Read more: https://imgur.com/gallery/SDwjuDS
Read more: https://imgur.com/gallery/SDwjuDS
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Holy nectar, Batman.
A British retiree managed to capture a stunning image of a Long Tongue bat licking nectar from a flower while he was on vacation in Costa Rica.
72-year-old John Hudson was touring a nature reserve while on vacation and managed to come across the bats by chance, SWNS reports. From there, he set up a makeshift hideout and began capturing pictures of the animals using their elongated tongues to sip the sweet nectar inside.
Hudson said he spent three hours crouched taking the pictures, a remarkable feat because bats are nocturnal and only feed at night.
“The shots were taken around 11 p.m. somewhere up in the highlands on a nature reserve in Costa Rica,” Hudson said in comments obtained by SWNS.
He continued: “The bats are quite common to the country but are nocturnal so they are very hard to photograph in the pitch dark. The night before some sugar water was put out in a feeder in the hope of catching hummingbirds feeding – but none came.”
Hudson, who added that he’d traveled to the country to snap pictures of birds using his DSLR Canon 5D Mark IV, said he got very lucky and was amazed at what he’d been able to photograph.
“I’ve been a keen photographer since I was 14 and I have a particular interest in things like hummingbirds,” Hudson said. “You have to set the equipment up to trigger a photo automatically when a bat flies across because you really can’t see anything. When I saw what I’d captured I was amazed. They are a lovely set of pictures which are rarely seen.”
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia
A dad who builds 3D-printed arms in his garage workshop has created a specially adapted bicycle for children missing an upper limb.
Adam Dengel, 30, created his first DIY limb in his bedroom for son Thomas, four, who was born without a hand.
He has since set up a charity and made superhero-themed prosthetics free of charge for children around the world.
For his latest project, he plans to surprise four children with their own custom-made bikes.
They cost £220 to make and are fitted with an ergonomic cup which allows the rider to reach the handlebars without leaning.
Mr Dengel said the modification makes the bikes safer to ride than a normal model.
The parts, like the arms, are created on Mr Dengel’s 3D printer in the garage of his home in Royston, Barnsley, which he has converted into a workshop.
“These kids haven’t had the best start in life and we wanted to help boost their confidence,” he said.
“Plus this gets them outside, riding bikes with other youngsters, and helping them to make friends.”
Mr Dengel, 30 and his wife Katie were inspired to help others through their experiences with their son.
Thomas was born with a short forearm and missing his hand due to amniotic band syndrome – a rare condition where stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs of an unborn baby and cut off blood flow.
Unhappy with the basic NHS prosthetic, the couple started looking at alternatives and found a charity which made Thomas his first mechanical arm.
This led him to buy his own printer and set about creating a number of colourful, comic book-inspired hands for his son – including his latest Batman-themed prosthetic.
Through the couple’s charity LimbBo Foundation, Mr Dengel has so far built 33 personalised arms for children, including youngsters in America and Holland.
“To say we the charity started out as an idea on the sofa we’re thrilled with how things have gone,” he said.
“We only ever wanted to help other kids like Thomas and it gives us so much pleasure to know we’re doing that.”
Read more: https://imgur.com/gallery/GE9oP0M
As 2018 prepares to shuffle away like a pensionable usherette and 2019 gets ready to throw open its doors like a brand new 28-screen multiplex, it’s time to cast our eyes over next year’s cinematic offerings.
From Oscar hopefuls and musical biopics to superhero sequels and blockbuster remakes, there’s something for almost everyone over the next 12 months.
Here’s a by no means exhaustive preview of coming attractions.
With the Oscars taking place on 24 February, the first few months of 2019 will see a large number of film awards contenders jostling for attention.
It all kicks off on New Year’s Day with quirky royal drama The Favourite staking its claim as the one to beat.
It’s early days, but many are already tipping its leading lady Olivia Colman to be the latest queen-playing Brit to take home an Oscar.
Other candidates in the mix include drug addiction tear-jerker Beautiful Boy, gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, Nicole Kidman crime thriller Destroyer, two racially-charged period pieces (Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk) and another royal saga in Mary Queen of Scots.
