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.”
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.
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.
(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.
In a sense, Wan brings the same eye that “Batman v Superman” director Zack Snyder possesses in adapting comic-book images to the screen, without drowning his protagonist in angst. The result is a movie that’s fairly buoyant, and to use a term that might seem out of place when describing a special-effects-laden blockbuster, generally fun.
After two appearances in earlier films (one, admittedly, silent and brief), Aquaman finally gets a full-blown origin story, including the tale of how his mother (Nicole Kidman) — a runaway Atlantean princess — washed ashore and met his dad (“Star Wars” alum Temuera Morrison), hanging around long enough to give birth to a son, Arthur.
Forced to return to Atlantis and its elaborate society hidden beneath the waves, she leaves the boy to grow up with his dad, a youth that’s complicated when those extraordinary abilities manifest themselves.
Back to present day, a threat arises in the form of Arthur’s half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), who is determined to declare war on the surface-dwellers. Aquaman is enlisted to stop the plot by another rebellious Atlantean princess, Mera (Amber Heard), who is putting her own status at risk — and potentially alienating her father (Dolph Lundgren) — by siding with him.
What amounts to a quest ensues, one necessary to give Arthur a fighting chance against the forces arrayed against him. That also creates a little too much opportunity for Aquaman and Mera to squabble and of course bond, while crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of a trident imbued with fantastic powers.
There’s no escaping that the dialogue feels strained in places — it’s not easy taking a villain seriously who yearns for the title “Ocean Master” — and “Aquaman” requires a certain degree of buy-in, perhaps especially from those whose familiarity with the character begins and ends with “Super Friends.” Wan compensates for that, however, with the enormously intricate civilization that he conjures, from the fantastic beasts to the towering spires of Atlantis.
The action, similarly, is both kinetic and mounted with the kind of scale where a submarine can be thrown around like a toy. And while the idea of a reluctant hero tasked with fulfilling his destiny is hardly a new one, Momoa alternately makes him irascible and actually kind of goofy — the first member of this DC universe with whom you might actually like to throw back a beer or three.
Perhaps foremost, Wan offers a giant spectacle that, while sporadically unwieldy, sails along briskly enough (despite running well over two hours) and proves consistently interesting visually. In an cinematic age where part of the challenge is motivating people to see movies during their theatrical window, “Aquaman” feels like a master of that domain.
“Aquaman” premieres Dec. 21 in the U.S. It’s rated PG-13. Like Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, CNN is a unit of WarnerMedia.
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.
No need for a new design
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.
More power under the hood
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.
To pick a 2-in-1 or a laptop?
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.
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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.
In the intervening time, Fury has very publicly dealt with his demons of drugs, drink and depression.
It was “the lowest low that anyone could ever have,” he recalled of that moment behind the wheel of the Ferrari where “I gave up on life.”
Thoughts of his children wrestled him back to sanity, and he quickly sought help.
A psychiatrist warned family members he was an imminent death risk. The slow climb back to physical and mental health began when fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders, his cousin and best friend, lured him to his boxing camp in Marbella, Spain.
Going in, Fury topped the scales at a whopping 392 pounds. By the end of the Spanish camp, he was already 28 pounds lighter.
Now back on the brink of another heavyweight title, the 30-year-old’s resurrection is almost complete.
Boxing has also been Wilder’s salvation. The American picked up the gloves at the age of 19 — far older than most of his peers — after his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida. He thought the sport would offer a financial quick fix to help pay for treatment.
“All I was thinking about was the money,” he said. “I thought everyone made a lot of money by just stepping into the ring. My focus was to do whatever I could to support my daughter.”
Naieya remains his guiding light in the ring, and he has a tattoo on his hand with the words “Road to Success” to remind him of his personal journey.
Branding himself a leader, king and soldier, the 33-year-old Wilder has a contrasting boxing background to that of Fury.
The son of a pastor, the family were just $50 away from going broke on a number of occasions.
At his parents’ behest, he worked hard and became a college basketball star before getting his then girlfriend pregnant with Naieya and quitting college for a life within the ropes.
