More Fresh Feeds
Government lawyers in the UK are scrambling to rewrite outdated laws about driving horse, cattle and pigs on the pavement that could delay driverless car trials, the Times reports.
The Government announced in February that two-seater 'pods' would be trialled in the south-east of the country. But the trial, which would see the pods travel along the pavement, requires the rewriting of certain laws.
The Highway Act 1835 bans people from riding horse-drawn carriages and driving a “horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine or cattle” down the road. The same legislation is used to stop cyclist riding on the pavement and drivers mounting the kerb while parking.
Tim Armitage, project director of the £19 million ($30 million) UK Autodrive project, told the Times he's confident the legal obstacle can be overcome.
Tokyo (AFP) - A single pair of premium melons fetched an eye-watering 1.5 million yen ($12,400) at an auction in Japan on Friday.
The winning bid was placed by a local fruit wholesaler for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said.
The figure -- enough to buy a brand new car in Japan -- is some way short of the record for the luxury fruit, which fetched 2.5 million yen last year.
High prices are the norm for the opening auction of the season and reflect buyers' desire for prestige.
Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan -- like a fine wine -- with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.
The best-quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with a smooth, evenly patterned rind. A T-shaped stalk is left on the fruit, which is usually sold in an ornate box.
While the prices they fetch at auction are very high, melons are not the only expensive fruit in Japan.
A single apple from a supermarket can cost more than $3 and a presentation pack of 20 cherries might sell for over $100.
As part of NBC's inaugural Red Nose Day telethon (you can watch highlights from the charity festivities here and donate to help children living in poverty here), Coldplay unveiled its full, unfortunately fake Game of Thrones "musical," aka the greatest rock opera of all time. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sings a romantic ... More »
(Photo: Canal & River Trust)
Life along the Regents Canal in London is a delightful experience. You can ride bikes or jog along rows of galleries and cafes. Tourists are fond of seeing it while riding on boats.
Humans enjoy it, but so do ducks. Yet the little birds are a bit more vulnerable to collisions with people and bicycles. So the Canal & River Trust has set aside the inner stretch of pavement along the canal as a designated zone for ducks. They’re marked it with painted silhouettes of ducks. Cassie Werber writes for Quartz:
It’s unlikely, of course, that ducks will stick to the lanes, which serve a largely symbolic function. They’re a visual reminder that we’re all on this path together, and to get pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists to chill out and slow down.
The Canal & River Trust says it is “calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace.”
the angular coastal home takes advantage of the constant backdrop of the ocean, meanwhile the design is influenced by the concept of fluidity and exploration.
The post byrne architects places aireys house along the australian coastline appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.
Cute dog, nice house, Keanu Reeves — at first glance this trailer might look more like something for John Wick than the psycho-sexual thriller Knock Knock. But then Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas appear. After Reeves' character slips up, the two femme fatales break all his stuff and make ... More »
The Night Medicine Men
Vintage Everyday attributes this compelling collection of 17 Native American photographs to famed western historical photographer Edward S. Curtis. These images are said to be part of Curtis' The North American Indian, captured between 1907 and 1930. The photos were an ethnographical study of numerous tribes that Curtis believed to be vanishing peoples in their last days whom he felt were incredibly important to document. See more images from this grouping at Vintage Everyday.
The Drying Mummy
One of the biggest problems facing video games as an artistic medium is one of preservation. Thanks to HD remasters, digital distribution and the Internet Archive that's becoming less of an issue. But we still need to do more to keep a record and constant catalog of gaming's past moments. That's the idea behind the awkwardly named "Intellivision Gen2 Video Games for PC & Mac" on Kickstarter. As you might imagine, it's modernized versions of Intellivision titles. Astrosmash, Nightstalker and Shark! Shark! will get the new pixel art, expanded levels and scope should the project reach its $100,000 goal.
