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While migrating my blog to Next.js, I took the opportunity to address the big performance pitfalls that were degrading the reader's experience in the previous version. With Core Web Vitals becoming one of the biggest factors in search ranking in 2021, I needed to get my act together and finally find workarounds to these issues before they impact my overall traffic. One of those issues was embed tweets. I often find myself in need to quote or reference a tweet in my MDX blog posts. However, using the classic Twitter embed iframe is not the best solution for that: they are slow to load and triggers a lot of Content Layout Shift (CLS) which hurts the performance of my blog.I recently migrated my blog to Next.js and took the opportunity to address some performance issues. One of those issues was due to embed tweets which triggered a lot of CLS.
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Something that originally caught my attention with Gatsby was its use of GraphQL. It became more of a curiosity over time honestly. While I'm sure it makes sense for many sites at scale (e-commerce, bigger and more complex publications), at least to me the GraphQL felt like an extra level of complexity that felt unnecessary. The more I iterated on my blog, the more the technical choice of GraphQL felt unjustified (for my use-case at least), building data sources felt way more complicated than it should have been.I did not understand why GraphQL was necessary. It ended up slowing me down more than helping me when building my blog.
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First, let's take a look at the main elements that define an animation. When working on one, whether it's to move an element, changing its shape, or color, I always try to answer the following 3 questions:\n1. Where/how is my element at the beginning? i.e the initial state\n2. Where it needs to go or wich shape it needs to take by the end? i.e. the target state\n3. How it's going to transition from the initial state to the end state? i.e. the transition stateThere are 3 main components in an animation: its initial state, its target state and how it transitions from start to finish
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A MotionValue is an internal value to the Framer Motion library that tracks the state and the velocity of an animating value. For more complex animation we may want to create our own MotionValue (quote from the docs), and then add them as inline style to a given component. To define a MotionValue, we need to use the useMotionValue hook. A MotionValue can be practical when you want to have one animation depending on another one. For example, we may want to tie together the scale and the opacity of a component in such a way that, once the component reaches half of its targeted scale, the opacity should be equal to 100%.A MotionValue tracks the state and the velocity of an animation. One can use a MotionValue for more complex animations or make an animation depend on another one.
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I'm going to throw my best engineer response at this question: it depends! Your team might have specific needs or objectives that would make some of my tips not as useful to you as they could be. However, for this article, we need some guidelines that I think would be universal when it comes to building efficient GitHub workflows, such as:\n- cost-saving: bring the build minutes down to the lowest possible value to not have a massive bill at the end of the month.\n- efficient: your team's time is precious, the workflow should be as fast as possible, but also fast to fail if something were to go wrong\n- well-architected: each step has a purpose, and might depend on other steps. This also means not running useless steps.A team should optimize its Github CI workflow to be, cost-saving, time-saving and also avoid running useless steps
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When I started building my first GitHub workflows, I failed to meet those self-established guidelines. My workflows were inefficient wasted a lot of human time, compute time, and money. Some of the most critical mistakes I made were:\n- Running jobs in separate workflows, thus having no control over how they should run, and no ability to make them depend on other workflows' state.Running jobs in seperate workflows and running expensive tasks several times in your GitHubCI will waste you a lot of time and money.
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More pages are added and new features are built. There might even be multiple teams devoted to specific sections of the site. You could be developing for mobile, too. You start to notice the buttons in one part of the site are slightly different than everywhere else. One team decides to build a feature that another team has (unknowingly) already completed. Communication breakdowns happen. Consistency is lost. Is this a preventable problem? Absolutely. Yet, why does it happen over and over again? Unless you think about your design and development process upfront, you will run into issues later as you scale. To prevent this issue from happening, or to fix the existing lack of consistency in your products, you need three things: Style Guide, Component Library, Design System.As a website grow, so do the various inconsistencies. This is why it's important to set up a Style Guide, a Component Library, and eventually a Design System.
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When using Markdown in a web application, there's a "compile" step; the Markdown needs to be transformed into HTML, so that it can be understood by the browser. Those asterisks get turned into a <strong> tag, the list gets turned into a <ul>, and each paragraph gets a <p> tag. This is great, but it means we're limited to a handful of HTML elements that Markdown is aware of. MDX takes the format a step further, and allows us to include our own elements, in the form of React componentsMardown is limited to only HTML Tags. This is why MDX is prefered, as you can also include your own elements as React components.
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If you only follow guided resources, you'll wind up in tutorial hell. You won't develop the problem-solving skills needed to succeed as a developer. When you try to build your own project, you won't know where to start. It will feel like you've spent so much time practicing without developing any tangible, practical skills. On the other hand, if you focus entirely on unguided learning, it'll take forever. Without an experienced guide, you'll need to reinvent every wheel, spending days or weeks solving already-solved problems. This is a long and frustrating road. In the worst case, you might wind up quitting altogether, convinced (incorrectly!) that you just aren't smart enough for this stuff. We want to walk the tightrope between these two extremes, using guided and unguided learning together. There are lots of ways to do this.When learning something, you need to preserve a balance between guided and unguided learning. You both needs guides to get started on a subject and develop problem solving skills through unguided learning.
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Next.js gives the ability for the developer to create statically generated dynamic routes, e.g. /products/:id or /users/:name/:comment. To have access to the path of these dynamic routes we use getStaticPaths. Same as the function we introduced earlier, this one is an asynchronous function that returns an object with a paths field. That paths field contains all the paths that need to pre-rendered at build time, which means it's used for SSG. There's also another field called fallback, I haven't used it yet, the only thing I know is that if it's set to false and a user tries to access a path that is not returned by getStaticPaths, it will result in a 404. getStaticPaths can be used in conjunction with getStaticProps. The paths returned are then present in the "context" of the page, which can be read by the getStaticProps function.With Next.js, you can use getStaticPaths along getStatic props to generate dynamic routes.
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Sometimes static-side generation is not what we need. If we want to be able to fetch data and render dynamic content on the fly getServerSideProps is what we need. Like getStaticProps, this function is asynchronous and allows us to fetch some data and returns an object with a props field that will be passed down to a page. However, the main difference here is that getServerSideProps allows us to pre-render a page on each request, thus we can consider that this is a use case for SSR. This means that thanks to this function, I can go fetch some non-static data that is tied to a request.When you need to render dynamic data, it's preferable to consider using getServerSideProps. It allows you to fetch non-static data and pre-render a page on the server side.
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While unit tests help to test parts of your project in isolation, integration tests help to test whether an entire set of units work together as expected. They also allow you to test full user flows and all the different paths they can take (error state, loading state, success state). When writing integration tests, I try to validate all the possible paths that a group of components, a form, or a view can take.Unit tests only let you test parts of your projects individually while integration tests let you test all these parts together.
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End-to-End tests, or also sometimes named e2e, are the set of tests that are the closest to what the user should experience when using your product. In most frameworks like Selenium or Cypress, an e2e test suite is nothing more than a scripted user flow that the computer will go through. Additionally, most of these tests will be executed directly within a browser which gives you the ability to validate whether your app runs properly on different browsers that your customers may use.End-to-End tests are meant to test flows that the user will perform while using a product.
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As mentioned in the first part, I used to run a very similar setup to get a working personal Apple Health API. However, running a server 24/7 to only receive data every few hours might not be the most efficient thing here. If we look at the plan we've established earlier, we'll only run our Shortcuts a few times a day, and we don't have any requirements when it comes to response time. Thus, knowing this, we have a perfect use case for serverless functions! Vercel is my service of choice when it comes to serverless functions. This is where I deployed my function for this side project, however, it should work the same on other similar services.If you do not need to have a server listening for incoming requests 24/7, it's best to consider using serverless functions. Vercel is a great solution to easily deploy serverless functions rapidely.
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Before hopping onto another tutorial, it might be a good idea to try building a similar project from scratch. For example, maybe you can make a bingo game! You'll be able to leverage some of your new skills (state management, event listening), but in a slightly different context. You'll likely hit a point where you don't know how to do something, because it wasn't covered in the tutorial; you can do some sleuthing on Google to try and find a solution! If you really can't crack it, you can set this project aside for now. Do a few more tutorials, and then check back later to see if you've learned enough to unblock yourself.To apply some newly learned skills, the best is to build a project before jumping to the next tutorial.
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CSS is a very implicit language; it relies heavily on mechanisms buried deep in the CSS specification. When those mechanisms work in ways we don't expect, we're left in the dark, not sure what the heck is going on. We don't know what we don't know. Compare that to a language like TypeScript: when we make a mistake, a helpful tooltip pops up to let us know what we did wrong. Even in loosey-goosey JavaScript, exceptions point us in the right direction (and plus we have linting, breakpoints, logs…). When we write code—in any language—we rely on our mental model of how that language works. If our mental model is incomplete or incorrect, there's a good chance that we won't get the result we were expecting. In CSS, those misalignments are super common, because of how implicit CSS is.CSS is often consider more difficult due to how implicit it is. When commit an error, CSS will not tell you exactly where the error is, unlike other programming languages.
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After bringing this up to some designer friends, they gave me the first tip that made the pattern I'm going to introduce in this article possible: use HSLA.HSLA stands for Hue Saturation Lightness Alpha channel: the four main components necessary to define a color. The hue comes from a palette of 360 colors defined from a color wheel where each degree of the color wheel is a color. The saturation, lightness and, alpha channel properties are defined in percent (%) and represent respectively:\n- the vibrance of the color: 0% is the least vibrant, 100% is the most\n- the lighting intensity: 0% is the darkest, 100% is the lightest\n- the opacity: 0% is transparent while 100% makes the color completely visible.
It's recommended by designers to use HSLA colors. HSLA colors have 4 main components: Hue, Saturation, Lightness, and Alpha.
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Moreover, as the community grew, so did the number of plugins! This is a positive thing, don't get me wrong. But just try to search for RSS in the Gatsby Plugins website. There are 22 plugins (as I'm writing these words) doing more or less the same thing but each of them in a slightly different way. One would need to do a lot of digging to find which one is the "official"/"recommended" one to use which is not ideal. I'm pretty sure a little bit of curation in the plugin section would go a long way.Gatsby plugins are not well curated. It's not easy to find the best plugin for a specific use-case.
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Imagine you want to move an object around the screen. Animators will use keyframes and tweens to describe the exact motion. Generative artists instead rely on algorithms. So what, something like math.random()? Not exactly. Randomness is just too unnatural. Look at that pink ball, bouncing all over the place. It’s nauseating. What we need is a smoother, more organic randomness. That is what the noise function generates. Much more aesthetically pleasing!When wanting to move an object randomely on a screen, using pure randomeness does not feel natural. It's best to use noise for a more pleasing result.
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Icons play a crucial role in interface design. They can certainly be used as visual embellishments, but they are quite often able to convey their meaning without additional text, making them a handy tool for designers & developers. There are many different ways to build icon systems. In the past, I have written about a sprite based technique. Since then, tooling has matured and there are better approaches. This article will show you how to set up an icon system using SVGR — a tool for transforming SVGs into React components.Icons are a key element to make a user interface usable. Luckily the tooling to build icon systems in React has matured a lot especially with tools like SVGR.
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Small Team. Small teams tend to be highly aligned. They work together on a day-to-day basis. They have a clear sense of the product’s surface area. Everyone is aware of the architecture, what components are available, where to find them, and how to use them. Because the team works so closely, knowledge sharing happens organically. Mid-sized Team. As the team grows, it becomes challenging to maintain a shared context. Domains begin to develop within the product and the codebase. Not everyone is aware of all the UI components or architectural decisions or even who made them. It leads to sub-teams branching off and deviating from brand standards or the established interaction model. The code complexity ramps up, and ultimately it introduces too much entropy into your development process.In a small team, everyone is aware of the architecture and UI elements composing a product. Mid-sized teams, however, are less likely to know every component available or product decision that has been made.
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The most significant impact of a design system is that it allows your team to focus on solving differentiating challenges instead of continually reinventing the wheel. To be able to figure out what problems you have solved already, you need to start documenting those challenges and solutions. Design systems you see in the wild tend to have polished websites with thorough documentation. That can feel quite intimidating. It would be best if you recognized that that is the end state after many months and years of iteration. Light-weight tools make it easy for you to start documenting this information. Tools such as InVision DSM and Zero Height provide a highly approachable authoring experience. They support version control and allow you to plug in Storybook for live code examples. In effect, seeding your DesignOps practice and slowly implementing a governance model.A Design System will make your team more efficient. The key for a well defined Design System is a great documentation. To get started with documentation, the best is to use a lightweight tool.
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Inspired by Chris Biscardi, Joel Hooks, Shawn Wang, and others, I, too, wanted to dynamically generate social images for my blog posts. But the thought of creating an image generation API was daunting to me. Cloudinary, Lambdas, Chromium are cool, but I wanted something more straightforward. It was around this time that Marina introduced me to Microlink and its creator Kiko. Microlink was just about to release their new product, Microlink Cards. Being one of the alpha testers of Microlink Cards, I decided to take it for a spin and rely on it to generate the social images for me.Like many developers, I wanted to generate my social images for my blog post. However, I wanted a simple solution, and that's why I gave Microlink a try.
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I've built design systems with CSS, Sass, Stylus, css-modules, styled-components, emotion, system-components and styled-system. I've used BEM, scoped CSS, atomic CSS, and even made up conventions. But they never felt quite right—some were too laborious and too error-prone. Others were too slow and too opinionated. I've lost count of how many times I've been asked to build complex components from scratch—dialogs, tooltips, dropdown menus, popovers, sheets, tabs. But they were all flawed and lacked fundamental accessibility features. When working against a deadline, it's almost impossible to build them correctly. So for the last couple of years, we at Modulz worked hard to facilitate how teams can build, maintain and scale their design systems—all whilst adhering to the WAI-ARIA design pattern.I build many Design Systems in the past, but none of the implementations felt right. They eother were too complex or lack fundamental accessibility features. This is why, at Modulz, we worked to help teams building scalable Design Systems and components.
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Radix Primitives is a low-level UI component library focusing on accessibility, customisation and developer experience. It's a comprehensive library of unstyled, and accessible components, with over twenty-five to choose from. All its components adhere to the WAI-ARIA design patterns. They can be the base layer of your design system or adopted incrementally.Radix Primitive is a library that contains primitive unstyled and accessible components
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As part of a new initiative of the government, movies selected to represent India in the foreign film category at the Oscars will get a promotion fund of up to Rs 1 crore.