Shed ‘a welterweight’
In contrast, Fury’s name alone meant he was born to box. As he said back in 2014, “While other kids watched cartoons, I watched video tapes of boxing.”
But it was not his namesake Mike Tyson that he aspired to emulate, instead Michael Spinks, renowned for his skilful boxing and footwork.
Born into the traveling community prematurely at little more than a pound, for a time Fury was the self-styled “Gypsy King” in the ring. Undefeated in his 27 fights, Fury insists the greatest threat to his own thrown has always been himself.
As he has said repeatedly this week, “The only one to stop me being successful as a boxer is me.”
The turnaround has been remarkable. “I’ve come back from wanting to commit suicide and 28 stone [392 pounds) to as fit as a fiddle and in a great place mentally,” he said.
Fury has shed nearly 140 pounds — akin to an entire welterweight — and much of his return to form and fitness is down to the relatively unknown trainer Ben Davison, who was working initially with Saunders in Marbella.
Shedding that weight has only been part of the fix. Post-Klitschko, Fury took cocaine and drank heavily. On the road to recovery, religion has been key. At his lowest ebb, he prayed to God. There are still days where he thinks “this is shit.”
Anthony Joshua on Tyson Fury & Deontay Wilder
Getting inside Klitschko’s head
The one major blot in his own salvation story is a positive test for a banned substance in February 2015 for which he received a two-year backdated ban from UK Anti-Doping, which left him free to box again in December 2017.
But there is no doubting his self-belief as a boxer. Against Klitschko, no one gave him a chance but he completely outboxed the Ukrainian.
The secret to that success lay in the build-up. Famously turning up as Batman to one press conference, Fury was a conundrum the normally methodical Klitschko could not work out.
It was the same in the ring — one sparring partner likened Fury to an octopus, with attacks coming from everywhere, making him immensely difficult to prepare for.
As one of Wilder’s team, Mark Breland, put it: “Even Tyson Fury doesn’t know what he’s going to do. If he doesn’t know, then how can his opponent know? Tyson is the most awkward guy in the division, he’s the hardest to figure out.”
The evidence of Wednesday’s final press conference would suggest Fury has got inside Wilder’s head, such was the vitriol from the American. The alternative, cynical view would simply be that two men had millions more to be made from the pay-per-view audience — the thinking being no publicity is bad publicity.
For his part, Wilder is adamant he won’t fall into the same traps as Klitschko: “This is not Klitschko. I looked him in his eyes at the first press conference and said I’m not Klitschko, you can’t get in my head.”
Trying to assess the fight is nigh-on impossible. Fury has added Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach to his corner, either an astute bit of business or a late sign of panic from Fury and Davison, depending on your take.
Wilder is the No.1 ranked American, Fury Britain’s No.2 behind Anthony Joshua, who is primed to face the winner in April in London.
“Either of them that’s ready, if you’re serious, talk about me post-fight all you want, but if you’re not really serious about fighting, leave me out of it so I can focus on fighting someone else,” said Joshua.
A Joshua fight would finally unify the division. First, comes Saturday night in front of Wilder’s home crowd, although Fury insists home advantage will have little impact with Wilder not heralded in the same way as Mike Tyson and the past American heavyweight greats.
Either way, it is a salvation for both; Fury for his mind, Wilder for his child.
People say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and we have to agree. But could it possibly fall any closer than this? The father’s genes most definitely won the womb wars in this artist’s imagination when he decided to illustrate the world’s most beloved comic book characters becoming dads.
Brazil-based artist Lucas Eduardo Nascimento, also known as Dragonarte to his 110k fans on Facebook and over 80k Instagram followers, drew a series of badass, yet adorable babies of superheroes and their first meetings with their fathers in the maternity ward. With the uncanny resemblance for all to see, these superbabies are already making their dads proud and our hearts melt.
We wish these mini versions of superheroes had their own sequel to the famous comics but it seems that Marvel and DC have yet to appreciate the creative potential of this illustrator.
Whether you are a fan of cute newborns or menacing superheroes, you will definitely enjoy these ‘father and son’ moments this artist has prepared for you.