Washington (CNN)Air Force One is primed to receive an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost American taxpayers nearly $24 million.
Washington (CNN)Air Force One is primed to receive an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost American taxpayers nearly $24 million.
An incredible team of scientists have just completed a groundbreaking study that’s going to make science fans everywhere stand up and cheer. After an exhaustive three-hour social media study, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have officially determined that Brian’s new girlfriend is not even that pretty.
Wow! This is yet another example of the amazing powers of science.
The landmark study on the relative attractiveness of this girl Brian just started dating was conducted between the hours of 12:30 and 3:30 a.m. last night in an attempt to discover who the hell she thinks she is and sought, among other things, to determine if she’s even a little hot or anywhere close to being good enough for Brian. More than 20 scientists from MIT analyzed data from more than 1,600 social media posts, and included a thorough survey of the types of comments and hashtags she uses on Instagram to determine if her personality is all that interesting or if she’s the sort of cringeworthy person that Brian would for sure dump as soon as he comes to his senses.
The scientists say they have found compelling evidence that Brian’s new girlfriend is honestly not that pretty, and that it’s totally weird that Brian would go for someone like her.
“Our data indicates that even in photos where Brian’s new girlfriend looks kind of pretty, it’s only because she’s getting really lucky with the lighting or because she’s taking a high-angle selfie that’s making her look way hotter than she actually is if you saw her in person,” said lead researcher professor Mindy Crestwick. “Our laboratory findings also suggest that Brian doesn’t even look that happy with her, which is a discovery that leaves us with many exciting follow-up research questions about what Brian could possibly see in this girl and how long this relationship could possibly last.”
Yep. Another day, another badass victory for science! These amazing researchers deserve all the applause for their amazing discoveries. Their incredible research has laid the groundwork for hours of future analysis of Brian’s new girlfriend and we can’t wait to see what else they find out!
In the global arena, every country has its image, but how would they look as people? That was the question that Russian artist Anastasia Bulgakova thought about for a year before starting her latest project. “I draw personifications of different countries,” she wrote. “All of them will be militant and warrior-like, with dirt and blood. Not because of some political persuasion, but simply because that what I always draw in any case, and the idea of warrior-countries gives a lot of creative freedom.”
“Every character is going to have some stereotypical attributes that I am going to use in one way or another.” From an American that’s a bit naive and idealistic to a silent Japanese guy with a suspicious smile, you’d easily recognize these ‘people’ if you met them in the street. Scroll down to check out the character designs that any game developer would be interested in, and let us know which one did you like best.
Canada is simple guy with puppy eyes. He is kind and not conflicting. Prefers to be at home and not look for any problems in others’ battles. He only fights in sports- hockey. He finds it honest and cheerful. Because of his success in hockey, he’s called “The King of ice”. Sometimes a crown appears over his head and he often dreams about future victories. Wants to believe that USA is…
Canada is simple guy with puppy eyes. He is kind and not conflicting. Prefers to be at home and not look for any problems in others’ battles. He only fights in sports- hockey. He finds it honest and cheerful. Because of his success in hockey, he’s called “The King of ice”. Sometimes a crown appears over his head and he often dreams about future victories. Wants to believe that USA is his best friend and they are equal. USA does not see a threat in him and allows itself a cautious friendship. Of course with benefits. He usually fights Russia in hockey, and USA is also his opponent on the icy field. But he’s still friendly with everyone. Until he hears Britain’s call, that is. Canada usually wears a track suit. His weapons are a metal hockey stick and skates. Good guy.
A bit naive and idealistic, but quite vicious on the inside. Very attractive and charismatic, easily turns others to her side. Pursues her goals with no regard to morals or consequence. Her main goal is to survive- and do it with maximum comfort. She wears leather armor, since she prefers extremely long range battles with her two sniper rifles. Cybernetic arms and legs give her extreme speed in combat. She is…
A bit naive and idealistic, but quite vicious on the inside. Very attractive and charismatic, easily turns others to her side. Pursues her goals with no regard to morals or consequence. Her main goal is to survive- and do it with maximum comfort. She wears leather armor, since she prefers extremely long range battles with her two sniper rifles. Cybernetic arms and legs give her extreme speed in combat. She is a killer. And she likes fire. Especially it’s smell in the morning. Smells like victory.