Substantial financial assistance will also be given to films competing in prestigious international film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Rotterdam, Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced today at a press conference of the 47th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning November 20.

The proposed fund value for films being selected to represent India at Oscars is Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

The maximum amount for a filmmaker for the 'In Competition' section of Cannes festival is Rs 20 lakh while in 'Un Certain Regard' and 'Director's Fortnight' the amount would be Rs 15 lakh each.

If a filmmaker makes it to the 'In Competition' section of Venice film festival, the amount would be to the tune of Rs 15 lakh.

For Toronto International Film Festival and Busan's new currents section, the value is Rs 10 lakh. For the window of Asian Cinema section of Busan International Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival the amount is Rs 7.50 lakh.

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The step is a part of the government's efforts to promote Indian cinema in the international arena and especially help independent filmmakers to promote their work.

The initiative will mainly take care of expenses like the engagement of publicist, travel of director, maker and key talent to make an appearance at the red carpet and press meets, accommodation, screenings, advertising and networking.

Directorate of Film Festivals has been designated as the nodal agency for implementing this initiative.

The decision for providing the assistance would be based on recommendations of a panel of experts constituted by the government.
As part of a new initiative of the government, movies selected to represent India in the foreign film category at the Oscars will get a promotion fund of up to Rs 1 crore.

Substantial financial assistance will also be given to films competing in prestigious international film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Rotterdam, Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced today at a press conference of the 47th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning November 20.

The proposed fund value for films being selected to represent India at Oscars is Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

The step is a part of the government's efforts to promote Indian cinema in the international arena and especially help independent filmmakers to promote their work.

The initiative will mainly take care of expenses like the engagement of publicist, travel of director, maker and key talent to make an appearance at the red carpet and press meets, accommodation, screenings, advertising and networking.
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Cary Fukunaga is a man of words.

It frustrates him if he cannot find the correct word to articulate a thought or a feeling he's had. I noticed this when filmmaker Zoya Akhtar interviewed him in a session held on the sidelines of the recently concluded 18th Mumbai Film Festival.

The American filmmaker was born in California to a father of Japanese origin and a Swedish-American mother. By his own admission, the multiculturalism at home was so deeply ingrained in him that it would eventually go on to help him write stories with characters that were easy to empathize with.

"No doubt that a multicultural upbringing makes it very easier for you to access and understand stories of cultures far removed from your reality," Fukunaga said, addressing a question posed by a member in the audience.



Before finding his calling in artistic pursuits upon enrolling in a film school in NYU, Fukunaga aspired to be a professional snowboarder. "After film school, I was left with a debt of over a thousand hundred dollars and that was definitely the biggest motivation to make films," he laughs.

Fukunaga's films have mostly been about displacement, lost identity, and the quest for belonging.



His debut, Sin Nombre, about a young boy and a girl trying to escape the hardships in Mexico by illegally immigrating to the US, won him an award for directing at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, while Beasts of No Nation, another drama set in war-torn West Africa, also garnered interest at major award ceremonies.

