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CELEB HOUNDS_Entertainment Movies NONE

‘Wonder Woman’ is a big hit

In a smashing debut over the weekend, Patty Jenkins film ‘Wonder Woman’ grossed $103.3 million in North America, according to a report by ABC News. This sets a new record for a movie directed by a woman.

“Maybe this raises awareness that female directors are a force to be reckoned with, ” said Paul Dergarabedian, in the report.

‘Wonder Woman,’ which stars Gal Gadot in the title role made famous on TV in the 1970s by Lynda Carter, is just the 15th superhero film to debut domestically at $100 million or more, a report by Hollywood Reporter said.

“I am a filmmaker who wants to make successful films, of course. I want my film to be celebrated,” said Jenkins in the ABC report. “But there’s a whole other person in me who’s sitting and watching what’s happening right now who so hopes, not for me, that this movie defies expectation. Because I want to see the signal that that will send to the world.”

The film begins as World War I aviator Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes his plane on the island of the Amazons. He meets Princess Diana (Gadot), whose training by her warrior aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) and desire to end the war begin her metamorphosis into Wonder Woman.

“Patty’s vision mesmerized the audience. She is a real talent,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “Clearly, this is a movie that is resonating with moviegoers around the globe. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Diana on the big screen.”

Categories
NONE Robotics SCI TECH TECH_Technology

Artificial muscle makes soft robots stronger

Scientists from Harvard University and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created artificial muscles that allow soft robots to lift objects that are up to 1,000 times their own weight, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.

Soft robotics has made large strides over the past decade. However, while recent advancements have enabled the machines to bend and flex in new ways, the softer materials typically come with reduced strength.

The new origami-inspired muscles in the study get around that obstacle and could one day lead to much more efficient machines.

“We were very surprised by how strong the actuators [aka, “muscles”] were,” said study co-author Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, according to Phys.org. “We expected they’d have a higher maximum functional weight than ordinary soft robots, but we didn’t expect a thousand-fold increase. It’s like giving these robots superpowers.”

Making muscle-like actuators is one of the largest challenges in engineering. Now that it has been overcome, scientists can potentially build nearly any robot for almost any task.

Each artificial muscle consists of an inner “skeleton” made from materials like metal coil or a sheet of folded plastic surrounded by air or fluid and sealed inside a plastic or textile bag. A vacuum inside the bag causes the muscles to move by forcing the “skin” to collapse onto the skeleton. That tension drives the motion, and allows the device to work without any other external human input. 

In the study, the team created dozens of different muscles with materials ranging from metal springs to packing foam to sheets of plastic. They then experimented with different skeleton shapes to create muscles that can contract down to 10 percent of their original size, lift a flower off the ground, and twist into a coil.

Those experiments showed the muscles can move in many ways, and are able to operate with a high amount of resilience. Not only that, but the technology can generate roughly six times more force per unit area than mammalian skeletal muscle, and is both lightweight and easy to make. A single muscle can be constructed within ten minutes using materials that cost less than $1.

Another important property is that the actuators are highly scalable, meaning they can be constructed at different sizes. That is important because it greatly increases their potential applications. The team believes they could one day be used for a wide variety of tasks, including miniature surgical devices, wearable robotic exoskeletons, transformable architecture, deep-sea manipulators, and large deployable structures for space exploration.

“The possibilities really are limitless,” added Rus, in a statement. “But the very next thing I would like to build with these muscles is an elephant robot with a trunk that can manipulate the world in ways that are as flexible and powerful as you see in real elephants.”

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HOUNDS_Entertainment Music

A coroner has ruled that famous singer George Michael died of natural causes

According to Darren Salter, the senior coroner for Oxfordshire, the legendary singer suffered a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.

“Enquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded, and the final post mortem report received. As there is a confirmed natural cause of mortality, being Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Myocarditis and Fatty Liver, the investigation is being discontinued, and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries,” a statement from the coroner said.

The statement added that no further updates will be provided and that the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart. It occurs when the left ventricle stretches and fails to pump blood efficiently. As the muscles gradually weaken, heart failure can occur.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart, usually caused by a viral infection.

Fatty liver disease is caused by the buildup of fat in the liver, most commonly caused by alcoholism. The disease can, however, occur in people who are not heavy drinkers. Other common causes of fatty liver include obesity and diabetes.

After the coroner’s report was released, Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Nawaz took to Twitter sharing a smiling photo of the couple.

“The truth is out…” the photo’s caption read.

Fawaz later responded to rumors that had been spread by tabloids, surrounding the death of the award-winning singer, saying that all the nasty comments and press were very cruel and unnecessary.

“Now I hope to receive some love,” Nawaz tweeted.