There is also a slew of biographical dramas tackling such diverse subjects as William Shakespeare (All is True), French author Colette, comedy duo Stan and Ollie, literary forger Lee Israel (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), war reporter Marie Colvin (A Private War) and ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (The White Crow).
Fans of American politics, meanwhile, can gorge on portraits of former US vice-president Dick Cheney (Vice), one-time presidential hopeful Gary Hart (The Front Runner) and supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (On the Basis of Sex).
Elsewhere in January, director M Night Shyamalan will be hoping Glass proves as shattering as the previous two instalments in his Unbreakable trilogy.
And there’ll be more superheroics in March with the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first female heroine from the MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe to you) to get a stand-alone vehicle.
Animation fans can look forward to two high-profile sequels in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, not to mention manga-inspired action in Alita: Battle Angel.
Another classic animation will get the big-budget live-action makeover treatment when Tim Burton brings Dumbo back to the big screen.
The superhero bandwagon rolls on into April with the debut of Shazam!, the return of Hellboy and Marvel’s Infinity War follow-up Avengers: Endgame.
May sees an evil superhero crash-land on Earth in Brightburn, while June brings us another batch of super-powered mutants in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu gets his own big-screen vehicle this spring, while the Men in Black will be back – minus Will Smith – in Men in Black International.
Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, meanwhile, will keep the little ones entertained – as will new animations Missing Link and Wonder Park.
Elton John’s rise to fame will be recreated in musical biopic Rocketman, while the music of the Beatles will infuse the latest (and still untitled) comedy fantasy from Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.
And then there is Aladdin, another live-action Disney remake starring Will Smith as the Genie. We knew he’d turn up somewhere, and he’s reassured fans he will be blue, just like his animated predecessor.
There are six letters in summer and six letters in sequel. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no doubt they go together like Wallace and Gromit.
You only have to look at this year’s offerings for proof, with everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home and Gerard Butler actioner Angel Has Fallen to It: Chapter 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw ensuring it will be déjà vu all over again at your local picture palace.
But wait! Who’s this? Why it’s only Quentin Tarantino, back to bring us a dose of Manson-era mayhem in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
There are also big-screen versions of two British telly favourites – Downton Abbey and Horrible Histories – plus yet another Disney remake in The Lion King.
Yes Sir Elton, we can feel the love tonight.
More TV staples reach the big screen towards the end of the year via new versions of Charlie’s Angels, The Addams Family and Masters of the Universe.
We’ll also see Joaquin Phoenix give his version of Batman’s nemesis in Joker, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest iteration of the Terminator franchise.
Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX will bring down the curtain on what’s certain to be a bumper year for the Disney empire.
And we’ll end with something paws-itive and purr-tinent – the all-star film version of moggy mews-sical Cats, arriving on 20 December to ensure we’re all feline groovy next Christmas.
Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.
All release dates are subject to change.
(CNN)In their zeal to catch up with Marvel, DC and Warner Bros. plunged into the super-team waters before establishing individual building blocks, creating a high degree of difficulty. While not on par with “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” is a step toward restoring equilibrium, creating a sprawling undersea world that most closely resembles the Thor franchise in terms of scope, majesty and happily, humor.
Comes in matte black option! • Quad-core performance • Entry-level model doesn’t stink anymore
No USB-C port(s)
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 is easily the best 2-in-1 computer of the year, with best-in-class performance at a great value.
Microsoft had me at matte black.
After several generations, I can now definitively say Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 is the best 2-in-1 laptop replacement available.
Everything else about the 2-in-1 remains the same, save for a new Batman-approved matte black finish if you step up to at least the 256GB storage model.
And just like the Surface Laptop 2, the $899 entry-level version with its 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM is no longer an underpowered machine with a vastly inferior processor compared to the mid- and upper-tier models.
Hey Apple, take notice: Everyone deserves quad-core performance in a thin-and-light computer without the steep pricing.
The Surface Pro 6 looks exactly like the Surface Pro (2017) and I’m OK with that. Frankly, I’m not sure why there’s such an obsession with refreshing a product’s hardware every year.
I’m all for pretty gadgets, but the Surface Pro 6, like any laptop, is more utilitarian and it’s more important that:
the keyboard offers an excellent typing experience no matter if you’re sending off a tweet or typing up a dissertation.
the trackpad and touchscreen (if it has one) are responsive.
the battery life needs to last a full work or school day.
there are ports to connect accessories without dongles.