In between the two was, of course, the first season of HBO's breakthrough show True Detective, all episodes of which he directed, and another novel adaptation, the period romantic drama Jane Eyre, starring powerhouse actors Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.

In this interview, the director talks about the transformative time in Hollywood, his fascination with war, and the next series he's directing for Netflix starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill.

The response to the first season of True Detective was phenomenal. It stood out for its vision, treatment and of course, the performances. Did you anticipate the kind of frenzy it eventually managed to create, something that the following season failed to?

Absolutely not.

I am still surprised at the amounts of memes it generated [laughs]. Soon after its premiere, I left for Ghana to shoot my film, Beasts of No Nation, and so totally missed out on the response. I heard it became quite a major talking point. But what I feel is that the timing worked very well for the show. You see if there isn't any major political event taking place, unlike now, people tend to concentrate more specifically on entertainment.

And that's what helped the show stand out in the way that it did.



You've spoken about how putting together Beasts of No Nation was quite a struggle, essentially because of the subject matter. Do you believe it'd have secured funding quickly if it were a story about white people?

As sad and unfortunate it is, I think that is true.

I think the studios have a white bias and more than conscious racism, I feel it comes out of guilt. There's the whole standard response that oh, look, I've too many struggles in life and then bills to pay, I don't want to sit through something so depressing.

There was a Human Rights Video which put a London girl as someone caught in the war in the UK, just like children in Syria are, and it really raised the question: would we pay more attention to the atrocities if they took place in the US or the UK? Perhaps yes.

So from a film perspective, would my film have gotten more viewership, more box-office draw, and easier funding? Maybe.

But despite the hardships, you stuck to that subject matter. How difficult is it to keep up the faith in a story that others, especially the decision-makers, aren't that excited about?

I don't really think about it from their perspective as much I probably should, even lesser about the financial viability of my films. Now this is because I do believe that good films get seen. If I do a good job at making a film that is evocative and emotionally compelling, people will see it. They may not see it immediately when it comes out, but it will eventually reach them and have a kind of life that no theatrical release window can perhaps ensure.

In the case of Beasts... getting the finance and distribution, I think the success of True Detective may have had a role to play.

When you, as a white American director, go to conflict-ridden countries to try and tell their stories, there's a big risk that you take. It's easy for someone to label your work as 'poverty porn' or 'war porn' or to accuse you of being a know-it-all white savior trying to resolve issues on their behalf. How do you navigate that thin line?

Well, I'm usually prepared for those kinds of accusations to come my way and with both, Sin Nombre and Beasts of No Nation, a few did say that. But not a lot. I don't think so my work sensationalizes or eroticises the subject matter that I am chasing. If you're talking about something in a sober manner, I think it isn't that hard.

However, there are filmmakers who focus on the sensational aspects, on the imagery, and the violence, instead of characters. There is an element of pornography. It's just visual stimulation and not a solid character-driven narrative.

So to answer your question, to navigate that line, you've to be extremely conscious of the fact that you are an outsider and deal with the conditions as sensitively as possible. You cannot have a condescending point of view, you need to internalize their point of view and present it without any moral superiority.

And when your stories are rooted in reality, like both of mine are, instead of being a race issue, it just comes across as a universal human issue, easy for most people to relate with.



Do you feel your stories manage to capture the horrors of the war with all its trauma, or do you feel that storytelling also has limitations in the sense that it leaves you with notions of inadequacies?

The intent always is to ignite the audience emotionally. No filmmaker can take one through the horror of war because it leaves people permanently changed. It is easy to arouse someone on a sensory level but can you get someone's heart to be engaged for two hours? Can I make them stop and pay attention to what's happening around them? That's the real challenge. As far as capturing the magnitude of a war is concerned, I focus on specific stories around it that act as a metaphor for the war itself.

How much impact do you think streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon have really had on the way we approach our stories? Have they really created a healthy, alternate television and film ecosystem that works as an antidote to the micromanagement of studios?

Well, Netflix released Beasts... but we always had the option to go the traditional release way. What these platforms do is give you a wide audience of dedicated viewers.

I've no idea what is going to happen in the next 10 years, how people will consume films but right now is a great time. Simply because the studio-shunned small-budget dramas are finding home through streaming companies.

You are directing Maniac next, an adaptation of a Norwegian show, which will feature Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. What's the progress on that?

Well, right now it's just being written. It's going to take a while before it flies. A major thing is going to be to figure out my schedule, Jonah's schedule, and Emma's dates and align them together. There's a good chance that I may do a movie before the show.

Sin Nombre was made in 2006 but it is perhaps more relevant today than it was at that point. We're hearing the same kind of stories albeit in a different geopolitical context. For instance, stories of displaced people traversing through the Mediterranean at great mortal peril. What is it about displacement as a theme that attracts you so much?

I think my work is more a reflection of the times that we are living in. And I prefer it like that.

Last year, we had the largest number of displaced people ever in the history of the world. That's something we need to be aware of. And films serve that purpose. They sensitize us and in many ways, films make us see and identify with our similarities more than our differences.

I'm not like an issue person as such but if these are the realities of our times, our cinema should also capture and chronicle and make them the stories of our times.

As someone who is a historian and a political science major first and then a filmmaker, I identify myself as a citizen of the world and I am very much interested in where our species is headed. We really need to figure our shit out. Else, we're in for some serious trouble.
The American filmmaker was born in California to a father of Japanese origin and a Swedish-American mother.

Fukunaga's films have mostly been about displacement, lost identity, and the quest for belonging.


His debut, Sin Nombre, about a young boy and a girl trying to escape the hardships in Mexico by illegally immigrating to the US, won him an award for directing at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, while Beasts of No Nation, another drama set in war-torn West Africa, also garnered interest at major award ceremonies.

When you, as a white American director, go to conflict-ridden countries to try and tell their stories, there's a big risk that you take. It's easy for someone to label your work as 'poverty porn' or 'war porn' or to accuse you of being a know-it-all white savior trying to resolve issues on their behalf. I'm not like an issue person as such but if these are the realities of our times, our cinema should also capture and chronicle and make them the stories of our times.

As someone who is a historian and a political science major first and then a filmmaker, I identify myself as a citizen of the world and I am very much interested in where our species is headed.
29
The romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, written and directed by Karan Johan (his sixth film and the first since Student of the Year, 2012), stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in pivotal roles, with cameos by Fawad Khan, Lisa Hayden, Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is essentially the story of a young man named Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) who is in search of true love in a selfish and materialistic world. Ayan is filthy rich and has all the time in the world to pursue his quixotic adventures. Interestingly, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is supposedly inspired by events in the director's own life. While talking to film critic Raja Sen, Johar said, "Twice in life, my love hasn't been reciprocated and I know what it can feel like. So that emotion runs through the film... I told Ranbir that on some level, in some way, you are playing me... I feel that I'm the brand ambassador of heartbreak." Come to think of it, it is not difficult to imagine a young Karan Johar pining away like the protagonist.But what's difficult to come to terms with is a film about love that tends to depict human relationships with an outrageous sense of levity. Every character in the movie is utterly selfish. No one seems to care about anybody but themselves. Even the tertiary characters are mean and selfish. Maybe Johar's cynicism is seeping into the film but the result is that the effect is inconsistent with what the director says he is trying to achieve. Characters as egocentric as the ones in this film cannot pull off a love story; at best they can achieve a simulacrum of lust or infatuation. In other words, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is completely devoid of any feeling that can even be remotely termed as love. Although these characters keep talking about love, they are incapable of loving anyone except themselves. At first they all appear to be kind, loving, and friendly but wait till they remove their facades and reveal their true selves. Do they behave so because of their loneliness and insecurity? Well, the fact is that they are too shallow to even experience loneliness. What comes across is that they are bored by their lives. Perhaps they need company to escape their boredom. But even company is no good to them, for they always end up rediscovering boredom. If this is true then can we say that Johar succeeded in evoking Antonioni? Alas, we can't! For, Johar certainly doesn't achieve this effect by design. He attempts to make an out and out romantic film but ends up making a film that's not even remotely romantic.