This time it’s Japan, of course, and he is a man. I took some liberty in my decision since there were not too many comments. So next time, be a bit more active to get what you want ; ) Japan is a silent guy, with a suspicious smile. Likes technologies and perversions. Has some strange relationships with other countries, especially the neighbours. Ah, that sweet-sweet China… No one ever truly…
This time it’s Japan, of course, and he is a man. I took some liberty in my decision since there were not too many comments. So next time, be a bit more active to get what you want ; ) Japan is a silent guy, with a suspicious smile. Likes technologies and perversions. Has some strange relationships with other countries, especially the neighbours. Ah, that sweet-sweet China… No one ever truly knows his real motives and desires (or how many “true” superforms he has), and he never answers anyway. But one thing is certain- even if he kills you, he will be extremely polite about it. Even though he likes technology, he has a real body, and the hi-tech armor is mere augmentation to his abilities and skills. He can be classified as a close-quarters fighter, but prefers speed and agility over heavy armor. He uses a spear and a tail (or tentacle?) to hold his opponents at some distance (but really, I am just sick of seeing katanas everywhere). For long range, he uses exploding spheres.
An alternate reality France. Here the monarchy has won, and the revolution failed. He is an ancient country now, more that 1500 years old. An aristocrat and a vampire. Blood and wine is totally his style, and art, of course. The monarch’s reign is supreme, and the vampire nobility is stronger than ever. He absolutely hates revolutions, uprisings, equality and “power of the people”. Believes that democracy is just a…
An alternate reality France. Here the monarchy has won, and the revolution failed. He is an ancient country now, more that 1500 years old. An aristocrat and a vampire. Blood and wine is totally his style, and art, of course. The monarch’s reign is supreme, and the vampire nobility is stronger than ever. He absolutely hates revolutions, uprisings, equality and “power of the people”. Believes that democracy is just a big lie, that other countries use to fool their citizens and make them more obedient. He prefers the old-fashioned way, and there will be no “freedom and equality” under his rule, until people will grow enough to deserve it. First, they need to understand how low they have fallen, and how destructive it would be to give them any power in their current state. And when that happens, well, we shall see… This is his great compassion, as an old and wizened ruler.
My first ancient civilizations character. I didn’t know to which country should I attach to my character. After reading a few articles I decided that it would be Iran. Because it’s location was the largest cultural center of the middle east for a long time. You may disagree, but this is my decision. Iran is a mage (the first mage in my series). He is gloomy and not talkative, because talk is…
My first ancient civilizations character. I didn’t know to which country should I attach to my character. After reading a few articles I decided that it would be Iran. Because it’s location was the largest cultural center of the middle east for a long time. You may disagree, but this is my decision. Iran is a mage (the first mage in my series). He is gloomy and not talkative, because talk is cheap, unlike gold and power. This hero is on the “gray side”. Dressed in arab style clothing with gold armor elements. Uses the golden mask to hide is face and intimidate his opponents. He has a magical lamp with a djinni, who will fulfill the mage’s wishes. It’s not like it has any other choice. In fights he mostly uses magic and diplomatic pressure. The curved saber is mostly used for executions, since djinni does most of the dirty work. He’s definitely the Lord of Sands. Many disagreed, of course, but good luck finding their remains in the desert. The djinn consists of blue flames that resemble liquid. It is sentient and wears elements of ancient armor, which are mostly broken by now. It usually appears from the lamp to protect it’s master and speaks in an strange language. It’s a typical mage and summon duo.
“Coatlicue”- the mother serpent, the beginning and the end, a goddess from Aztec mythology. Living in Russia, I know very little about Mexico, besides a few stereotypes. So my Mexico is a drug lord- dangerous, beautiful and vicious. Slim and tall, she likes to wear classical men’s clothes, like any proper high-class crime lord. The upper body is covered in Aztec-Mayan themed tattoos. She likes being elegant, and doesn’t like…
“Coatlicue”- the mother serpent, the beginning and the end, a goddess from Aztec mythology. Living in Russia, I know very little about Mexico, besides a few stereotypes. So my Mexico is a drug lord- dangerous, beautiful and vicious. Slim and tall, she likes to wear classical men’s clothes, like any proper high-class crime lord. The upper body is covered in Aztec-Mayan themed tattoos. She likes being elegant, and doesn’t like to soil her hands and clothes in dirty jobs- that what the underlings are for, but if she must, then it will be bloody, showy and painful. And that’s what the axes are for. She is also a poison expert- for both healing and killing. The snake is real and poisonous. Has territorial disputes with USA, but must acknowledge her power. You could say they are cooperating (in building walls, etc.), but will probably kill each other the first chance they get.