 

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NONE SPORT SPORT_NCAA

Arizona State player apologizes for obscene gesture

Arizona State forward, Torian Graham, apologized for exhibiting both middle fingers before a Sun Devils loss.

Graham made the gesture on Thursday before the Arizona State Sun Devils lost to the 16th ranked Arizona Wild Cats. According to Graham, he made the gesture in response to multiple racial slurs being directed at him from the Arizona student section. Graham would later delete the tweet in which he made that claim and apologize for ever making the gesture.

”I am truly sorry for my actions to everyone associated with the game last night and for losing focus after the early part of warmups,” read a statement released by Graham and Arizona State University on Friday. ”What I did should never happen and there is no excuse. I apologize for all of this and other concerns I had I will handle the right way internally with proper guidance.”

Arizona University would not confirm that there were any racial slurs directed at the Arizona State player.

”We continue to look into the accusation made by Arizona State’s Torian Graham,” said Arizona in a statement. ”At this time, we have not heard from anyone, including students, staff and security in proximity of the incident, who can confirm Graham’s claim. While we can’t say with certainty that it did not occur, we were told by people in that area that they did not hear words or language of that nature prior to, during and after the time of the incident as well as during the game.

Categories
Media Mobile NONE TECH TECH_Technology

A hacker creates a way to steal all your passwords from your Chrome browser

Only weeks after Google’s Chrome was stated to be the biggest browser in the world a hacker has come forth and explained how easy it is to steal information of the browser.

The hacker explained that he used the auto fill sequence so popular with modern browsers. What he does is send a bait site to the unsuspecting hack victim.

These are often dummy sites that resemble popular well-rated websites. The victim will often use the auto fill option and send the details of the login to the hacker.

“A hack has been discovered in some modern web browsers that can use the “Autofill” feature to allow cyber thieves to view user names, emails and even passwords,” said David Snelling from Express UK.

But this technique has been used for a while now so what makes this new method different. The hacker explained that with his method Chrome doesn’t just send the details of that particular login. Instead, it sends all the save passwords and personal information.

The information includes CVV numbers, bank account information and every other piece of information saved in your browser.

This could be catastrophic if not looked into because many people today have all their bank and personal setting saved on Chrome.

The hacker explained that the worst part is that he did not need any specialized tool to carry our his malice just the chrome browser.

But it’s not just Chrome that is susceptible to this hacking. All the modern browsers that have the ability to auto-fill your information can suffer this.

Categories
NONE SPORT SPORT_MMA

Amanda Nunes apologizes to Ronda Rousey

Amanda Nunes apologized to Ronda Rousey for her behavior following their match.

Brazilian fighter, Nunes, defeated Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar and Hollywood actress, Ronda Rousey, for the UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 207. Rousey was at one point an unstoppable force in the octagon, making quick work of opponent after opponent. Her star had risen to the point that she was an internationally renowned personality. Before her fight with Nunes, Rousey suffered the first loss of her career to Holly Holm. Holm then lost to Meisha Tate in UFC 196. Nunes defeated Tate at UFC 200 and then faced the returning nova, Rousey.

Rousey and Nunes had a contentious lead up to the fight in which both fighters guaranteed the defeat of the other. Nunes would go on to defeat Rousey in 48 seconds before going on long, emotional rants about her victory and posting mocking references to Rousey on her social media. Nunes apologized for her unsportsmanlike conduct.

 

“Let me take a moment to explain myself. I was overwhelmed with adrenaline, emotion and hurt at the time. I held so much in during the weeks prior to my fight with Ronda. I might have said or posted some things at the time that I now realize was not the right thing to do. I want to apologize to Ronda. Her fans and mine and the UFC as well. Ronda is an amazing athlete and has done so much for this sport, especially for the women. #respect,” posted Nunes on Instagram.

Categories
SPORT

Tennis star Venus Williams at fault in fatal car crash

A Palm Beach Gardens police report released Thursday says tennis star Venus Williams was at fault in a June 9 car crash that caused the death of Jerome Barson, 78, who was riding in another vehicle. Barson died two weeks after the collision, ABC News reports.

According to the report, witnesses saw Williams, who was driving a 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV, run a red light and crash into the side of a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda, 68, who suffered broken bones and other injuries, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Williams was unhurt and has not been cited in the incident. She was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the report said.

“The police report estimated that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 miles per hour when Mrs. Barson crashed into her,” said F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr, an attorney representing Williams, in the Palm Beach Post report. “This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

Jerome Barson is listed as a tennis professional on his death certificate, but records show that the Barsons ran a business booking cruises.

Venus Williams is the older sister of tennis sensation Serena Williams. She has won seven Grand Slam titles, including five at Wimbledon.

In 2011, Williams revealed she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome. Although her ranking fell outside the top 100 between 2011 and 2014, in January she was a finalist at the Australian Open, where she was defeated by her sister, Serena.