That's not all that's wrong with the film, sadly.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is rife with homages to old Hindi film songs (Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Nur Jahan... you name it) and the characters' mannerisms seem deeply influenced the traditional melodrama of Bollywood films. That's fine, but the self-referential aspects of this jar. Karan Johar doesn't hesitate from making references to his own films and dialogues. It may look funny at times but it certainly is quite unbecoming of a seasoned filmmaker like him. He stills seems to be living in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Not much has changed about the way his films are made except that his characters are now quite open about their physical needs. Sex is no longer a taboo for them. There are moments in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil when it appears that Karan Johar is running short of ideas. The film runs high on cliches (he even introduces cancer as a plot device!) and it seems as if Johar is grasping at straws to give the film some semblance of closure. Another disturbing thing about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is that the characters are drunk most of the time. One wonders how these characters end up making all the important decisions in their lives while being in a state of inebriation. Overall, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is one of those films that show promise but ultimately disappoint. While Johar does a reasonable job as far as the movie's direction is concerned, he fails miserably in the writing department. The weak writing fails to do justice to the talent on show. Ranbir Kapoor, who is known to be quite choosy when it comes to picking roles, must have given his nod for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in the hope that it would help break the hex of misses and near misses that have shaken his career during the last couple of years or so. Although, his role in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil bears some similarities to his roles in Tamasha, Rockstar and Wake Up Sid, there's even less substance here. His character never quite develops. Anushka, as usual, exudes an air of chutzpah that few actresses in the industry can equal. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan makes her presence felt during her short appearance. But, unfortunately, the romance between her character and Ranbir's doesn't live up to the hype created by the rushes. Fawad Khan's role is far from significant. Wonder what the fuss was about. As for Shah Rukh Khan, he looks charismatic during his brief appearance wherein he makes an important remark about one-sided love. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has its moments but it ultimately fails to leave any lasting impact owing to its weak narrative. Still if you are desperately looking for some escapist entertainment you can certainly give it a try.
The romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, written and directed by Karan Johan (his sixth film and the first since Student of the Year, 2012), stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in pivotal roles, with cameos by Fawad Khan, Lisa Hayden, Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is essentially the story of a young man named Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) who is in search of true love in a selfish and materialistic world. Ayan is filthy rich and has all the time in the world to pursue his quixotic adventures.
But what's difficult to come to terms with is a film about love that tends to depict human relationships with an outrageous sense of levity. Every character in the movie is utterly selfish.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is rife with homages to old Hindi film songs (Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Nur Jahan... you name it) and the characters' mannerisms seem deeply influenced the traditional melodrama of Bollywood films.
The film runs high on cliches (he even introduces cancer as a plot device!) and it seems as if Johar is grasping at straws to give the film some semblance of closure. Still if you are desperately looking for some escapist entertainment you can certainly give it a try.
30
The cover of the picture book Charlie the Choo-Choo by Beryl Evans, illustrated by Ned Dameron, is splayed with a glowing blurb from horror great Stephen King: "If I were ever to write a children's book, it would be just like this!"

Normally, we'd do well to take book blurbs with a grain of salt, but this one couldn't be more true. That's because King did write Charlie the Choo-Choo, under the pen name Beryl Evans. In fact, both the book and Evans appear in the third installment of King's Dark Tower series, The Waste Lands, published in 1991.In true King fashion, the anthropomorphized train, Charlie, ranges from spooky to dolorous throughout the book. Even cheery Charlie, hard at work as a locomotive and besties with his engineer Bob, seems a bit, well, off. For one thing, he has so many pointy teeth that Little Red Riding Hood would feel compelled to comment on them.

In The Waste Lands, Jake Chambers buys the book at a bookstore called the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind and reads it. Despite the positive depiction of Charlie, he reacts with suspicion: "Jake found that he did not trust the smile on Charlie the Choo-Choo's face. You look happy, but I think that's just the mask you wear, he thought."

Poor Charlie, however, comes up against the same obstacle as so many anthropomorphized steam-powered machines in children's entertainment: He's made obsolete. Just like Mike Mulligan's steam shovel, Charlie is deemed outdated by the brass, and he's left to rust away.

Here's where the book, based on sample pages from Amazon, gets really dark:

Unless you want to teach your small children a particularly jolting lesson about the grimness of mortality, this might not be a book to bring home for your 2-year-old. But, for fans, it's a brilliant tie-in to King's expansive Dark Tower universe.

The books first turned up in a special promotion batch at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, whereupon they immediately became red-hot commodities among King buffs. But now, months later, they're listed for pre-order on Amazon with a release date of Nov. 22, 2016. If you couldn't rustle up the cash for a secondhand Comic-Con copy this July, you may now breathe easy.
The cover of the picture book Charlie the Choo-Choo by Beryl Evans, illustrated by Ned Dameron, is splayed with a glowing blurb from horror great Stephen King: "If I were ever to write a children's book, it would be just like this!"

In The Waste Lands, Jake Chambers buys the book at a bookstore called the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind and reads it. Despite the positive depiction of Charlie, he reacts with suspicion: "Jake found that he did not trust the smile on Charlie the Choo-Choo's face. You look happy, but I think that's just the mask you wear, he thought."

Unless you want to teach your small children a particularly jolting lesson about the grimness of mortality, this might not be a book to bring home for your 2-year-old. But, for fans, it's a brilliant tie-in to King's expansive Dark Tower universe.
31
The investigation into Brad Pitt's alleged child abuse has been expanded to focus on all of the actor's kids with Angelina Jolie, a source connected to Jolie told The Huffington Post.

Initially, the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services had focused their investigation on a specific incident involving the former couple's 15-year-old son, Maddox. It was reported that Pitt became "verbally abusive" and "physical" in front of his children while the whole family was on their private plane.

The investigation was meant to close by the end of October, according to In Touch, but a source told the magazine it "was not closed on schedule for a reason." The outlet claims the extended investigation is a result of new accusations against Pitt, including multiple alleged instances of verbal abuse.

"The DCFS investigation is now going to continue for at least several more weeks," the source added.

According to TMZ, the DCFS will investigate other alleged incidents, including some between Pitt and Jolie which were reportedly witnessed by some of their children. A source told the outlet some of the estranged couple's kids have been fearful around "The Big Short" actor. The Huffington Post has reached out to a representative for Pitt regarding these new accusations and will update this post accordingly, while the DCFS was unable to provide further information regarding the investigation.

News of the alleged child abuse was first reported by TMZ, shortly after Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September. According to a source who spoke to People, as of last week, the DCFS investigation was "absolutely ongoing."

Jolie and the children were also reportedly interviewed by the FBI about Pitt's behavior. Apparently, the agents were trying to determine whether or not there was enough evidence to support the child abuse claims to warrant an investigation.

"The agents wanted a breakdown of everything that happened from when the plane took off to when it landed," a source told Us Weekly. "They're looking into charges of assault."

The source told the outlet that the FBI "will likely investigate for another few weeks" and once they finish "they will present the case to the prosecutor, who will evaluate whether they feel the need to bring charges against Brad."

In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, a representative for the FBI said, "the FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued."
The investigation into Brad Pitt's alleged child abuse has been expanded to focus on all of the actor's kids with Angelina Jolie, a source connected to Jolie told The Huffington Post.

According to TMZ, the DCFS will investigate other alleged incidents, including some between Pitt and Jolie which were reportedly witnessed by some of their children.

A source told the outlet some of the estranged couple's kids have been fearful around "The Big Short" actor. Jolie and the children were also reportedly interviewed by the FBI about Pitt's behavior.

Apparently, the agents were trying to determine whether or not there was enough evidence to support the child abuse claims to warrant an investigation.

In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, a representative for the FBI said, "the FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued."
32
Twenty-three million years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began to shrink, going from an expanse larger than today’s to one about half its modern size. Computer models suggested a spike in carbon dioxide levels as the cause, but the evidence was elusive — until now. Ancient fossilized leaves retrieved from a lake bed in New Zealand now show for the first time that carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically over a relatively short period of time as the ice sheet began to deteriorate.
The findings, appearing in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, raise new questions about the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet today as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise to levels never before experienced by humans.
“We see here that when the Antarctic ice sheet starts deteriorating, it is not that easy to get it back,” said study lead author Tammo Reichgelt, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a Frontiers Teaching Fellow. “Some models have shown that, at the rate we’re going right now, the Antarctic Ice Sheet might reach a critical tipping point and start reducing the extent of ice very quickly. We see here that that has happened in the past.”
The scientists examined a 100,000-year period at the transition between the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. The Antarctic Ice Sheet was about 125 percent larger at the start of that period than it is today. By the end, it was about 50 percent smaller than today.
Just before the ice sheet began its decline, atmospheric CO2 levels began to spike, rising from about 500 parts per million (ppm) to between 750 and 1550 ppm over a span of just 20,000 years, the study found. The CO2 level returned to around 425 ppm after that, but positive feedback loops continued to drive melting, the scientists said.
“This is the first time we have found evidence that CO2 fluctuations of this magnitude can happen on relatively short time scales,” Reichgelt said. To compare the CO2 increase to modern times, atmospheric CO2 recently passed 400 ppm and is rising.
What caused the CO2 spike 23 million years ago is still unknown, Reichgelt said. Glacial periods have coincided with cyclical changes in Earth’s orbit, and one theory suggests that organic material that had built up in the Southern Ocean may have started oxygenating quickly and released large amounts of CO2.
Twenty-three million years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began to shrink, going from an expanse larger than today’s to one about half its modern size. Computer models suggested a spike in carbon dioxide levels as the cause, but the evidence was elusive — until now. Ancient fossilized leaves retrieved from a lake bed in New Zealand now show for the first time that carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically over a relatively short period of time as the ice sheet began to deteriorate.
“Some models have shown that, at the rate we’re going right now, the Antarctic Ice Sheet might reach a critical tipping point and start reducing the extent of ice very quickly. We see here that that has happened in the past.”
The scientists examined a 100,000-year period at the transition between the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. The Antarctic Ice Sheet was about 125 percent larger at the start of that period than it is today. By the end, it was about 50 percent smaller than today.
Just before the ice sheet began its decline, atmospheric CO2 levels began to spike, rising from about 500 parts per million (ppm) to between 750 and 1550 ppm over a span of just 20,000 years, the study found. The CO2 level returned to around 425 ppm after that, but positive feedback loops continued to drive melting, the scientists said.
33
A few months ago, Sam Schmidt drove more than 150 mph in the semiautonomous Arrow SAM Car during demonstration laps at the Indy 500. Now, he's been granted the nation's first autonomous vehicle-restricted driver's license by the state of Nevada. That means he can drive the SAM Car, which was built for him by Arrow Electronics, on public roads under restricted conditions.

