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Lessons from SpaceX: How to build the next Toyota Camry for space

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 22:00
In case you missed it, space is being democratized - and quickly. Last November, from a sheep farm in New Zealand, California-based Rocket Lab launched six payloads via their “It's Business Time” small Electron rocket.

How Flat-Earthers Explain Total Lunar Eclipses

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 20:42
The blood-red color of the moon during a total lunar eclipse may be difficult to explain without a basic understanding of orbital mechanics, but flat-Earth conspiracy theorists have come up with a way to circumvent scientific facts and construct a ...

Before megalodon shark came Galagadon -- a small shark with 'spaceship-shaped' teeth

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 20:04
A new species of prehistoric freshwater shark has been found by a North Carolina State lecturer, and it had “spaceship-shaped teeth,” according to statement from the university.

Undersea treasure hunter finds possible ancient artifact from Peru near Melbourne Beach

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 19:57
MELBOURNE BEACH - An undersea treasure hunter has discovered a possible ancient Peruvian artifact near Melbourne Beach that may have been transported by the doomed 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to return to space after six-month break

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 19:55
Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket ready for launch in Texas, backed by a starry sky. Blue Origin. After a number of delays, Blue Origin is hoping to get back to space as soon as Wednesday with its first launch in six months.

Spaceship-shaped teeth: Ancient shark discovered near T. rex gets 'Galaga'-inspired name

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 19:11
The discovery rested for decades inside leftover sediment in the basement of Chicago's Field Museum: A shark with triangular teeth shaped like spaceships in an old-school video game.

A mission to mine the Moon could be underway as early as 2025

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 19:04
How do you mine for resources in a place where humans haven't set foot for over four decades? That's a question the European Space Agency will have to answer if they want to achieve the lofty goal of extracting usable lunar material by 2025.

Watch a Meteor Smack the Blood Moon in This Lunar Eclipse Video!

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 18:12
This weekend's stunning lunar eclipse seems to have come with a little extra flash, thanks to a brilliant coincidence - a burst of light at about the time totality began, marking the end of a meteorite's journey to the moon.

Scientists Recreate 25-Year Old Freak Wave in a Laboratory for the First Time

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 18:03
On New Year's day, 1995, the Draupner oil rig off the coast of Norway was experiencing some rough weather. According to a wave log kept at the station, the rig was pounded by 40-foot waves for most of the day, but shortly after 3 PM a single 80-foot ...

Miss the 2019 Blood Moon? Here's When the Next Lunar and Solar Eclipses Will Occur

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 17:44
Skywatchers wowed by the spectacular "blood moon" eclipse Sunday (Jan. 20) are probably asking, "When do we get an encore?

Instagram 'helped kill my daughter'

Health News BBC - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 17:38
After Molly Russell took her own life, her family found distressing material through her Instagram account.

Pigeon droppings health risk - should you worry?

Health News BBC - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 17:04
A child's death at a hospital in Glasgow has been linked to an infection spread by bird droppings.

Resident Evil 2 Review - Raccoon City Revisited

Game Spot Reviews - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 16:00

Reliving familiar frights can often make for a less-than-exciting horror experience. But with the remake of Resident Evil 2, Capcom shows respect for the original while also going to great lengths to give the macabre atmosphere and tense gameplay a noticeable upgrade. In doing so, this revamp of the classic survival horror game shows that the series can still offer a terrifying experience like no other.

You once again play as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield. A viral outbreak has unleashed hordes of zombies and other grotesque monsters upon Raccoon City, leading to a series of dangerous and nightmare-inducing encounters for the two characters. While both protagonists' storylines have similar plots and take place in the same locations, there are different supporting characters and unique challenges in each that set the two playthroughs apart.