Categories
SPORT SPORT_NFL

Kaepernick fires back against accusations he is to blame for drop in NFL popularity

San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is firing back against fans blaming him for the drop in NFL viewership.

The National Football League, by far the most popular of the major American sports, has seen a large drop in television viewership and fantasy sports participation during its 2016-2017 season. The drop in viewership, although certainly attributable to other factors as well, coincides with the decision by Kaepernick and other NFL players to kneel and put up fists during the singing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick started the protest during the preseason as a stance against police violence against African Americans. Many NFL fans have blamed the ostensibly anti police stance and rhetoric from Kaepernick and other players as a reason Americans have stopped supporting the NFL.

During a conference call with a number of reporters, Kaepernick responded to questions surrounding a poll that indicated that his protesting of the National Anthem was a major reason for the decline in NFL popularity. Kaepernick asked those who stopped watching to look in the mirror.

“They’re not watching football because of my stance about fighting systematic oppression and wanting the same equality and freedom for all people? I would say they probably need to look in the mirror at what they value,” reasoned Kaepernick. “You know, if they’re OK with people being treated unfairly, being abused, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more with what they’re doing in their lives than it is about watching football games.”

Categories
HEALTH NATURE NONE SCI Science

Painkillers just as effective as opioids, study reports

Simple, over-the-counter painkillers may be just as effective as opioids when it comes to fighting pain, new research published in the journal JAMA reports.

This new finding is important because America’s opioid epidemic continues to grow with each passing year. More than 500,000 people have died from drug overdoses since 2000, and opioids were the cause of a lot of those deaths. As a result, doctors have been attempting to find more effective ways to help patients deal with pain.

This study may provide an answer.

“The results did surprise me,” said study co-author Andrew Chang, a professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center, according to TIME. “Most physicians reflexively give opioids to patients with fractures or broken bones. This study lends evidence that opioids aren’t always necessary even in the presence of fractures.”

 

In the study, researchers from the Albany Medical Center analyzed whether alternative painkillers could help treat pain in emergency rooms of hospitals. They looked at over 400 people who came to two different emergency rooms in the Bronx for strains, sprains, or fractures. Then, they randomly assigned either non opioid painkillers — a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) — or one of three variations of opioid-based pain killers to the subjects.

After two hours, the doctors asked the subjects to rate their pain on an 11-point scale and compared the different responses. This showed that the generic pills did as much to quell pain as more advanced opioids.

This discovery is important because it could change the way doctors prescribe painkillers. Addiction is a serious problem, and it will only continue to grow unless something is done. Switching away from opioids could be a step in the right direction.

“Preventing new patients from becoming addicted to opioids may have a greater effect on the opioid epidemic than providing sustained treatment to patients already addicted,” Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medicine specialist at Northwestern University, wrote in an accompanying editorial, according to The Washington Post.

Categories
NATURE NONE SCI Science

T. Rex may have used arms for slashing, study reports

Steven Stanley, a paleontologist from the University of Hawaii in Maui, has found evidence that suggests T. Rex used its short arms to slash and rend prey.

Though T. Rex’s short arms are an iconic part of the large dinosaur, scientists have never been able to agree on what they were used for. Some believe the animals used them to grasp prey, while others think the arms could have helped the massive beasts push themselves up off the ground or mate.

However, in the new study, Stanley found evidence that the ancient reptiles used their claws for close-contact slashing in the same way as other, smaller species, Tech Times reports. He believes T. Rex would have mounted their prey, grasped it, and then slashed out repeatedly with their arms.

He came to this conclusion by looking at fossilized arm bones. That analysis showed that, not only were T Rex’s arms strong, but they also had ball-and-socket joints that allowed them to move in different directions. Such features suggest the arms had a great amount of mobility and were likely used quite a bit.

In addition, T. Rex also lost one of its three claws throughout evolution. That change would have made the remaining two claws stronger, and given them more powerful slashing ability.

“Its short, strong forelimbs and large claws would have permitted T. rex, whether mounted on a victim’s back or grasping it with its jaws, to inflict four gashes a meter [three feet] or more long and several centimeters [more than an inch] deep within a few seconds,” explained Stanley, according to National Geographic. “And it could have repeated this multiple times in rapid succession.”

While the study does give ample evidence that T. Rex slashed with its claws, many paleontologists are still skeptical of the data. They believe that the arms were simply too short to reach prey, and that jaws would have been a more effective way to attack.

Even so, the skeptics also state that it is possible T. Rex’s forearms were bigger before it shrunk down during the course of evolution. However, more research is needed before such claims can be made.

“Infliction of damage by slashing was widespread among other theropod taxa,” added Stanley, according to Science Alert“So in light of its formidable weaponry, why should T. rex not have engaged in this activity?”