Arrow designed the SAM car for Schmidt in 2014, and in 2015, they began working with Schmidt's home state of Nevada to revise regulations to allow him to drive on roads in addition to race tracks. The vehicle is not entirely autonomous; Schmidt does control the car, a modified Corvette Z06, using his voice, head, and breath to steer, accelerate, and brake. But it qualifies as autonomous according to Nevada law because Schmidt does not have "full active control" of the car, according to an email.

Schmidt received his license today and celebrated with a few laps at Exotic Racing track and on public roads near the facility. And sure, you could say it's a publicity stunt, but the stunt is increasing access to all kinds of transportation through technology. As Jude Hurin of the Nevada DMV said in a statement:
At this early stage, autonomous technology can seem gimmicky, but for a lot of people, it could prove to be a game changer. As Schmidt himself said, "I can’t even begin to explain just how much this provisional driver’s license, and the mobility and independence it represents, mean to me."
A few months ago, Sam Schmidt drove more than 150 mph in the semiautonomous Arrow SAM Car during demonstration laps at the Indy 500. Now, he's been granted the nation's first autonomous vehicle-restricted driver's license by the state of Nevada. The vehicle is not entirely autonomous; Schmidt does control the car, a modified Corvette Z06, using his voice, head, and breath to steer, accelerate, and brake.
As Jude Hurin of the Nevada DMV said in a statement:
At this early stage, autonomous technology can seem gimmicky, but for a lot of people, it could prove to be a game changer.
34
As Hurricane Matthew barreled toward the Southeast, millions of Americans fixated on a single measure of its destructive power: wind speed. While they tracked miles per hour like adrenaline junkies watching a speedometer, they took their eyes off a far more important factor. It was rain, not wind, that dealt the most damage as Matthew rumbled ashore.
Hurricane Matthew upended lives in the Southeast over the weekend, killing at least 33 people in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, while floods cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. Earlier in the week, the storm pummeled Haiti, killing an estimated 1,000 people, according to Reuters.
For all its destructive power, Matthew was curiously underrated. By the time it reached North Carolina, it barely qualified as a Category 1 hurricane, a confusing designation for a storm that produced record floods.
Our current system of rating hurricanes is based on wind speed. Category 1 hurricanes produce winds of 75 to 95 miles per hour. Category 5 hurricanes can produce winds of more than 157 mph. Wind speed is a good proxy for the lethal force of a hurricane. Powerful winds can tear the roofs off houses, knock down trees and power lines, and drive storm surges that inundate coastal towns. But wind speed doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s also rainfall. Even a mild-mannered Category 1 or 2 hurricane can prove catastrophic if it produces enough rain. Hurricane Matthew dumped 18 inches on parts of North Carolina — more rain than Louisiana and Mississippi saw during Hurricane Katrina. Floods in the Tar Heel State destroyed 7,000 homes. More than 2,000 people needed to be rescued.
Time and again, we see that water — not wind — wreaks the greatest havoc during severe storms. Just ask New York. Hurricane Sandy registered as a Category 1 storm, but it proved the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Hurricane Matthew followed a similar pattern, prompting weather experts to criticize the wind-based system of classification.
To be fair, it would be difficult to design a scale that encapsulates every threat in one number. Some hurricanes boast high-speed winds. Others churn out massive storm surges. Columbia University atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel believes experts should warn the public about the specific hazards associated with any individual hurricane rather than offering up a single number.
This debate will likely heat up in the years ahead. Climate change is fueling more powerful hurricanes that spin up faster and deliver more rain. When it comes to extreme precipitation, the human fingerprint is clear. As the atmosphere heats up, it holds more water and produces heavier downfalls.
That was evident this week. Parts of the Southeast saw record high levels of atmospheric moisture as Matthew passed over the region.
While Matthew didn’t produce many iconic scenes of palm trees felled by high-speed winds, it proved immensely destructive, robbing people of their lives and homes.
The biggest hazards often come in small doses—a million tiny drops that add up to a devastating flood. As weather grows more extreme, meteorologists will need to find a better way to communicate the risks to the public.
It was rain, not wind, that dealt the most damage as Matthew rumbled ashore.
Hurricane Matthew upended lives in the Southeast over the weekend, killing at least 33 people in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, while floods cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses
Wind speed is a good proxy for the lethal force of a hurricane. that inundate coastal towns. But wind speed doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s also rainfall. Even a mild-mannered Category 1 or 2 hurricane can prove catastrophic if it produces enough rain. Hurricane Matthew dumped 18 inches on parts of North Carolina
Climate change is fueling more powerful hurricanes that spin up faster and deliver more rain. When it comes to extreme precipitation, the human fingerprint is clear. As the atmosphere heats up, it holds more water and produces heavier downfalls.
As weather grows more extreme, meteorologists will need to find a better way to communicate the risks to the public.
35
Scenic mountains, fields of flowers and verdant forests are burning more frequently and intensely than ever before. The number of wildfires on public lands is up 500 percent since the late 1970s.

Fighting fires is no easy task, but it’s an ever more important one for California’s Bureau of Land Management. The bureau deploys firefighters, many of whom are veterans, with trucks, helicopters and specialized equipment to control blazes in remote areas.

This year, BLM firefighters have been battling the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County since July 22. Caused by an illegal campfire, the fire scorched more than 130,000 acres, mostly in the Los Padres National Forest. At its peak, more than 5,000 men and women were assigned to the fire. The effort cost a bulldozer operator his life, destroyed 57 homes, and cost $236 million — the costliest fire in U.S. history.

America’s Southwest is shifting to a hotter and drier climate, fueling more frequent and destructive wildfires like the one in Monterey County. Ten of California’s 20 largest wildfires burned in the last ten years. Last summer, southern California temperatures exceeded 120°F during a record-breaking heat wave, setting the stage for life-threatening fires.
Additional consequences of climate change, like warmer winters, reduced snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt have favored pine beetle infestations, which also harm trees. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that extreme heat and drought killed 66 million trees in the Sierra Nevada forest since 2010.

Carbon pollution will only continue these trends, destroying natural treasures and endangering the lives of firefighters and residents.
The number of wildfires on public lands is up 500 percent since the late 1970s.

Caused by an illegal campfire, a fire scorched more than 130,000 acres, mostly in the Los Padres National Forest. The effort cost a bulldozer operator his life, destroyed 57 homes, and cost $236 million — the costliest fire in U.S. history.

Ten of California’s 20 largest wildfires burned in the last ten years. Last summer, southern California temperatures exceeded 120°F during a record-breaking heat wave, setting the stage for life-threatening fires.
Additional consequences of climate change, like warmer winters, reduced snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt have favored pine beetle infestations, which also harm trees. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that extreme heat and drought killed 66 million trees in the Sierra Nevada forest since 2010.