Israel is a soldier girl, in her current incarnation. She is, actually, quite ancient, but due to her always being small, she gets trampled, exiled, or destroyed, only to reborn again a few generations later. Since she always tries to remember all her wrongdoers, most of which no longer exist, she ends up being salty and angry with the world. Nevertheless, she is quite positive by nature. Building, researching and…
Israel is a soldier girl, in her current incarnation. She is, actually, quite ancient, but due to her always being small, she gets trampled, exiled, or destroyed, only to reborn again a few generations later. Since she always tries to remember all her wrongdoers, most of which no longer exist, she ends up being salty and angry with the world. Nevertheless, she is quite positive by nature. Building, researching and eating, is her favorite. Of course, there is always the question of her neighbors, which are actually her numerous cousins. Family is a battlefield, and Israel is forced to protect the little she has. She is sensitive and impulsive, when it comes to her relationships with other countries. The European family loves to troll her about pretty much everything, and she always responds, like the little girl she is. She wants to be accepted in the West, even though she lives the East. Tries follow all the rules, but always ends up frustrated, since she usually betrays herself in the process. She is young after all, she will learn..Despite all that, she has some very bizarre relationships with some countries. Her best friend is USA, but they can actually be called siblings, or maybe one of them is a clone? In truth, it’s still unclear which one is the real Israel, who rules who, and in turn, the rest of the world. There is a love-hate relationship with Germany. No matter how many times Germany sends her crying, Israel always comes back. There are also friends in the Far East. South Korea decided that she and Israel are BFF, since both are small and get bullied by weird siblings. Israel even trusts Korea with her lifeblood- printing shekels. Japan is a strange fan of Israel, but he is a strange fan of many things, including Russia. Lately Israel has found a vocal support in Micronesia- it’s always good to have friends in the middle of nowhere. Israel wields a big pulse rifle, and commands an army of UAVs, UGVs and drones. Since she is too small to win directly, she uses her brains to outsmart her opponents and always have the tech advantage. If possible, she will fight from afar with the her automated army and prefer defensive combat. When it’s not enough, the big rifle is probably good for something. She also has a hedgehog scout, flying on the drone. He is invisible on ground and simply weird in the sky…He loves Israel very much: )
Pretty, cold, straightforward and with diplomatic skills of a sewer drain. Still, if you know her a bit, she will show you how warm and loving she can actually be. She wears a glamorous armor. Always. Since she is at war. Always. Now combat, she likes it close and personal. Especially against the odds, especially at winter, and especially if it’s heroic. She can shoot a bit, but where is the fun…
Pretty, cold, straightforward and with diplomatic skills of a sewer drain. Still, if you know her a bit, she will show you how warm and loving she can actually be. She wears a glamorous armor. Always. Since she is at war. Always. Now combat, she likes it close and personal. Especially against the odds, especially at winter, and especially if it’s heroic. She can shoot a bit, but where is the fun in that? Still, it usually clears the riffraff that is not worthy of the chilly, wintry, personal embrace. The word “pizdec” is engraved on the sword, which pretty much symbolizes the Russian life in any age and era. There is a bear with AK-47, of course, but it’s guarding the nuclear reactor back home. And the vodka. Probably a bad idea though.
