Sunday, November 30, 2014

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'Fury,' 'Annie' among Sony screeners leaked online following targeted hack

'Still Alice' and 'Mr. Turner' also popped up on torrent sites 
If you haven't heard, there's a major hack that has cripple the Sony corporation over the past week. A group calling itself "Guardians of Peace" (GOP) took down the company's computers, specifically in the film division. They're reportedly writing on chalkboards to keep business moving along over there, and there's even speculation that the studio is concerned that North Koreans, embittered over the Seth Rogen/James Franco film "The Interview," are to blame. Whatever the case, and whether it's connected to the hack or not, the studio's woes continued over the holiday when a number of watermarked Sony screeners leaked online.
It's worth noting that it's the same package of films that have gone out to critics groups and guilds recently that showed up on torrent sites: "Annie," "Fury," "Mr. Turner" and "Still Alice." So it's entirely possible that this was just an unfortunate occurrence tied to the screener season rather than something connected to the hack. Still, the coincidence is tough to ignore. And after all, also leaked was a 2015 film, "To Write Love On Her Arms." So who knows…
Either way, an added dose of excitement in a season mostly bereft of it. Naturally, "Fury" is the one getting the lion's share of the downloads. But hey, if any torrenters out there decide to take the plunge on "Mr. Turner," tell us what you thought. Pretty sweet Dick Pope photography, eh?
HITFIXX By Kristopher Tapley  @kristapley | Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 12:57 AM

Total Recall MashUp: Original(1990) vs Remake(2012)

Alan Turing's 5 Most Powerful Quotes

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Sorry everyone, but A.I. is totally going to take over
Alan Turing was a war hero and computing pioneer. Now he's also the subject of a biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

With The Imitation Game hitting theaters, it's time to go back to the source and see what the man himself had to say on topics including artificial intelligence and his unjust treatment for being gay.

1. Bad news: machines are totally going to take over.

“It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers," he said during a lecture in 1951. "They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect the machines to take control."

2. Turing feared his sexual orientation would be used to discredit his work.

In a 1952 letter to fellow mathematician Norman Routledge, Turing revealed his big concern about pleading guilty to a criminal charge related to him having had sex with a man — that it would be used to discredit his ideas.

“I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future," Turing wrote.

"Turing believes machines think
"Turing lies with men
"Therefore machines do not think."

3. Turing believed a computer was intelligent if it could trick us.

"A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human," Turing wrote in 1950 defining his now-famous Turing Test. Earlier this year, a computer was said to have passed the Turing Test for the first time, though that claim was controversial and not all experts believe it happened according to Turing's rules.

4. Turing believed machines have the capacity for creativity.

"Machines take me by surprise with great frequency," he wrote in 1950, arguing against critics who said machines only have the capacity to do what we tell them to. 

5. Turing believed by the year 2000, people would accept the idea of A.I.

"I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted," he said in 1947. And he was pretty much right. C-3P0, anyone? 

What Turing quotes are your favorites? Use that nice computer you probably wouldn't have if it weren't for Turing and let us know in the comments.

The Hollywood Reporter by Aaron Couch 4:00 PM PST 11/29/2014


It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all.

It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”
~ Jack Kerouac ~

Oscars: Fun Facts About Some of 2014's Top Foreign-Language Contenders

THR's awards analyst on which of this year's 83 entries were produced by Pedro Almodovar, championed by Angelina Jolie and likened to Hitchcock's 'The Birds'

A scene from Russia's entry 'Leviathan' 

With little more than a month remaining until the Academy whittles down the list of 83 foreign-language films that were submitted for Oscar consideration this year to a shortlist of nine from which the five nominees will eventually be chosen, I thought it might be an interesting time to provide some fun facts about several of the top contenders from this year's impressive field. 

Cantinflas (Mexico)
This biopic recounts the life and times of the titular comedic actor who is best known for his work in the best picture Oscar winner Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

Difret (Ethiopia)
Angelina Jolie is an executive producer of this film, which took home audience prizes at Sundance and Berlin.

Force Majeure (Sweden)
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that it will host a retrospective of director Ruben Ostlund's films in January.

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel)
This third installment of a trilogy based partially on the sibling-directors' mother could result in changes to 400-year-old divorce law in Israel.

Ida (Poland)
Maggie Gyllenhaal hosted a New York screening of Pawel Pawlikowski's black-and-white film — which stars and was shot by complete novices — on Nov. 17.

Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains (Kyrgyzstan)
Women's rights champion Sharon Stone hosted a Hollywood screening of this film about a heroic female on Nov. 4.

Leviathan (Russia)
This reworking of the Book of Job
won Cannes' best screenplay prize but wasn't expected to be submitted by Russia, of which it paints a not-always-flattering picture.

The Liberator (Venezuela)
Edgar Ramirez, the star of Carlos, plays 18th century Latin-American leader Simon Bolivar in this drama that was scored by LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Mommy (Canada)
This fifth film from 25-year-old director Xavier Dolan is the second submitted by his motherland in the last five years; the other, I Killed My Mother, also dealt with mommies.

Saint Laurent (France)
Many expected the French to submit 2013 Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, which was eligible this year, but this biopic of the 20th century fashion maven — one of two released in 2014 — prevailed.

Tangerines (Estonia)
Aiming to become its country's first-ever nominee, it has already won 19 different film fest awards.

Timbuktu (Mauritania)
This is the first film ever submitted by the West African nation and only the tenth ever submitted from sub-Saharan Africa.

Two Days, One Night (Belgium)
This is the first time that the legendary brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne have ever cast an international star — Oscar winner Marion Cotillard — in one of their minimalist pics.

White God (Hungary)
An unusual horror-thriller that is something like Hitchcock's The Birds — only with dogs — could become its country's first nominee since the fall of Communism more than a quarter-century ago.

Wild Tales (Argentina)
Comprised of six different hilarious shorts, this Pedro Almodovar-produced gem could also contend for a best original screenplay nom.

Winter Sleep (Turkey)
The three-hour-long winner of this year's Palme d'Or at Cannes is aiming to become Turkey's first-ever nominee.

The Hollywood Reporter by Scott Feinberg 4:00 PM PST 11/29/2014


Venus, the second planet from the sun, is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The planet — the only planet named after a female — may have been named for the most beautiful deity of her pantheon because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers.

In ancient times, Venus was often thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star — that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise. In Latin, they were respectively known as Vesper and Lucifer. In Christian times, Lucifer, or "light-bringer," became known as the name of Satan before his fall.

Venus and Earth are often called twins because they are similar in size, mass, density, composition and gravity. However, the similarities end there.

Venus is the hottest world in the solar system. Although Venus is not the planet closest to the sun, its dense atmosphere traps heat in a runaway version of the greenhouse effect that warms Earth. As a result, temperatures on Venus reach 870 degrees Fahrenheit (465 degrees Celsius), more than hot enough to melt lead. Probes that scientists have landed there have survived only a few hours before being destroyed.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Italy's Space Program Brings Espresso to the International Space Station

If the only thing keeping you from joining the space program was a lack of decent coffee outside Earth's orbit, you no longer have that excuse.

This week Italy sent astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to the International Space Station with a specially designed espresso machine that works in zero-gravity.

Designed by Turin-based Lavazzo and engineering firm Argotec, the
ISSpresso, pumps water under high pressure through the machine into a pouch, where it can be sipped through a straw.

Part of an international crew that arrived on the Russian Soyuz craft, Cristoforetti, 37, also a captain in the Italian air force, "will be not only the first female astronaut from Italy to go into space, but also the very first astronaut in the history of the conquest of space to savor an authentic Italian espresso in orbit," the companies said in a statement.

If slurping hot coffee through a straw sounds less than ideal, more innovations are on the horizon, thanks to researchers in Portland, where
coffee obsession rivals that in Italy.

On Monday a team at Portland State University presented a paper,
The Capillary Fluidics of Espresso, detailing a way to enjoy espresso in space in a manner similar to the one on Earth – which is to say in a cup – by replacing the role of gravity with the forces of surface tension.

Espresso, noted the team, which included a member of NASA and also a high school student, "is distinguished by a complex low density colloid of emulsified oils. Due to gravity, these oils rise to the surface forming a foam lid called the crema …. To some, the texture and aromatics of the crema play a critical role in the overall espresso experience. We show how in the low-g environment this may not be possible. We also suggest alternate methods for enjoying espresso aboard spacecraft."

Of equal importance, these impressive innovations mean that, should the ISS ever encounter life on other planets, aliens' first experience of coffee will not be adulterated with pumpkin spice.

People By Allison Adato @editgirlnyc  11/29/2014 AT 08:45 AM EST

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