Carbon pollution will only continue these trends, destroying natural treasures and endangering the lives of firefighters and residents.
36
Psychology has a replication problem. Since 2010, scientists conducting replications of hundreds of studies have discovered that a dismal amount of published results can be reproduced. This realization by psychologists has come to be known as "replication crisis".
For me, this story all started with ego-depletion, and the comics I had drawn about it in 2014. The idea is that your self-control is a resource that can be diminished with use. When you think about all the times you've been slowly worn down by temptation, it seems obvious. When I drew the comics, there had been new research pointing to blood sugar levels as the font of self-control from which we all drew from. It also made sense—people get cranky when they're hungry. We even made up a word for it. We call it being "hangry".
Fast forward to July of this year when Martin Hagger and Nikos Chatzisarantis published the results of their multi-lab effort to replicate the results of a seminal ego-depletion study. The verdict? Over two thousand participants across twenty-three labs were not able to produce a statistically significant result. Alarmed by the implications, and looking to set the record straight on the comics I had drawn about ego-depletion, I reached out to Martin. Originally, I had planned to draw an erratum of sorts in comic form, but as I spoke with Martin about the issue, it became clear that there was something bigger that I had been missing.
I spoke with several scientists, and found out that this wasn't just an isolated event in one field. Reproducibility problems were arising wherever they were studied, and they all pointed to various systematic problems and creeping biases within the publishing process itself.
But it hardly stops there. I had more material than I knew what to do with, and several interviews happened too late in the process to make it into the comic. As such, I'm going to start publishing the unused material here on Boxplot. Hopefully, together with my Nib piece, it will give people a greater understanding of this current problem in science, as well as how scientists are working to fix it.
Psychology has a replication problem. Since 2010, scientists conducting replications of hundreds of studies have discovered that a dismal amount of published results can be reproduced. This realization by psychologists has come to be known as "replication crisis".
Fast forward to July of this year when Martin Hagger and Nikos Chatzisarantis published the results of their multi-lab effort to replicate the results of a seminal ego-depletion study. The verdict? Over two thousand participants across twenty-three labs were not able to produce a statistically significant result.
Reproducibility problems were arising wherever they were studied, and they all pointed to various systematic problems and creeping biases within the publishing process itself.
37
New Orleans cardiologist Dr. Anand Irimpen began to notice that his on-call nights at the
hospital were getting busier soon after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
It seemed as if many more people were having heart attacks.

He decided to examine the data, and he discovered it wasn’t a fluke. The number of heart
attack hospital admissions was three times higher than before the storm, and has not
abated, not even ten years later.

“Stress contributes to heart attacks, and we had a major disaster that disrupted the whole
city,” he says. “Still, we were surprised, because we didn’t expect a three-fold increase.
We were expecting a slight increase, followed by a decrease. But ten years out, we are
still seeing a three-fold increase.”

Irimpen, chief of cardiology at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and
professor of medicine at Tulane University, said many of his patients have spoken to him
of their struggles, both from the direct effects of the hurricane, as well as about later
obstacles they encountered when trying to rebuild their homes.
“Some were evacuated and are now just coming back, others have told me that they have only
just started to rebuild because they got their [insurance] money late,” he says.
“With climate change, we are seeing an increase in extreme weather events all around the
world, and it’s important for us to understand how these factors affect the heart.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than half a million
people annually experience their first heart attack, and about 200,000 have a second one,
according to the American Heart Association.

Irimpen presented his research today at a scientific meeting sponsored by the heart
association.

“It is well-known that those types of social and psychosocial conditions are related to
cardiovascular events,’’ says Dr. Richard C. Becker, a spokesman for the heart association
and director of the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute. “We’ve
recognized for many years that there is an acute stress response that can lead to sudden
cardiac death, heart attack and stroke.
“During Hurricane Katrina, there were a million people that were displaced,” Becker added.
“These are individuals who likely had underlying high blood pressure, diabetes or other
risk factors, who may not have had access to either their medications or to a healthcare
provider. This is a very important observational study.”

Irimpen and his colleagues also found that patients were significantly more likely to have
other risk factors for heart attack post-Katrina than before the hurricane, including
coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They were
also more likely to be smokers.

The researchers found that these patients were more than twice as likely to abuse drugs,
or suffer from a psychiatric disease as their pre-Katrina counterparts. Moreover,
unemployment and lack of health insurance were significantly more frequent among the
post-Katrina patients, he says.

Post-Katrina patients also were more likely to receive prescriptions for medications to
treat heart disease, cholesterol and hypertension, but were only half as likely to take
them compared to the pre-Katrina group, he says.
“When the priority is rebuilding your home, health often takes a back seat,’’ Irimpen
says. “A lot of them are not taking their medications, not eating at home — eating out
and eating unhealthy food — and they may be pushed to high risk activities, like smoking
and substance abuse. They are still dealing with the effects of a major disaster that
has disrupted healthy living styles.”

Some, he adds, may have had an existing predisposition to heart disease “that reached a
tipping point because of the devastation and related stress of Katrina, and they didn’t know it themselves.”

The researchers studied 150 hospital records for heart attack patients admitted to Tulane
Medical Center in the two years before Katrina, and 2,341 in the ten years after.
Irimpen plans to expand the study to two other hospitals in the city, University Medical
Center and Touro Hospital, to gain a more complete picture of post-Katrina heart attacks
in the city. He hopes to have results in about a year.

“My thinking is that it will show a similar increase,” he says. “My hope as a cardiologist
is that it does not, but my expectation as a scientist is that it will.”
The number of heart
attack hospital admissions was three times higher than before the storm, and has not
abated, not even ten years later.

“Stress contributes to heart attacks, and we had a major disaster that disrupted the whole
city,” he says.

“With climate change, we are seeing an increase in extreme weather events all around the
world, and it’s important for us to understand how these factors affect the heart.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than half a million
people annually experience their first heart attack, and about 200,000 have a second one,
according to the American Heart Association.
“These are individuals who likely had underlying high blood pressure, diabetes or other
risk factors, who may not have had access to either their medications or to a healthcare
provider.”

Irimpen and his colleagues also found that patients were significantly more likely to have
other risk factors for heart attack post-Katrina than before the hurricane, including
coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They were
also more likely to be smokers.

Some, he adds, may have had an existing predisposition to heart disease “that reached a
tipping point because of the devastation and related stress of Katrina, and
they didn’t know it themselves.”
38
Ad sales boost Time Warner profit

Quarterly profits at US media giant TimeWarner jumped 76% to $1.13bn (£600m) for the three months to December, from $639m year-earlier.

The firm, which is now one of the biggest investors in Google, benefited from sales of high-speed internet connections and higher advert sales. TimeWarner said fourth quarter sales rose 2% to $11.1bn from $10.9bn. Its profits were buoyed by one-off gains which offset a profit dip at Warner Bros, and less users for AOL.

Time Warner said on Friday that it now owns 8% of search-engine Google. But its own internet business, AOL, had has mixed fortunes. It lost 464,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter profits were lower than in the preceding three quarters. However, the company said AOL's underlying profit before exceptional items rose 8% on the back of stronger internet advertising revenues. It hopes to increase subscribers by offering the online service free to TimeWarner internet customers and will try to sign up AOL's existing customers for high-speed broadband. TimeWarner also has to restate 2000 and 2003 results following a probe by the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which is close to concluding.

Time Warner's fourth quarter profits were slightly better than analysts' expectations. But its film division saw profits slump 27% to $284m, helped by box-office flops Alexander and Catwoman, a sharp contrast to year-earlier, when the third and final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy boosted results. For the full-year, TimeWarner posted a profit of $3.36bn, up 27% from its 2003 performance, while revenues grew 6.4% to $42.09bn. "Our financial performance was strong, meeting or exceeding all of our full-year objectives and greatly enhancing our flexibility," chairman and chief executive Richard Parsons said. For 2005, TimeWarner is projecting operating earnings growth of around 5%, and also expects higher revenue and wider profit margins.

TimeWarner is to restate its accounts as part of efforts to resolve an inquiry into AOL by US market regulators. It has already offered to pay $300m to settle charges, in a deal that is under review by the SEC. The company said it was unable to estimate the amount it needed to set aside for legal reserves, which it previously set at $500m. It intends to adjust the way it accounts for a deal with German music publisher Bertelsmann's purchase of a stake in AOL Europe, which it had reported as advertising revenue. It will now book the sale of its stake in AOL Europe as a loss on the value of that stake.
TimeWarner said fourth quarter sales rose 2% to $11.1bn from $10.9bn.For the full-year, TimeWarner posted a profit of $3.36bn, up 27% from its 2003 performance, while revenues grew 6.4% to $42.09bn.Quarterly profits at US media giant TimeWarner jumped 76% to $1.13bn (£600m) for the three months to December, from $639m year-earlier.However, the company said AOL's underlying profit before exceptional items rose 8% on the back of stronger internet advertising revenues.Its profits were buoyed by one-off gains which offset a profit dip at Warner Bros, and less users for AOL.For 2005, TimeWarner is projecting operating earnings growth of around 5%, and also expects higher revenue and wider profit margins.It lost 464,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter profits were lower than in the preceding three quarters.Time Warner's fourth quarter profits were slightly better than analysts' expectations.
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Dollar gains on Greenspan speech

The dollar has hit its highest level against the euro in almost three months after the Federal Reserve head said the US trade deficit is set to stabilise.

