Joss Whedon announces the end of “Firefly”

Somehow I don’t believe that this is then end of the road for “Firefly”. That said, keep reading…

“When Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon looks back on 2005, he can take comfort in knowing that his film-directing debut, the sci-fi Western Serenity, resurrected his canceled-too-soon cult classic TV series Firefly, and was also one of the year’s best-reviewed movies. ‘I should say I’m above reading reviews,’ he says. ‘But I would be lying.’ Alas, Whedon’s fond memories are also tainted by Serenity’s status as a franchise nonstarter; despite Universal’s best marketing efforts, the film only mustered $25 million. ‘In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,’ says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion. He has no regrets — and he’s moving on.”

The “Serenity” DVD goes on sale today.

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See “King Kong” – it’s amazing

King Kong

From Ty Burr at the Boston Globe: “Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong’ delivers all you could possibly want from a modern popcorn behemoth: state-of-the-art special effects, epic scope and running time, rampaging dinosaurs, things majestically going ka-boom. It’s not so much a remake as it is a loving re-creation of the 1933 original on extra-strength steroids, with a side order of Botox. You’ve seen it all before but most assuredly never like this.”

9-month-old on “no fly” list of suspected terrorists

“Sarah Zapolsky was checking in for a flight to Italy when she discovered that her 9-month-old son’s name was on the United States’ ‘no fly’ list of suspected terrorists.

“‘We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled,’ Zapolsky said, recalling the July incident at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. ‘The desk agent started laughing…She couldn’t print us out a boarding pass because he’s on the no-fly list.’

“Zapolsky, who did not want her son’s name made public, said she was initially amused by the mix-up. ‘But when I found out you can’t actually get off the list, I started to get a bit annoyed.’

“She isn’t alone.”

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The top 20 IT mistakes to avoid

“We all like to think we learn from mistakes, whether our own or others’. So in theory, the more serious bloopers you know about, the less likely you are to be under the bright light of interrogation, explaining how you managed to screw up big-time. That’s why we put out an all-points bulletin to IT managers and vendors everywhere: For the good of humanity, tell us about the gotchas that have gotten you, so others can avoid them…

“We’ve distilled this glut of information down to the top 20 mistakes — instances in which wrong decisions can lead to costly project overruns, business disasters, and in the worst cases, lost jobs. Read on…”

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This guy is “39 Pounds of Love”

From the official web site: “39 Pounds of Love is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of a remarkable man and a remarkable journey.

“Ami Ankilewitz was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor’s prediction of life expectancy by 28 years. And counting.

“Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand and in doing so, continues to redefine notions of a ‘limited’ life.

“The film follows Ami’s journey in search of the doctor who predicted his early demise. Along his journey, Ami attempts to come to terms with another major incident from his past and to complete a lifelong dream: To finally ride a Harley Davidson.

“39 Pounds of Love is an emotional roller coaster, a fascinating, humorous and truly inspirational ride through life with someone who embodies the very term, Carpe Diem (Seize the day).”

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Free voicemail helps homeless people get jobs

a whopping 70% found jobs within 2 months“‘Community Voicemail’ offers free voicemail boxes to homeless and unemployed people who are seeking work, so they’ll have a way for prospective employers to reach them. The program is very successful too: ‘workers distributed voicemail numbers to 145 people over 6 months, and a whopping 70% found jobs within 2 months!'”

From “Community Voice Mail is a simple and effective solution to a complex problem — how to help people in crisis and transition stay connected to the very tool they need most: a constant telephone number… Access to a telephone is a basic survival tool… and often one we don’t think of… Once their new phone number is active, users can check messages from anywhere that works for them: pay phones, social service agencies, or the homes of friends and family. A CVM number looks like any other local telephone number and therefore does not signal the client’s status as a homeless or phoneless person. In this way, CVM users are able to reflect the stability and credibility associated with having a personal home answering machine.”

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Video of the largest atomic bomb ever detonated

“Tsar Bomba (literally “Tsar of the bombs”), developed by the Soviet Union, is the largest nuclear explosive ever detonated, and the most powerful of such ever employed by humans. It was tested on October 30, 1961 over the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Sea. There is no clear evidence that any examples other than the one tested were ever made.

“The original USA estimate of the yield was 57 Mt, but since 1991 all Russian sources have stated its yield as ‘only’ 50 Mt… The fireball touched the ground, reached nearly as high as the altitude of the release plane, and was seen 1,000 km away. The heat could have caused third degree burns at a distance of 100 km. The subsequent mushroom cloud was about 60 km high and 30-40 km wide. The explosion could be seen and felt in Finland, even breaking windows there. Atmospheric focusing caused blast damage up to 1,000 km away. The seismic shock of the test went around the Earth three times.

“The Tsar Bomba is the most powerful device ever constructed by humans, and its test is the largest detonation ever. Since 50 Mt is 2.1×1017 joules, the average power produced during the entire fission-fusion process, lasting around 3.9×10-8 seconds or 39 nanoseconds, was about 5.3×1024 watts or 5.3 yottawatts. This constitutes over 1% of the power output of the Sun (383 yottawatts)… By contrast, the largest weapon ever produced by the United States, the now-decommissioned B41, had a predicted maximum yield of 25 Mt, and the largest nuclear device ever tested by the USA (Castle Bravo) yielded 15 Mt.”

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