In traditional Resident Evil fashion, you're tasked with surviving through the night and overcoming the nightmarish creatures and devious puzzles found throughout the infested streets of the city, the tight, dimly lit halls of the Police Station, and in the subterranean passages below. RE2 is a great mix of the understated survivalist approach from the original games and the tactile, reflex-oriented gameplay from more recent entries. It's very much a game about escalation; as your resources dwindle and the monsters become fearsome and more elaborate, the pressure is always mounting as the story progresses, and each moment feels just a bit more desperate than the last. Even the smallest of victories can feel like major wins in RE2, and you'll often find yourself onto the next struggle before you know it.

While those who played the original game will enter with an idea of what's to come, the remake does a lot to refresh certain encounters and locations. Though many locales and their layouts are similar--save for the addition of a brand-new area and a new monster to deal with--the events therein are new. Jump scares don't trigger when you expect them to, or a room that once spelled certain doom in your head is now a safe haven--but then the question arises: if this room is safe, which room is the real dangerous one?

Early Resident Evil games have a reputation for being melodramatic, often unintentionally, but the RE2 remake a more serious tone that makes for a more evocative story. While there is still the undercurrent of the hokey tone from the classics, with the characters cutting the tension with humor when appropriate, the remake's narrative is far more convincing, propped up by some impressive writing and strong performances that help convey urgency and despair. This is especially evident during the more quiet moments, when the protagonists will try to psych themselves up for what's to come. Even minor characters are given additional substance in the remake, with poignant moments given to the doomed police lieutenant Marvin Branagh and gun shop owner Robert Kendo.

Both Claire and Leon have two different versions of the campaign, and after finishing the first run for one, you'll be prompted to start a follow-up with the other. Called Second Scenarios, they allow you to see the larger story from a different perspective. Both scenarios are totally isolated from another, and choices therein won't impact the other, but what makes these second runs worthwhile are the different encounters and sub-plots that don't occur in the first. It's a very interesting way to experience the narrative, and with four versions of the campaigns between the two leads--with the first two averaging 12-15 hours--you constantly uncover new details and events that weren't present in the previous playthroughs.

Resident Evil 2's more serious tone is further enhanced by the renewed, fantastically atmospheric presentation, which gives familiar details from the classic game more of a pronounced look and feel. Moving away from the static camera angles of the original, everything has been redesigned with over-the-shoulder gameplay in mind, giving more of a palpable and invasive sense of dread when exploring. This is heightened even more by the impeccable audio and visual design of the game, creating an eerie, isolating vibe throughout. In a number of cases, you'll only have the illumination of your flashlight as you walk the dark hallways of the bloody and ruined police station, with the ambient rain and distant monster sounds ramping up the tension. You rarely feel safe in RE2, even when you actually are.

The remake's impressive level of detail is consistently noticeable, but especially so during gorey moments. These gruesome encounters channel the same macabre and staccato approach from the classics, but are now honed through the visual luster of modern rendering and animation. As the zombies are the one constant threat throughout, you quickly become accustomed to seeing flesh chip away as you fire off pistol shots, along with watching the undead torn in half by well-placed shotgun blasts. Though RE2 easily proves to be the goriest game of the series, it never comes off as excessive, and the grizzly details all serve to highlight the grim circumstances of the desperate situation.

Resident Evil 2's more serious tone is further enhanced by the renewed, fantastically atmospheric presentation...

At the beginning, your meager selection of weapons doesn't seem like a match for the game's most intimidating horrors, but there are means available that can give you the upper hand in a lopsided fight. In addition to dismembering enemies with well-aimed shots hindering zombies' speed and offense, you can barricade certain windows to block ravenous undead from entering from outside. While many of these options are simply a temporary solution to a long-term problem, which can make it seem like they're not all that worth taking advantage of, they are helpful in a pinch.

While you will no doubt settle into tactics that work well, RE2 throws in some fresh challenges. In one of the game's more tense encounters, you cross paths with the Tyrant, a hulking presence whose footsteps echo throughout the environment. Though it was a serious foe shown in small doses in the original, this imposing force of nature is now more of a persistent threat that actively stalks you during key periods in the story. Simply ducking into another room isn't enough, as it'll quickly follow you in to keep the chase going--similar to the RE3's Nemesis in that regard. If you manage to create enough distance and it loses line of sight, it'll disengage, but will remain lurking throughout the halls. With this dynamic, the Tyrant also makes the common foes you've gotten a handle of become genuine threats once again. As you find yourself trying to stay focused on the stalking figure, it's all too easy to round a corner and run into a group of zombies.