And Alan Greenspan highlighted the US government's willingness to curb spending and rising household savings as factors which may help to reduce it. In late trading in New York, the dollar reached $1.2871 against the euro, from $1.2974 on Thursday. Market concerns about the deficit has hit the greenback in recent months. On Friday, Federal Reserve chairman Mr Greenspan's speech in London ahead of the meeting of G7 finance ministers sent the dollar higher after it had earlier tumbled on the back of worse-than-expected US jobs data. "I think the chairman's taking a much more sanguine view on the current account deficit than he's taken for some time," said Robert Sinche, head of currency strategy at Bank of America in New York. "He's taking a longer-term view, laying out a set of conditions under which the current account deficit can improve this year and next."

Worries about the deficit concerns about China do, however, remain. China's currency remains pegged to the dollar and the US currency's sharp falls in recent months have therefore made Chinese export prices highly competitive. But calls for a shift in Beijing's policy have fallen on deaf ears, despite recent comments in a major Chinese newspaper that the "time is ripe" for a loosening of the peg. The G7 meeting is thought unlikely to produce any meaningful movement in Chinese policy. In the meantime, the US Federal Reserve's decision on 2 February to boost interest rates by a quarter of a point - the sixth such move in as many months - has opened up a differential with European rates. The half-point window, some believe, could be enough to keep US assets looking more attractive, and could help prop up the dollar. The recent falls have partly been the result of big budget deficits, as well as the US's yawning current account gap, both of which need to be funded by the buying of US bonds and assets by foreign firms and governments. The White House will announce its budget on Monday, and many commentators believe the deficit will remain at close to half a trillion dollars.
The dollar has hit its highest level against the euro in almost three months after the Federal Reserve head said the US trade deficit is set to stabilise.China's currency remains pegged to the dollar and the US currency's sharp falls in recent months have therefore made Chinese export prices highly competitive.Market concerns about the deficit has hit the greenback in recent months."I think the chairman's taking a much more sanguine view on the current account deficit than he's taken for some time," said Robert Sinche, head of currency strategy at Bank of America in New York.The recent falls have partly been the result of big budget deficits, as well as the US's yawning current account gap, both of which need to be funded by the buying of US bonds and assets by foreign firms and governments."He's taking a longer-term view, laying out a set of conditions under which the current account deficit can improve this year and next."
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The Zafi.D virus translates the Christmas greeting on its subject line into the language of the person receiving infected e-mail. Anti-virus firms speculate that this multilingual ability is helping the malicious program spread widely online. Anti-virus firm Sophos said that 10% of the e-mail currently on the net was infected with the Zafi virus.

Like many other Windows viruses, Zafi-D plunders Microsoft Outlook for e-mail addresses and then uses mail-sending software to despatch itself across the web to new victims. To be infected users must open up the attachment travelling with the message which bears the code for the malicious bug. The attachment on the e-mail poses as an electronic Christmas card but anyone opening it will simply get a crude image of two smiley faces.

The virus' subject line says "Merry Christmas" and translates this into one of 15 languages depending of the final suffix of the e-mail address the infected message has been sent to. The message in the body of the e-mail reads: "Happy Holidays" and this too is translated. On infected machines the virus tries to disable anti-virus and firewall software and opens up a backdoor on the PC to hand over control to the writer of the virus. The virus is thought to have spread most widely in South America, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Hungary. The original Zafi virus appeared in April this year. "We have seen these hoaxes for several Christmases already, and personally I prefer traditional pen and paper cards, and we recommend this to all our clients too," said Mikko Hypponen, who heads F-Secure's anti-virus team.
Anti-virus firm Sophos said that 10% of the e-mail currently on the net was infected with the Zafi virus.The Zafi.D virus translates the Christmas greeting on its subject line into the language of the person receiving infected e-mail.The virus' subject line says "Merry Christmas" and translates this into one of 15 languages depending of the final suffix of the e-mail address the infected message has been sent to.On infected machines the virus tries to disable anti-virus and firewall software and opens up a backdoor on the PC to hand over control to the writer of the virus.Security firms are warning about a Windows virus disguising itself as an electronic Christmas card.The original Zafi virus appeared in April this year.
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Sony PSP console hits US in March. The handheld console will go on sale for $250 (£132) and the first million sold will come with Spider-Man 2 on UMD, the disc format for the machine. Sony has billed the machine as the Walkman of the 21st Century and has sold more than 800,000 units in Japan. The console (12cm by 7.4cm) will play games, movies and music and also offers support for wireless gaming. Sony is entering a market which has been dominated by Nintendo for many years.

It launched its DS handheld in Japan and the US last year and has sold 2.8 million units. Sony has said it wanted to launch the PSP in Europe at roughly the same time as the US, but gamers will now fear that the launch has been put back. Nintendo has said it will release the DS in Europe from 11 March. "It has gaming at its core, but it's not a gaming device. It's an entertainment device," said Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Sony has billed the machine as the Walkman of the 21st Century and has sold more than 800,000 units in Japan.Sony has said it wanted to launch the PSP in Europe at roughly the same time as the US, but gamers will now fear that the launch has been put back.Nintendo has said it will release the DS in Europe from 11 March.It launched its DS handheld in Japan and the US last year and has sold 2.8 million units.
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The survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, showed that blog readership has shot up by 58% in the last year. Some of this growth is attributable to political blogs written and read during the US presidential campaign. Despite the explosive growth, more than 60% of online Americans have still never heard of blogs, the survey found. Blogs, or web logs, are online spaces in which people can publish their thoughts, opinions or spread news events in their own words. Companies such as Google and Microsoft provide users with the tools to publish their own blogs.

The rise of blogs has spawned a new desire for immediate news and information, with six million Americans now using RSS aggregators. RSS aggregators are downloaded to PCs and are programmed to subscribe to feeds from blogs, news sites and other websites. The aggregators automatically compile the latest information published online from the blogs or news sites. Reading blogs remains far more popular than writing them, the survey found. Only 7% of the 120 million US adults who use the internet had created a blog or web-based diary. Getting involved is becoming more popular though, with 12% saying they had posted material or comments on other people's blogs.

Just under one in 10 of the US's internet users read political blogs such as the Daily Kos or Instapundit during the US presidential campaign. Kerry voters were slightly more likely to read them than Bush voters. Blog creators were likely to be young, well-educated, net-savvy males with good incomes and college educations, the survey found. This was also true of the average blog reader, although the survey found there was a greater than average growth in blog readership among women and those in minorities. The survey was conducted during November and involved telephone surveys of 1,324 internet users.
This was also true of the average blog reader, although the survey found there was a greater than average growth in blog readership among women and those in minorities.Reading blogs remains far more popular than writing them, the survey found.Just under one in 10 of the US's internet users read political blogs such as the Daily Kos or Instapundit during the US presidential campaign.Some of this growth is attributable to political blogs written and read during the US presidential campaign.Despite the explosive growth, more than 60% of online Americans have still never heard of blogs, the survey found.The survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, showed that blog readership has shot up by 58% in the last year.The rise of blogs has spawned a new desire for immediate news and information, with six million Americans now using RSS aggregators.
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The makers of computer programs that secretly spy on what people do with their home PCs could face hefty fines in California. From 1 January, a new law is being introduced to protect computer users from software known as spyware. The legislation, which was approved by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is designed to safeguard people from hackers and help protect their personal information. Spyware is considered by computer experts to be one of the biggest nuisance and security threats facing PC users in the coming year. The software buries itself in computers and can collect a wide range of information. At its worst, it has the ability to hijack personal data, like passwords, login details and credit card numbers. The programs are so sophisticated they change frequently and become impossible to eradicate.

One form of spyware called adware has the ability to collect information on a computer user's web-surfing. It can result in people being bombarded with pop-up ads that are hard to close. In Washington, Congress has been debating four anti-spyware bills, but California is a step ahead. The state's Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act bans the installation of software that takes control of another computer. It also requires companies and websites to disclose whether their systems will install spyware. Consumers are able to seek up to $1,000 in damages if they think they have fallen victim to the intrusive software. The new law marks a continuing trend in California towards tougher privacy rights. A recent survey by Earthlink and Webroot found that 90% of PCs are infested with the surreptitious software and that, on average, each one is harbouring 28 separate spyware programs. Currently users wanting protection from spyware have turned to free programs such as Spybot and Ad-Aware.
From 1 January, a new law is being introduced to protect computer users from software known as spyware.One form of spyware called adware has the ability to collect information on a computer user's web-surfing.The state's Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act bans the installation of software that takes control of another computer.The software buries itself in computers and can collect a wide range of information.The makers of computer programs that secretly spy on what people do with their home PCs could face hefty fines in California.Spyware is considered by computer experts to be one of the biggest nuisance and security threats facing PC users in the coming year.Currently users wanting protection from spyware have turned to free programs such as Spybot and Ad-Aware.
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European Union finance ministers are meeting on Thursday in Brussels, where they are to discuss a controversial jet fuel tax. A levy on jet fuel has been suggested as a way to raise funds to finance aid for the world's poorest nations. Airlines and aviation bodies have reacted strongly against the plans, saying they would hurt companies at a time when earnings are under pressure. The EU said a tax would only be passed after full consultation with airlines. It was keen to point out earlier this week that any new tax on jet fuel should not hurt the "competitiveness of the airlines". Ministers will also be discussing reforms to regulations governing European public spending.