I was asked not to make England too stereotypical, with tea, royalty and Downton Abbey. Well, here you go then… My England is fresh, young and wild- punk culture and rock music. I also really like Joseph Gilgun, and he was originally going to be my England, like you can see in the early sketches (link below), but the design didn’t work. England is hot, proud, jealous and impulsive. He remembers…
I was asked not to make England too stereotypical, with tea, royalty and Downton Abbey. Well, here you go then… My England is fresh, young and wild- punk culture and rock music. I also really like Joseph Gilgun, and he was originally going to be my England, like you can see in the early sketches (link below), but the design didn’t work. England is hot, proud, jealous and impulsive. He remembers how great he was, and the glorious victories he had, but that does not make him blind or stupid. You don’t survive that long, or extend so far by blind rage alone. So he is rational and calculating when it suits him, but when deep feelings are involved, the raging beast will stain history with another bloodbath, as it had happened with his sister’s rebellion. England is USA’s elder brother, although his feelings are more than just brotherly. They come from the great European family, that has descended from the late Roman Empire. USA was sent to the New World to conquer and spread her brother’s glory. Little by little, she became big and experienced, and free thinking has occurred. Some say that heresy against tea took place, and the English beast was unleashed. USA was heavily beaten, lost her limbs, but still not broken. Thanks to that accursed French vampire, England had to retreat, empty handed. But USA will be his again, one day… Oh yes, France, the stinking, perverted, bloodsucking peacock. Although, France himself is not impressed by such accusations, since he does not paint his hair red and chase after his own sister in ragged clothes for unmentionable reasons. Still, the English beast can bite, and those aren’t the stylish vampire bites that France enjoys, the old vampire knows it all too well. Likes dags, good dags. Has a smoking-drinking bulldog named Churchill. A real friend, loyal. Not like those colonial siblings. Even though it’s England and not Great Britain, I chose Union Jack’s colors, since they are more recognized. The hairstyle is wild and red, since he is a punk. I have a few versions with different heads that you can see in the link below. England prefers close combat with his fists, so he uses brass knuckles. His hands can emit hot and cold energy, but they never mix (two taps joke).
He still is a Teutonic knight, and a big one at that ( if you can see a knight in this concept, of course). And high-tech. Extremely. Germany is considered to be clean, orderly and modern, so he wears a mechsuit. Something like an Ironman suit, but with more precision German engineering in it. And more stylish. Unlike earlier times, he mostly fights long ranged battles now, to keep the…
He still is a Teutonic knight, and a big one at that ( if you can see a knight in this concept, of course). And high-tech. Extremely. Germany is considered to be clean, orderly and modern, so he wears a mechsuit. Something like an Ironman suit, but with more precision German engineering in it. And more stylish. Unlike earlier times, he mostly fights long ranged battles now, to keep the suit clean. Has unfoldable wings and thrusters on his back, like any proper mecha should.
The Omoshiro Block by Triad utilizes laser-cutting technology to create what seems to be a cube of paper note cards at first but is something much more. Only you’ll have to exhaust the entire deck of pages to fully reveal the hidden object!
From Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera Temple to Tokyo Tower, the series includes some of the most popular architectural sites in Japan. But it’ll be tricky to get your hands on one of these gems. At the time, they’re available only at the Tokyu Hands Osaka location. And the internet is waiting for the product’s international shipping, locals can get a pad for 4000 yen ($36) to 10,000 yen ($90), depending on its size. Would you buy one?
Sometimes we want to forget a film the second we walk out of the movie theatre, but sometimes we desire to get its copy and rewatch it again, and again, and again. Maybe the acting is captivating, maybe the cinematography is beautiful, or maybe the filmmakers have hidden so many little details within the scenes, you find something new every time you press play.
To show you how scrupulous some productions are, Bored Panda has collected an eye-opening list of incredible movie details. From Interstellar’s cornfield to the Matrix’s doorknob, it’s no wonder why some films take years and years to make. Scroll down to check out images and let us know in the comments which entry surprised you the most!
Last week Snapchat rolled out its biggest redesign since the app launched in 2011.
The company split the app into two sections, consolidating friend content on the left side, media content on the right, and installing a slew of other design changes.
Snapchats massive teen userbase is outraged at the update, and already desperately trying to get the old version back.
A fake tweet claiming that Snapchat would revert back to its old design if it got enough retweets received 1.3 million retweets as of Sunday afternoon and has become the sixth most retweeted tweet of all time.
Thousands of other teens spent the weekend tweeting about the update and begging the company to reconsider its choice. Many posted to their Stories about how much they hated the new redesign under the misguided notion that Snapchat might read their messages and reconsider the rollout.
A Change.org petition to Remove the new Snapchat update has received nearly half a million signatures.
With the release of the new Snapchat update, many users have found that it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult, the plea reads. Many new features are useless or defeat the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years.
The new Snapchat update is cluttered, confusing, and inefficient, Ava, a 17-year-old in San Carlos, California, told The Daily Beast. Its the most disliked update since the beginning of Snapchat. Although Snapchat is my most used app on my phone, I have been using it considerably less since the update and am seriously considering deleting the app.
For teens and young twentysomethings, the Snapchat redesign is the first time a tech platform that they rely on daily has been radically altered overnight.
Many said they were left confused and reeling and werent even aware that Snapchat was planning an overhaul, they simply woke up one day to find the app looked completely different.