Though the Tyrant offers a nerve-wracking surprise during some of these key moments, which makes the feeling of getting the best of it all the more satisfying, there are other times when it can disrupt Resident Evil 2's pacing. This is especially frustrating when you're simply trying to acquire an item or solve a puzzle in a room that the Tyrant and zombies frequent. What should be tense encounters can sometimes become annoying exercises in trying to lure it away, and in some cases it comes off like you're taking advantage of the Tyrant's rather limited AI to do just that. The Tyrant can overstay its welcome, but in most cases, its presence is a constant reminder of the looming threat throughout the game.

While RE2 often keeps things serious, it's not all doom and gloom. In addition to occasional references that break the tension, there's also a suite of unlockable content available to the delight of RE fans, including the classic RE2 outfits for both Leon and Claire. After completing the campaign for both characters, you'll unlock a set of bonus modes starring fan-favorites Hunk and Tofu, the later of which is a sentient knife-wielding block of coagulated soy. Both of these extra modes take you on timed gauntlets battling through many intense encounters, with Tofu's mode being the most difficult scenario in the entire game. They also allow for a chance to cut loose against hordes of monsters without the worry of the larger survival-horror mechanics during the main game.

Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it's also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series' finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story's conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own.

Life Is Strange 2: Episode 2 Review - With Great Power

Game Spot Reviews - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 16:00

The main thing I've learned from having a sibling is that you can be polar opposites who bicker endlessly, but when push comes to shove there is nothing you wouldn't do to keep them happy, safe, and protected. This sentiment is the heart and soul of Life is Strange 2 and continues to ground the strong narrative through the second chapter of the Diaz brothers' journey away from their home in Seattle and toward a new one in Puerto Lobos.

The second chapter of Life Is Strange 2 begins in the snow-laden Willamette National Forest in Oregon. It is several days after Daniel learned the tragic truth of why they had to flee Seattle, and the ensuing outburst that revealed his telekinetic powers. The brothers are now faced with the reality of managing not only their survival while on the run, but also the nuances of how to handle Daniel's abilities. Sean sets down ground rules for keeping the powers a secret while working with his younger brother to hone them. This supernatural element adds a new dimension to gameplay in that certain situations and objects can be manipulated by Daniel with your say-so.

More interesting, however, is the difficult balance you must strike as Sean by either encouraging or discouraging Daniel's use of these powers. Using them may be helpful in certain situations, but there is the danger of being exposed or hurting someone in the process. The tribulations of decision-making in the second episode are far more complex due to this supernatural factor. The options to scare or prank your little brother are almost gone, but in their place you'll have the more difficult choice between keeping him safe and repressing his abilities or allowing him to use his powers--which is sometimes the only way to save others--but potentially put him at risk in the process.

In playing the second chapter through multiple times and making different choices, it became clear that there are no options to have Sean behave in a nasty manner because Sean is not a nasty person. While you can make choices for the brothers, they aren't puppets. If you choose to have Sean yell at a loved one, he will likely apologize; you can ask Daniel to do certain things but he won't necessarily obey. This feature can diminish the feeling of ownership over the characters, but the way it bolsters the fundamentals of their characterization and relationships increases your fondness for them and investment in their journey. Choosing to act more dismissively or short-tempered doesn't stop Sean from wanting the best for Daniel, nor does being unhelpful or sacrilegious around conservative family members stop them from loving you or wanting to help you. The decision-making in Life Is Strange 2 isn't as simple as being kind or being callous, and this makes the episode far more interesting and nuanced.