Global leaders have focused attention on poverty reduction and development at recent meetings of the G7 Group and World Economic Forum. The world's richest countries have said they want to boost the amount of aid they give to 0.7% of their annual gross national income by 2015. Many EU ministers are thought to support the plan to tax jet fuel - tabled by France and Germany following the recent G7 meeting. At present, the fuel used by airlines enjoys either a very low tax rate or is untaxed in EU member states.
European Union finance ministers are meeting on Thursday in Brussels, where they are to discuss a controversial jet fuel tax.Many EU ministers are thought to support the plan to tax jet fuel - tabled by France and Germany following the recent G7 meeting.It was keen to point out earlier this week that any new tax on jet fuel should not hurt the "competitiveness of the airlines".The EU said a tax would only be passed after full consultation with airlines.
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Actor Christian Slater is stepping into the role of Tom in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie. Slater, 35, is replacing actor Dallas Roberts in the Tennessee Williams drama, which opens next month. No reason was given for Roberts' departure. The role will be played by understudy Joey Collins until Slater joins the show. Slater won rave reviews for his recent performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in London's West End. He has also starred in a number of films, including Heathers, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and more recently Churchill: The Hollywood Years. Preview performances of The Glass Menagerie will begin at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Thursday. Philip Rinaldi, a spokesman for the show, said the play's 15 March opening date remains unchanged. The revival, directed by David Leveaux, will also star Jessica Lange as the domineering mother, Amanda Wingfield.Actor Christian Slater is stepping into the role of Tom in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie.The role will be played by understudy Joey Collins until Slater joins the show.Slater, 35, is replacing actor Dallas Roberts in the Tennessee Williams drama, which opens next month.Slater won rave reviews for his recent performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in London's West End.
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Susan Chepkemei has decided she is fit enough to run in next month's Great Edinburgh International Cross Country. The Kenyan was initially unsure if she would have recovered from her gruelling tussle with Paula Radcliffe in the New York Marathon in time to compete. But she has declared herself up to the task and joins a field headed by World cross country champion Benita Johnson. Race director Matthew Turnbull said: "Susan will add even more strength in depth to the world-class line up." Chepkemei, who won the six kilometre event three years ago when it was staged in Newcastle, endured an epic battle with Radcliffe in the Big Apple until the Briton outsprinted her in the final 400m. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia will defend the title she won last year in Tyneside - before the race was moved north of the border. Recently-crowned European cross country champion Briton Hayley Yelling also competes in Edinburgh on 15 January, as does in-form Scot Kathy Butler.Susan Chepkemei has decided she is fit enough to run in next month's Great Edinburgh International Cross Country.Recently-crowned European cross country champion Briton Hayley Yelling also competes in Edinburgh on 15 January, as does in-form Scot Kathy Butler.Chepkemei, who won the six kilometre event three years ago when it was staged in Newcastle, endured an epic battle with Radcliffe in the Big Apple until the Briton outsprinted her in the final 400m.
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Double Olympic 10,000m champion Haile Gebrselassie will race in the London Marathon for the next three years. The Ethiopian legend won Sunday's Almeria half-marathon in Spain on his return from an operation on his Achilles tendon. He was third in London in 2002 in his first serious attempt at the marathon. "It is a coup for us to secure Haile's presence for the next three years and it guarantees a quality race," said race director David Bedford. Gebrselassie will face Olympic champion Stefano Baldini, world champion Jaouad Gharib, and arch-rival Paul Tergat, the current world record holder. "If I didn't think I could win I would not be here," said Gebrselassie, who has set world records on 18 occasions in his illustrious career and is keen to add the marathon record to his collection. "There are a lot of fantastic runners in the race but I shall be doing my utmost to upset them."Double Olympic 10,000m champion Haile Gebrselassie will race in the London Marathon for the next three years."It is a coup for us to secure Haile's presence for the next three years and it guarantees a quality race," said race director David Bedford."If I didn't think I could win I would not be here," said Gebrselassie, who has set world records on 18 occasions in his illustrious career and is keen to add the marathon record to his collection.
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A man is facing charges of hacking into computers at the US arm of mobile phone firm T-Mobile. The Californian man, Nicholas Lee Jacobsen, was arrested in October. Mr Jacobsen tried at least twice to hack T-Mobile's network and took names and social security numbers of 400 customers, said a company spokesman. The arrest came a year after T-Mobile uncovered the unauthorised access. The US Secret Service has been investigating the case. "T-Mobile has stringent procedures in place where we monitor for suspicious activity so that limited his activities and we were able to take corrective action immediately," Peter Dobrow, a T-Mobile spokesperson said. It is thought that Mr Jacobsen's hacking campaign took place over at least seven months during which time he read e-mails and personal computer files, according to court records. Although Mr Jacobsen, 21, managed to get hold of some data, it is thought he failed to get customer credit card numbers which are stored on a separate computer system, said Mr Dobrow. T-Mobile confirmed that the US Secret Service was also looking into whether the hacker accessed photos that T-Mobile subscribers had taken with their camera phones. The Associated Press agency reported that Mr Jacobsen also read personal files on the Secret Service agent who was apparently investigating the case. A Los Angeles grand jury indicted Mr Jacobsen with intentionally accessing a computer system without authorisation and with the unauthorised impairment of a protected computer between March and October 2004. He is currently on bail. T-Mobile is a subsidiary company of Deutsche Telekom and has about 16.3 million subscribers in the US.T-Mobile confirmed that the US Secret Service was also looking into whether the hacker accessed photos that T-Mobile subscribers had taken with their camera phones.The Associated Press agency reported that Mr Jacobsen also read personal files on the Secret Service agent who was apparently investigating the case.A man is facing charges of hacking into computers at the US arm of mobile phone firm T-Mobile.T-Mobile is a subsidiary company of Deutsche Telekom and has about 16.3 million subscribers in the US.The US Secret Service has been investigating the case.Although Mr Jacobsen, 21, managed to get hold of some data, it is thought he failed to get customer credit card numbers which are stored on a separate computer system, said Mr Dobrow.
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After a dense presentation about the undeniably impressive work Tesla is doing with AI, the company’s self-anointed Technoking, Elon Musk, capped the evening by bringing out a dancer in a spandex suit. Behold, said Musk: my Tesla Bot. The dancer in the suit, he said, was the model for a new humanoid robot Tesla will produce in the near future. After the dubstep and applause had faded, the vaguest of briefing slides promised that the Tesla Bot will stand five feet, eight inches (1.7m), weigh 125 pounds (56kg), have human-level hands, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks. Musk said that building a human-replacement robot — something no company in the world is close to achieving — was a logical step forward from Tesla’s work developing self-driving cars. 'Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels,' he said. 'It kind of makes sense to put that on to a humanoid form. We’re also quite good at sensors and batteries and actuators so we think we’ll probably have a prototype some time next year that basically looks like this.'Tesla introduced a humanoid Robot that they will produce in the near future. Its aim is to perform dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks that humans should not do anymore. Musk said producing such robot is a logical next step for the company.
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NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, is getting ready for another attempt, in the coming weeks, to scoop up Martian rocks after its first attempt earlier this month didn’t play out as engineers expected. The rover’s sample-caching arm worked, engineers say, but the sampling tube turned up empty. Now the rover, a science lab on wheels that landed on Mars in February, will drive to a new location called Citadelle for a second shot at picking up its first rock sample. This time, to make sure a sample is actually collected, engineers will wait for images of the sample tube to come back before it gets processed and stowed inside the rover’s belly. The rock that Perseverance’s sampling drill bit dug into wasn’t as sturdy as scientists thought it’d be. What was supposed to be a fairly solid rock core turned out to be a crumbly powder that slipped out of the rover’s sampling tube. After finding the sample tube was empty, mission staff used the rover’s cameras to analyze remnants of the hole that Perseverance drilled. They figured the mound of dust around the hole and some material at the bottom of the hole were what slipped out.The NASA Mars rover Perseverance performed its first drill task earlier this week but, sadly, no samples were collected. The robot is due for another rock sample collecting task in the coming weeks but this time at a new location.
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