The Surface Pro (2017) already ticked off all of these checkboxes. So Microsoft focused on souping up the inside, which was the right call this year.
OK, there’s one cosmetic change: it now comes in matte black. But just like the Surface Laptop 2, it’s only available for the 256GB and 512GB models and not for the 128GB or top 1TB versions. All storage models are available in silver (or “platinum,” as Microsoft calls it), though.
I’ve been using the $1,199 black Surface Pro 6 with the 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for the last few weeks as my daily work and personal machine, and the black coating has held up well. There are a few very faint scratches here and there, but that’s mostly because I carelessly tossed it into my backpack where phones, cables, and way too many dongles live.
The 12.3-inch (2,736 x 1,824 resolution) screen is as tack sharp as before, and the touchscreen is smooth and responsive. If you get a Surface Pen (sold separately), it works just the same as on the old Surface Pro. The bezel around the screen could use some shrinking, though. Maybe next year.
Signing into my account with Windows Hello remains one of my favorite things about the Surface Pro 6 (and all of the Surface computers, for that matter). But it could be improved. The face recognition still struggles in dimmer light, and it doesn’t recognize when my hair’s all messed up in the morning or if I have my glasses on. Face ID on the new iPad Pros and iPhone XS and XR are better at identifying my face in these situations.
It’s a bummer there’s no USB-C port on the Surface Pro 6. Microsoft’s stuck with a full-sized USB 3.1 port, Mini DisplayPort, and its proprietary magnetic Surface Connect port for charging and connecting to docks.
I’m fine with all of these ports, especially the full-size USB port, but as I said in my Surface Laptop 2 review, now that Microsoft’s making the best devices in their class, it’s the company’s responsibility to help push us (kicking and screaming if need be) to adopt the smaller, reversible, and more versatile port.
I sympathize with Surface Chief Product Officer Panos Panay’s reasoning that USB-C still hasn’t become as widely adopted as we’d all hoped it’d be by now. But that’s even more reason for Microsoft to back it. I’m not saying to go all in on USB-C the way Apple and Google have on their MacBooks and the Pixel Slate, but at least one would have been nice.
The most notable changes to the Surface Pro 6 are the updated 8th-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.
Both processors have quad-cores for faster single- and multi-core performance. Performance like this is rare on a tablet and in thin-and-light laptops, and they usually cost a significant premium. Look at the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro: macOS aside, Apple charges $1,799 for quad-cores. Sure, the clock speed is faster on the MacBook Pro, and the integrated Intel graphics slightly better, but the Surface Pro 6 is the better value for anyone not looking to do really pro-level stuff like editing 4K video (it can do it, for sure, but not as fast as laptop with a beefier GPU).
On Geekbench 4, the Surface Pro 6 scored 4,245 on the single-core and 13,795 on the multi-core tests — 5.97 percent faster on single-core and 87.5 faster on multi-core, respectively, compared to the Surface Pro (2017) with a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 chip. That’s a 59.62 percent performance boost in multi-core performance. Microsoft promises “up to 85 percent” faster performance depending on the task.
The Surface Pro 6’s performance is comparable to the Surface Laptop 2… for multi-core performance. It scored 9.63 percent faster on single-core and 0.5 percent faster on multi-core.
Even with a faster clock speed, the 2018 13-inch MacBook MacBook Pro wasn’t a match for Microsoft’s tablet. The Surface Pro 6 performed 3.99 percent faster on the single-core (about 6.25 percent faster), but was 20.29 percent faster on multi-core.
Compared to the 2018 MacBook Air, the Surface Pro 6 was 14.08 percent faster on single-core and 95.71 percent faster on multi-core. No surprise since the Surface Pro’s processor has two more cores than the Air.
These benchmarks give you a sense of where the Surface Pro 6’s power slots in and how much value you’re getting per dollar.
While my black Surface Pro 6 costs $1,199, performance on the the $899 Surface Pro 6 should be the same since the only difference on my unit is more storage and a black color.
At the end of the day, however, unless you’re pushing the Surface Pro 6’s multi-core performance to the extreme, the 2-in-1 flies.