Hundreds if not thousands of teens lost their streaks, some of which had been maintained for hundreds of days, because they were confused at how to send snaps using the new interface.
The amount of Snapchat streaks that were ruined because of this update is unbelievable, one girl tweeted.
A Snapchat streak occurs when users send snaps each other snaps consecutively for at least three days. Once a streak is established a small flame will appear next to a friends name and it will begin to count how many days youve maintained your steak for.
Kids go to insane lengths to maintain their streaks, waking up early to send them and giving friends access to their snap accounts to maintain streaks when their phones get taken away. Losing a particularly long streak can be devastating.
The streak is one of the few features Instagram has yet to clone, and ironically one of the few things that may force kids to remain on Snapchat and weather through the changes.
If I didnt have 34 snap streaks with multiple being over 100 days, Id delete Snapchat because yo, the new update is trash, one college student tweeted.
But while thousands of teens complained on Twitter and Instagram, other more intrepid users looked for a solution.
By Saturday afternoon a Snapchat hack began circulating, that some users claimed could restore the app to its former self.
Users traded screenshotted instructions written in the iPhone notes app instructing them to go through several complex steps involving deleting the app and resetting their login information by phone and more, in order to revert back to the old layout.
The hack works, but only for a time.
Even with auto app updates off, users may eventually be forced into the new Snapchat if they update their phone. Snapchat could also close the loophole any day.
There is no security risk or harm in reverting to the old version of Snapchat, but users could risk losing all their Memories.
Isaac Svobodny the 20-year-old in Minnesota who gave voice to the backlash with his viral tweet, said that even though most of the 1.3 million people who retweeted his message knew it was fake and that Snapchat never agreed to revert back for a certain number of retweets, he still views it as a successful way to get the message out and, hopefully, force the company to reconsider.
All we can do it hope, he told The Daily Beast. I think this sends a good message to Snapchat. They will see this and see that if theres over 1.3 million people who arent happy with the update they should try to make some modifications.
Even though people know its fake I think it sends a good message that people are pissed off about it and want the old format back, he added.
He noted that nearly all of his college-aged peers are angry about the update and that its been the big topic of conversation for the past week. Everyone is pretty upset. No one likes the update, people on and off twitter. Everyone thinks its a mess.
Many young users are also discussing a full Snapchat boycott.
If we all boycott snapchat, they could reverse the update??? like i know wed all lose streaks but if they lose a shit ton of traffic, theyll be a hell of a lot more motivated to reverse the update, one user tweeted.
Svobodny said that hes received tons of messages encouraging a boycott.
Its not just teens who are upset about the new format.
Celebs like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen have also spoken out against the update.
How many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered? Teigen tweeted to her nearly 10 million followers.
YouTube star Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, said that he was so frustrated with the update that he is choosing to leave the platform.
He posted a YouTube video on Thursday titled Dear Snapchat! in which he outlines the problems he has with the app and why he thinks other influencers should quit.
Though all this outrage may seem like typical user backlash against change, Snapchat is in a volatile place and would suffer greatly if there was a mass exodus to other social apps like Instagram. Its user growth picked up slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017, yet it still has miles to go to catch up to other apps like Instagram.
One of Snapchats biggest criticisms has been that the app is too complicated to use.
While the majority of Snapchats young userbase could navigate the product just fine, older users struggled to comprehend the layout.
The apps redesign seems to have frustrated and confused its active young user base, and only time will tell if it has made things easier for older users.
During Snaps fourth quarter earnings call CEO Evan Spiegel noted that content consumption and time spent in the redesigned application are disproportionately higher for users over the age of 35, which seems promising.
Though it remains to be seen whether growth in older users comes at the expense of younger users. One young user noted that for the first time, she felt like an old person trying to use a piece of new technology. The layout just made no sense.
Older users in general may be more forgiving of change. After all, theyve been through platform shifts before.
When Facebook rolled out radically redesigned profile pages in 2008 a Petition against the new Facebook gained more than a million members and hundreds of thousands of young users begged Zuckerberg to Bring back old Facebook, threatening to boycott the platform if it didnt cede to their demands.
Facebook stayed the course and the platform now has more than 2 billion monthly active users.
Ever wondered just how your television works?
YouTube channel The Slow Mo Guys, aptly named for their slow motion videos, explains the miracle of television and shows step-by-step how images appear on screens.
