Twelve Apostles Victoria

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Computer Models Of Civilization Offer Routes To Ending Global Warming

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As the world’s top climate scientists released a report full of warnings this week, they kept insisting that the world still has a chance to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

“It is still possible to forestall most of the dire impacts, but it really requires unprecedented transformational change,” said Ko Barrett, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “The idea that there still is a pathway forward, I think, is a point that should give us some hope.”

That hopeful pathway, in which dangerous changes to the world’s climate eventually stop, is the product of giant computer simulations of the world economy. They’re called integrated assessment models. There are half a dozen major versions of them: four developed in Europe, one in Japan, and one in the U.S., at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“What we mostly are doing, is trying to explore what is needed to meet the Paris goals,” says Detlef van Vuuren, at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which developed one of the models.

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https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2021/08/13/gettyimages-1234066526_wide-e2529fc5569b6683be292f77906408beb38ae5fc-s800-c85.webp

Electrical workers check solar panels at a photovoltaic power station built in a fishpond in Haian in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. STR/AFP via Getty Images

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/14/1027370891/climate-change-solutions-global-warming-computer-models-paris?utm_source=pocket_discover

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