Archives for: July 2012
Apple’s “Spaceship” Headquarters

Apple-Headquarters-New-CampusWhen we think of Apple, many things come to mind – “Elegant,” “Beautiful,” “Inspiring,” “Extraordinary” and “Awesome!” Well, true to form, Steve Jobs did not disappoint when he presented the drawings for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, something many are now referring to as Apple’s “Spaceship” headquarters. In true Apple fashion, the new headquarters’ design is so epically awesome that the sheer beauty of it will make you cry. As one of his final public appearances Steve Jobs showed the illustrious plans to the city council of Cupertino California and asked for their blessing to move forward. The entire building is shaped like a giant doughnut with a hole in the middle for a courtyard that the employees can enjoy in between their geek out sessions. One of the many elements that makes this building so spectacular, other than the fact that it is larger in diameter than the United States Pentagon in Washington, is that the exterior walls will be made of all glass. Apple is striving to create a technology mecca in the middle of a forest. The entire compound will be covered with lush greenery as they will be planting thousands of trees all around the property. Not even parking structures will be visible, they will all be constructed underground. The building will also have solar cells installed on the roof to harness the sun’s awesome power and move a step closer to being self sustaining- maybe their trying to make their new home energy star compliant also :-)  If all goes well, Apple gurus will be filling out their new home away from home sometime in 2015.

Not only does Apple’s new headquarters promise a home for 13,000+ Apple wizards, it also does so with total elegance of form and function. The new “Spaceship” headquarters will be a truly awesome sight – dare we say it may become one of the coolest technical wonders of the world.

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The Dark Knight Rises – Falls a Bit Short?

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the most recent installment of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, let alone sat in line for a couple hours to see the midnight release. Some of these die-hard fans, myself included, had even read the “Knightsaga” where Bane was initially introduced. Others had simply seen the previous two movies, most notably The Dark Knight, and had certain expectations for the psychological torment inflicted on Batman by the villain, as per the Joker’s MO. So now there are two groups entering the movie with high expectations for quality and a pulling story. While browsing rec.arts.movies.current-films, I stumbled across these two groups who had been naming their biggest pet peeves about the movies:

The first, who intimately knows Bane’s past and the events in the comics inspiring Nolan’s third Batman movie, were surprised and somewhat let-down by Hardy’s Bane. Not to knock Tom Hardy’s acting ability, the man is a hunk of talent Dark Knight Riseswho worked hard for the role. But the Bane the comic fans grew to know and love was a heartless, steroid-filled, genius villain. His motivation for destroying Batman was simply that he wanted the power, he wanted to be the strongest. The Bane they know and love would never have room left in his cold heart to love Talia Al Ghul. Understandably, Nolan had to make some adjustments to create a villain with a relatable motivation…love. Though we did miss his Mexican wrestling mask. It should be noted, though, that Hardy’s Bane was an incredible variation and was an extremely intimidating adversary for the previously retired Batman.

The second group had one of the most incredible acting performances of the decade fresh in their minds from The Dark Knight: Heath Ledger’s Joker. The second movie was in itself very well written and touching, but it would never have gotten to the peak of its success without Ledger’s awe-inspiring performance. His prestigious talent left the audience wondering how Nolan could possibly follow the Joker. It proved to be a very difficult task.

The movies each follow a one-word theme Nolan adopted to describe his projects. The first is Fear, as per Scarecrow’s toxin. The second, Chaos…enter the Joker. The third is Pain. Bane brings the Pain, and he does it well. But the cohesive feeling felt in the stories of the previous two films was lacking, there was something amiss in this one that left the audience hungering and wanting for more. Not to mention the political commentary in the film left some ambiguity about its reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement and exactly what side it was taking.

As a Batman fan, movies and comics alike, I will stand by the widely-held opinion that Nolan’s trilogy is quite possibly the best superhero series made thus far in cinema. Despite the flaws that are necessary in every film adaptation of a beloved book or comic, it has held its own. But sometimes, something is just too good to be true. And sometimes the Hollywood versions of what we know and love might not be what we imagined in our minds. But it’s definitely no argument that Anne Hathaway adequately filled in that Catwoman suit, Michael Caine gave a heart-breaking performance as Alfred, Tom Hardy created a new and different Bane that was still terrifying, and Christian Bale certainly gave us an unforgettable Dark Knight.  So here’s to the future of superhero movies: may this trilogy forever serve as the bar to surpass, and may our senses continue to be graced by the presence of explosions and spandex-clad visions of heroes and villains.

“Let the games begin!”

Long Live The Batman.

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Turn your Car into a Giant Battery

Ok I must confess to you guys and gals that I am a total beach bum at heart. With this title comes the love of sand between the toes, the feel of the roaring salt water waves on the skin and the basking in the gentle rays of sunshine as I take a big swallow of ice cold sweet tea and listen to the awesome sounds of Jimmy buffet Island music – ok well, living several hundred miles away from the beach, I don’t get to do most of the things I mentioned earlier, but I do listen to Jimmy Buffett island music every chance I get – sometimes I actually get to go to a Buffett show complete with the pre-show tailgating fun of mixing drinks, meeting new friends and eating Margaritaville shrimp. I don’t know about you, but when I tailgate I like to have all kinds of gadgets going – a blender, a high powered music system and maybe even my iPad with a WiFi hotspot. Well if you travel like I do, you know that running out of juice on your batteries can be a total buzz kill… Well guess what guys, with the latest invention from a team at the Rice University, it may now be possible to turn your entire car into a giant battery with a simple paint job…that’s right I said paint job :-) Today most batteries look like big rectangular bricks, this is because the parts that make up the battery have to be packed together in layers one on top of the other to make the battery hold juice. Well the team at Rice has managed to do the same thing only they have turned each of the components of the battery into individual layers of paint – so each layer can be painted one on top of the other to form a functioning battery. Check out the video where they turn ceramic tiles into real life batteries!

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Heat Rises – So Does the Sea Level

The political atmosphere of America has been heating up as elections approach, causing some really intense political debates. Old, over-debated political standpoints on topics like global warming have been rehashed and sides have been taken. The newsgroup talk.politics.misc has been facilitating many of these debates, including the issue of a rapidly rising sea level. Global warming has always been a controversial topic, and it doesn’t look like any agreement is in the future of politics.

It’s not hard to see that temperatures across North America have been skyrocketing so far this summer, with seemingly no end in sight. Unfortunately, all this heat is having some adverse effects on the beautiful East Coast beaches. The Associated Press says that the 600-mile area from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Boston, Massachusetts (dubbed a “hot spot”) is experiencing a rate of rising sea levels up to 400% faster than the global average. All over the northeast flooding has  become an increasingly likely danger. Even Canada has been having issues, remember when Toronto’s subway flooded? On the bright side, now there will be more Ocean for swimming in!

Read More at redOrbit

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