Instead of watching moving objects on our screens, turns out we’re just watching a bunch of still images shown to us really, really quickly. After explaining this concept, Slow Mo Guy Gav brings out an old television to show the pixels refreshing in action—in real time and then extremely slowed down.
Gav also explains how color appears on the screen, zooming into the subpixel (yes, that’s a thing) level to show the RGB patterns and how they are manipulated.
He goes on to talk about the different ways TVs are backlit, giving us the fully comprehensive round-up of how televisions work that we always wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask.
We’ll never look at our TV the same way again.
Feces-stained walls, heaps of garbage and swarms of rats are the squalid conditions two Bronx parents allegedly raised their four children in.
“You had to do everything you could to not throw up,” a police source said of the putrid Kingsbridge Avenue apartment where the couple’s 5-year-old son was found alone amongst the filth Friday.
The crying tot was rescued by a horrified FedEx deliveryman who came by to get a signature on a package.
Once he got a glimpse of the repulsive pad where Charlotte Lewis, 48, and husband Wilfred Lewis, 59, lived, he ran to get the nearest authorities, police sources said.
The mom, a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center, was arrested at work, while the dad, an adjunct professor at TCI College of Technology and an MTA worker, surrendered to the 50th Precinct station house, sources said.
The family’s other children — two girls, 12 and 13, and a 15-year-old deaf boy — were in school at the time.
“I won’t leave him alone anymore,” the boy’s father tried to reassure cops after he was arrested for leaving the boy unsupervised, according to police sources. He also claimed his son was “self-sufficient.”
The parents were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and failure to exercise control of a minor.
The mother’s Facebook profile picture paints a wildly different story, showing her smiling with her kids in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree with a border that reads, “Live. Laugh. Love.” The children appear happy, well fed and clean.
One neighbor, however, had noticed the fetid conditions before.
“A couple of times they would leave the door open and I would always tell my boyfriend ‘Oh that house is kind of disgusting,’” Deanna Strom, 27, told The Post.
Among the rubble, police found hundreds of black flies, maggots and bedbugs and a completely empty refrigerator, police sources said.
The family had also been contacted by the Administration for Children’s Services multiple times, sources said.
The opening ceremony of any Olympics provides pageantry at a global scale, a celebration that, at its best, can create moments every bit as indelible as the games themselves. For the Pyeongchang Games, those watching the curtain-raiser at home also witnessed a sight never seen before: a record-setting 1,218 drones joined in a mechanical murmuration.
Drone shows like the one on display at the Pyeongchang Games have taken place before; you may remember the drone army that flanked Lady Gaga at last year's Super Bowl. But the burst of drones that filled the sky Friday night—or early morning, depending on where in the world you watched—comprised four times as many fliers. Without hyperbole, there's really never been anything like it.
As at the Super Bowl, the Pyeongchang drone show comes compliments of Intel's Shooting Star platform, which enables a legion of foot-long, eight ounce, plastic and foam quadcopters to fly in sync, swooping and swirling along an animator's prescribed path.
"It's in essence technology meeting art," says Anil Nanduri, general manager of Intel's drone group.
Intel's Shooting Star drones are about a foot-long, weigh eight ounces, and can fly in formation for up to 20 minutes.|||
Also like the Super Bowl, the opening ceremony production you'll see on your TV—or streaming device—was prerecorded. That's less of a cheat than an insurance policy; tiny drones can only handle so much abuse, and Pyeongchang is a cold and windy city.
Intel had planned to produce a live version of the show for the Pyeongchang opening ceremony crowd, but had to scrap it at the last minute due to what the company describes as "impromptu logistical changes." Television audiences, though, were always only going to see the prerecorded version of the record-setting aerial spectacle. And the Intel plans to lean into live shows throughout the week, with a separate, 300-drone act expected to take off nightly for the medal ceremonies.
In previous outings, the drone fleet has taken forms like a waving American flag backing Gaga, or a twirling Christmas tree at Disney's Starbright Holidays. The Pyeongchang production, as you might expect, includes more Olympic-themed animations, like a gyrating snowboarder and those iconic interlocking rings, all made possible by careful coding, and the four billion color combinations enabled by onboard LEDs. (If you missed the livestream, you can catch the whole thing on the NBC broadcast Friday night.)