As I’m writing this, I have Chrome open with 27 tabs, the Spotify app streaming music, and the Netflix app streaming an episode of House of Cards and there’s no signs of the Surface Pro 6 buckling.
No stutters as I hop between tabs. No lag as when I alt-tab between apps. Windows 10 Home sings on the Surface Pro 6 and I didn’t even realize it at first until I started writing this review. With most thin-and-light laptops I’ve tested this year, I end up dealing with a fan kicking up, the OS slowing down, or a quickly depleting battery.
But not with the Surface Pro 6. I’ve gone eight-hour work days using the Surface Pro 6 on-and-off throughout the day (consisting of Chrome, Slack, email, Twitter, Microsoft Word, and Spotify) and didn’t need to plug in until I got home. The screen’s bright enough that I rarely needed to have it set beyond around 70 percent.
This has been my dilemma. Having reviewed the Surface Laptop 2 a month earlier, I felt sure at the time it was the better deal at $999.
But now I’m not so sure. The Surface Pro 6 starts at $899 — $100 less than the Laptop 2 — but doesn’t come with a keyboard. So with a keyboard, at the least, you’d have to spend $1,028.
Both machines have the same exact ports. But the Laptop 2 has a larger touchscreen: 13.5 inches versus 12.3 inches.
On the other hand, the Surface Pro 6 is lighter. It’s 1.7 pounds without a keyboard and 2.4 pounds with a keyboard. Regardless, it’s lighter than the 2.7-pound Laptop 2, 3.02-pound 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 2.75-pound MacBook Air.
To decide if the Surface Pro 6 is the machine for you, you gotta ask yourself a few questions:
1. Do you want macOS or Windows?
If you answered macOS, then you should close this review right now. But if you said Windows, then the next question to ask is…
2. Do you want a larger touchscreen?
If you do, then you should go with the Laptop 2. If not, then the Surface Pro 6 is your guy. But it’s not so simple…
3. Do you want to use your device to draw or take notes?
If yes, then you can only go with the Surface Pro 6. The Surface Pen works with the Laptop 2, but you won’t be able to place it flat on a table to doodle or in your laptop to read the way you can with the Surface Pro 6.
Whatever your decision is, you’re getting a winner. Where I once strongly felt the Surface Pro was inferior to a proper clamshell laptop, I now can’t rave enough about Microsoft’s 2-in-1. It’s the best laptop replacement there is and the most fun portable computer of the year. Last year that honor belonged to Google’s Pixelbook, but this year the title belongs to Microsoft.
Looking for toys for kids both young and old? SproutScout.co has put together 30 guides for parents and grandparents to find the *perfect* gift this Christmas. Each list has ten options to help you find exactly what your child/grandchild will want to find under the tree.
As if to prove there’s no justice in the real world, Venom is on track to overpower two previous superhero box office titans — and possibly become one of the most profitable movies of its ilk.
After reaching $822 million in total global earnings over the weekend, Venom has eclipsed both Wonder Woman‘s $821 million and Spider-Man‘s $821 million.
This might be cause for confusion and concern among superhero movie fans, since Venom received quite, uh, “mixed reviews” from critics and audiences alike.
Yet it’s still projected to become one of the most profitable big budget superhero movies yet after accounting for both its production budget and its gross earnings, according to Forbes.
But not all moviegoers are equally into Venom. The film’s box office success is predominantly attributed to its considerably better international showing (accounting for 74.3 percent of its total earnings), versus its pretty average domestic numbers (making up only 25.7 percent of the total).
Based on Box Office Mojo‘s numbers, this wide discrepancy between domestic and international audiences is even greater than Batman v Superman, which earned $870 million globally. In contrast to these less-liked entries into the superhero genre, Wonder Woman‘s domestic and international earnings were close to an even split.
Also over the five-day holiday weekend, Ralph Breaks the Internet came out on top at the U.S. box office, taking in $85 million to become the second-highest Thanksgiving weekend opening ever (after 2013’s Frozen). And in second place was Creed II, whose $55 million haul broke records to become the largest live-action Thanksgiving debut in history.
Meanwhile, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald highlights still more disparity between the U.S. and international audiences, falling to third top grosser domestically but remaining #1 for the second weekend in a row worldwide.