If you want in, $15 will get you all three games and bumping up to $25 gets you the games and a year-long digital subscription to Retro Video Game Magazine. Should everything go according to plan, the team (comprised of former Intellivision folks) hopes to give Utopia, Sea Battle and B-17 Bomber the same treatment as the first trio. Surely at least a few readers have a soft spot for Mattel's game console of yore, yeah?
Qarabuli (Libya) (AFP) - With the engines throbbing, young Libyans battle it out among the sand dunes, not with Humvee-style fighting vehicles but brightly coloured and sporty four-wheel drives.
In a weekly escape from the violence gripping their country, they converge every Friday -- the Muslim weekend -- for races in Qarabuli on the Mediterranean coast, 60 kilometres (35 miles) east of Tripoli.
The type of powerful all-terrain vehicles they race up to the top of the dunes were reserved only for the military and regime elite in the days of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
"After the events of 2011, the market was opened to everybody," said one of the organisers, Ahmed Abdelkader Atiga, referring to the revolt which swept away Kadhafi's regime and since when Libya has been mired in chaos.
"Young people started buying four-by-fours," said Atiga, a radio talk show host.
"This place has become a meeting place for young Libyans who come from several towns every Friday. It's a good image which gives hope of resolving differences and saving lives."
Hundreds of motorsport enthusiasts also gather at Qarabuli as spectators, away from the stress and daily uncertainty of life in post-Kadhafi Libya, where rival militias and political administrations are locked in a deadly struggle for dominance.
Jihadists from the Islamic State group have also gained a foothold in the oil-rich North African country, feeding on the political breakdown and lawlessness.
Since October alone, more than 3,000 lives have been lost in fighting, according to Libya Body Count, an independent group which collates data from different sources.
Libya has also been in the news for the African migrants seeking a new life in Europe and left at the mercy of people smugglers exploiting the chaos to ply their lucrative trade with unseaworthy boats leaving from its shores.
- 'A Libya of coexistence' -
But away from the fighting and the misery of the migrants, four-wheel drives have flooded the market and adrenaline-driven young Libyans hungry for excitement are leading the charge.
Shortly before sunset, spraying sand into the air and with tyres screeching, dozens of drivers in red, green and yellow vehicles, many of them open top, scramble to make it in a race to the top of a steep dune.
"King of the Roads", "Youths of Libya" and "Fireball" read stickers on the cars, some flying the Libyan flag.
It's a test of manoeuvering and driving skills to prevent the wheels being buried in the sand, rather than speed alone, that determines the winners.
Some are forced to give up, while others keep trying again and again, spurred on by wild cheers from the crowd.
"We stop down at the beach before coming over for the races to encourage these young people," said Mohamed, a dentist who has been attending for the past two years.
"We want to help these youths to overcome the challenge. Every time I come, it's like the first time for me," he said, beaming.
The two-hour event is rounded off with a three-kilometre (two-mile) rally along the seafront for allcomers.
"These weekly meetings give a different image from what the television stations show of the situation in Libya," said Atiga. "It's one of a Libya free of tensions, one of coexistence and joy."
The cars then drive in convoy for several kilometres (miles) offroad until they reach the highway, before separating and returning to the reality of militia checkpoints and risks of carjackings on their way home.
Cannes (France) (AFP) - As the Cannes Film Festival bears down on its weekend awards ceremony, a look at the movies seen so far and their reviews reveal deep divisions among the critics.
Some are polarised on the basic question of whether cinema is more entertainment or art, while others show cultural bias. Another faction gives more weight to pedigree, politics or aesthetics.
So far, broadly, US and British press and industry types are plumping for "Carol", an American period lesbian romance lifted to Oscar heights by a flawless performance from Australian star Cate Blanchett.
Vanity Fair magazine said the movie "transcends" and achieves "something rather mighty".
But many continental Europeans are more seduced by "My Mother," an Italian film that packs an emotional wallop as it explores a director's personal and professional crises.