Daniel remains as impressionable as he was in the first episode. Swearing in front of him will enable him to do the same, telling him you don't believe in heaven will change his beliefs, and being unkind or unsupportive will make him disinclined to listen to you. This puts a huge weight on the way you choose to conduct yourself and how you treat others in Daniel's presence. The supporting characters in this chapter are less colourful than those in the last episode, and a couple of grungy train-hopping standouts are underutilized. While Sean and Daniel's grandparents are well-written, they aren't as unique or interesting as Episode 1 characters like Brody the travelling blogger or Lyla, Sean's bubbly best friend. As a result they don't contribute to the character development of the brothers in the same meaningful way.

Much of the episode is spent in relative comfort, which is a change of pace for the brothers on the run, although the beginning retreads some story beats from the first chapter and as a result they feel less impactful this time around. There are a couple of instances that feel like cheap emotional shots, one of which is related to an Episode 1 choice that ripples out in a dramatic way, yet doesn't feel entirely earned. Even in these cases, however, the stellar performances of Roman George as Daniel and particularly Gonzalo Martin as Sean keep every moment engaging and sympathetic--from the mundanities of playing dice games to coping with heart-wrenching losses.

While this episode is bookended by tense, gasp-inducing moments, the plot has a slower pace than the previous episode. It spends time filling in the blanks of the Diaz family tree and answers important logistical questions as to where the brothers can find a safe haven. This chapter also incorporates the story of Captain Spirit, or Chris, who we first met in the standalone game The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Chris' character is used as a clever device to display different sides of Sean and Daniel. He enables Daniel to flaunt his childlike creativity, while Sean can earn his trust and serve as a confidant for his troubled home life. The impressive writing from Episode 1 persists, making every conversation feel natural and relatable. This ensures that even the new characters that aren't as unique as those introduced previously still have layers and avoid cliches.

This care and attention to detail extends to the environments, which feel genuine and lived-in. The particulars of places and objects also subtly clue you in to the personalities, priorities, and relationships of those they belong to; like kitschy plaques that signpost the interior of rooms in a house, a recycling bin full of beer cans, and a guitar covered in stickers. Underpinning all of this are acoustic folk tracks that punctuate the plot, echoing the feeling of teenage ruminations. The grounded, everyday vibe of the soundtrack helps drive home that Sean and Daniel are still normal teens and makes it easier to understand their mindset.

One minor issue is the meta-knowledge that the Diaz brothers are two episodes into a five-episode journey, so you have an acute awareness that no matter how positively things are going, you're never too far from it all unraveling. However, even if you can see where things are going, there's a joy in taking each new step of the adventure and in managing the careful balance between being a guardian and a friend to Daniel. The larger consequences of how you've chosen to guide Daniel are still to come, but the cracks are starting to show and the pressure is heightening. That said, no matter how you leave Daniel and Sean at the end of this chapter, there is the palpable sense of hope, of a new way forward, and of the unconditional love between two brothers.

ESA Wants To Start Drilling On Moon In Search Of Oxygen And Water

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 15:43
The European Space Agency wants to extract valuable resources such as water and oxygen from the moon by 2025. ESA Partners With ArianeGroup.

Satellites saw rapid Greenland ice loss

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 14:10
Greenland has gone through an "unprecedented" period of ice loss within the last two decades. The Grace satellites revealed a four-fold increase in mass being lost from Greenland's ice sheet from 2003-2013.

'Brazilian butt lift' inquest: Fat clot killed woman

Health News BBC - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 12:41
Leah Cambridge, 29, from Leeds, died after travelling to a hospital in Turkey for cosmetic surgery.

Blue Origin Video Shows Off Updated Design of Huge New Glenn Rocket

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 12:11
A new video shows the latest design incarnation of Blue Origin's huge New Glenn rocket, which is scheduled to debut in 2021. Blue Origin, which is led by Amazon.

Revealing the black hole at the heart of the galaxy

Google Science Feeds - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 12:11
Including the powerful ALMA into an array of telescopes for the first time, astronomers have found that the emission from the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of the galaxy comes from a smaller region than previously thought.

Disability hate crime: Katie Price backed over online abuse by MPs

Health News BBC - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 09:31
The model is calling for new laws to protect disabled people online after her son Harvey was trolled.

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