"In order to create a real and lifelike version of the snowboarder with more than 1,200 drones, our animation team used a photo of a real snowboarder in action to get the perfect outline and shape in the sky," says Natalie Cheung, Intel's general manager of drone light shows.
As it turns out, bring 1,218 of those drones into harmony doesn't present much more of a logistical challenge than 300, thanks to how the Shooting Star platform works. After animators draw up the show using 3-D design software, each individual drone gets assigned to act as a kind of aerial pixel, filling in the 3-D image against the night sky.
And while more drones does provide a broader canvas, it perhaps more importantly affords a better sense of depth.
"What you have is a complete three-dimensional viewing space, so you can create lots of interesting effects and transformations when you use that full capability," says Nanduri. "It's aways easy to fly more drones for an animation and increase the perspective."
With the animation in place, each drone operates independently, communicating with a central computer rather than any of the drones around it. Just before takeoff, that computer also decides which drone plays what role, based on the battery levels and GPS strength of each member of the fleet.
The drones can typically fly for a little under 20 minutes, given the limitations of current lithium-ion battery technology. They also generally launch at a bit of a distance from the actual performance area, cutting showtime even tighter. But those handicaps apply equally to any drone show. Pyeongchang presented unique challenges all its own.
As the opening ceremonies live snafu underscores, getting these drones capable of flying in extreme conditions involves some fine-tuning of a Shooting Star drone design that has otherwise remained fairly consistent over the last two years.
"When you have these multi-rotors, you're spinning these blades, it's all about how much lift and thrust they can get," says Nanduri. "You have blades spinning in different directions, and it's self-balancing. When you have high winds, you basically have to counter that, especially depending on the direction of the wind. You need more power."
Intel didn't physically change the shape of the Shooting Star propellers. But after simulating various wind scenarios, the team did tweak the design of the drones' rotor cages for a tolerance boost to help keep the craft stable in windier conditions.
As for the cold, that impacts not so much the drones themselves, but the batteries that charge them. Temperatures on site will dip as low as 11 degrees Fahrenheit overnight, topping out at just above freezing.
'It's aways easy to fly more drones for an animation and increase the perspective.'
Anil Nanduri, Intel
"Lithium-ion batteries and cold don't really go together," says Nanduri. To that end, the Intel team tested Shooting Star performance in Finland to make sure the drones still flew as expected—and for the length of time required for the Olympic shows. But more importantly, they fine-tuned their storage systems to limit any potential damage that a deep freeze might cause. They'll also have weather monitoring and air traffic stations on-site to make the final call.
Eventually, Intel has ambitions for its drone squad to graduate from performers to professionals. A fleet of fully programmable quadcopters has compelling implications for, say, search and rescue operations. Unlocking that potential would require a regulatory overhaul, though, one that doesn't seem likely in the immediate term.
For now, however, light show spectaculars seem like a fine way for Shooting Star drones to earn their keep. Especially now that they've had their moment at the biggest show on earth.
This story has been updated to reflect that Intel pulled the live version of its opening ceremonies drone show.
In a viral and hilariously maddening tweet, Neil deGrasse Tyson recently informed millions of disappointed revelers that New Year’s Day, i.e. Jan. 1, is an astronomically insignificant event.
In other words, it doesn’t mark any sort of cosmic milestone and might as well just be a random date on the calendar.
(He does it every year. And every year, it annoys everyone who just wants to have a good time.)
To most of us, the new year is a moment of huge significance. It symbolizes a fresh start and hope for a better world, however arbitrary it may be. And that might explain our fascination with babies who are born at or very close to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
She was born healthy and happy after about six hours of labor, and weighed just over 7 pounds at birth. She joins around 386,000 other babies around the world who were also born on Jan. 1, but she managed to edge them all out to claim the title of “year’s first baby.”
On top of that, she’s already ready for her close-up. Get to know baby Vilisi in the heartwarming video below:
According to UNICEF, last year over 2,600 newborns per day didn’t live past their first 24 hours, with the majority of those deaths being entirely preventable. With medicine and technology as advanced as they are, that’s a number that has to change.
The World Health Organization writes that one of the most critical issues is simply a lack of care, with new moms and babies not having access to skilled doctors and nurses that could treat common issues like basic infections or pneumonia.
The good news? Campaigns are underway to bring better and more affordable care to parts of the world. Little Vilisi, aside from becoming a viral superstar, is healthy and thriving. Every kid deserves that chance.
If you want to learn more about how you can support those efforts, start here.