"Able to move and raise laughter, it seems able to take the Palme d'Or," Italian magazine Panorama wrote.
- US vs. European tastes -
Two other Cannes movies -- "Youth," another Italian-directed film starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda ruminating about ageing, and grim Hungarian Holocaust drama "Son of Saul" -- are also seen as worthy leading contenders.
European reviewers said they were wary of American movies that seemed too obviously to be seeking Oscar prestige, at the expense of offering a fresh or unusual perspective.
British and Americans "are maybe more sensitive to the look of a film," David Elbaz, of Radio Campus Paris, told AFP. "For European critics, it's a little more suspect."
The French are showing particular affection for one of their five films in the competition, "The Measure of a Man," which looks at home-turf unemployment.
In a strong line-up, only one movie has been unanimously panned. Starring Matthew McConaughey and directed by Gus Van Sant, "The Sea of Trees" tells the story of a depressed American man's voyage into, and then out of, a Japanese woodland known for suicides.
Whatever the critics might say, the decisions rest with this year's Cannes jury.
The nine-person panel is jointly headed by American sibling director duo Joel and Ethan Coen and including actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Sophie Marceau, and directors Guillermo del Toro and Xavier Dolan.
- Hard to predict -
The Coen brothers could be tempted by "Sicario," a taut thriller about a CIA anti-drug operation on the Mexican border, where their Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" was set, and with the same actor, Josh Brolin.
Or maybe their oddball sensibilities will lean towards "The Lobster," a strange, well-received movie starring Colin Farrell in which single people have 45 days to find a mate or be transformed into an animal.
Fantasy director Del Toro could be drawn to "The Tale of Tales," an Italian movie that compiles three dark fairytales powered by special effects reminiscent of his "Pan's Labyrinth".
And the actors on the jury might appreciate the leisurely performances in "Youth," Blanchett's tour de force in "Carol" or a generation-spanning Chinese movie, "Mountains May Depart".
Past juries have proved notoriously unpredictable, however, and Cannes-lovers are left to guess for clues as to who might win the Palme d'Or, its runner-up Grand Prize, and the trophies for best director, best actor and best actress.
Sometimes -- as in 2004, when the anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 911" won the Palme -- politics triumphs.
This year, though, the race looks more likely to be decided on the merits and quality of the contenders.
The Cannes Palme d'Or closing ceremony will be held late on Sunday.
Conan O'Brien, best boss in the world, decided it was a good idea to be a lunatic and terrorize his staff with fake performance reviews. Really, this ends up being a throw-Jordan Schlansky-under-the-bus fest, which is at once hilarious and unfortunate because he's a legend and a treasure. Most importantly, ... More »
Hello! Here's what you need to know for Friday.
1. Islamic State fighters have seized the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and now control the nearby airport, prison and intelligence headquarters.
2. Korean Air Lines executive Heather Cho, who was sentenced in February to one year in jail after an outburst over the way she had been served macadamia nuts, was released Friday on appeal.
3. At least two protesters were shot dead during violent anti-government demonstrations in Burundi's capital against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office.
4. Russia has offered to supply weapons to Iraq to halt advances by Islamic State, which has made major gains over the last week.
5. Central bankers from around the world are gathered in Portugal for a three-day meeting related to solving challenges about "Inflation and Unemployment in Europe."
6. The gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in three decades, with the richest 10% of the population earning nearly 10 times the income of the poorest 10%, according to an OECD study.
7. Two men captured by Ukrainian troops on Saturday have reportedly confessed to being members of the Russian armed forces, but did not have orders to attack.
8. A Chinese university has denied US espionage charges filed against three of its staff accused of stealing technology often used in military systems, on behalf of China.
9. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held debt talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande ahead of the EU Summit in Lativia's capital Riga.
10. SpaceX's unmanned Dragon supply ship splashed down into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, hours after leaving the the International Space Station.
And finally ...
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