12345...102030...


Extending the human lifespan – Bangkok Post

Next week, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) will organise its 29th Annual World Congress at The Venetian and Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas. Since 1992, A4M has been on a mission to redefine healthcare through longevity medicine in order to optimise vitality and extend the human lifespan.

But the question is do we really want to become super seniors or centenarians in a disruptive world?

Co-founder Dr Robert Goldman believes in the possibility of "practical immortality" with a lifespan of 120-plus years. Nine years ago, I met the ebullient anti-ageing physician at a conference organised by VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center and Bumrungrad International Hospital.

I asked him whether it's unnatural to stop the clock with anti-ageing medicine as the body isn't designed to last over 120 years.

"It's as unnatural as taking a plane,'' he said. "Because if man was meant to fly, he should have been born with wings.''

The fact is anti-ageing interventions are not something new and the search for the fountain of youth has been part of human culture and societies for millennia.

Dr Goldman asserts that there's nothing out of line with anti-ageing medicine and its utilisation to stretch the life span and enhance quality of life.

The demand for anti-ageing programmes is being driven by baby boomers who don't want to age the way their parents did.

Its comprehensive approach to wellness encompasses nutrition, dietary supplements, lifestyle modification, and controversial hormone replacement therapy.

One mechanism of ageing is a decline in hormone levels, which sends a chemical message to cells that this body is old and they start to die off. Hormone replacement therapy attempts to trick the cells to think that they're still young.

However, it's not a quick fix or a magic pill as it takes effort and focus in adopting an anti-ageing lifestyle and treatments.

Through very early detection, prevention and reversal of age-related diseases, this field of medicine aims to prevent illnesses and disabilities. In addition, advances in biotechnology will drive dramatic changes in anti-ageing medicine to accomplish practical immortality.

Around a century ago, a 40-year-old was considered to be an elderly person, and today those in their 70s are in the winter of life. The practical immortality concept proposes that in the future people will not be considered old until they are centenarians.

On the other hand, longevity can be earned without taking supplements and hormones. For example, Japan's nonagenarians and centenarians are proof of natural and healthy ageing through diet, exercise, way of life and cultural factors.

Accordingly, the anti-ageing movement has faced controversy and been accused of being pseudoscience and a business that prescribes dietary supplements, hormone injections, as well as other products and services.

Nevertheless, over the three decades, A4M has grown into a global community with alliances in countries including Thailand.

Next week, its Annual World Congress event is being held under the theme "The Next Chapter: Unmasking The Hidden Epidemic", and it will address many neglected health crises in a world stricken by Covid-19.

The pandemic has posed numerous challenges and changes as we focus on fighting infectious diseases and viral mutations. We aim to be survivors and not be afflicted by a deadly virus and its economic consequences.

Accordingly, the past two years have put many of us in a health-conscious mode and made us dependent on self-care due to lockdown.

It has probably changed many people's perspectives of the world and the meaning of life. Stuck in a crisis for two whole years, we may not even care about outliving turtles and just try to cope with current circumstances, which reinforce how uncertainty in life remains absolute certain.

Read more from the original source:

Extending the human lifespan - Bangkok Post

3 Former Eagles are one step closer to Hall of Fame induction – Inside the Iggles

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the names of 26 semifinalists on the eve of Thanksgiving and three former Philadelphia Eagles are one step closer to footballs version of immortality. Congratulations are in order for both longtime Eagles cornerback, one of the valedictorians of the Buddy Ryan era, Eric Allen and one of the more controversial players in team history, Ricky Watters.

Once January rolls around, fifteen finalists will be revealed in January. Kudos are also in order for senior finalist Cliff Branch and Art McNally, the latter being a contributor finalist. We also cant leave out another former Eagle and coach finalist, Dick Vermeil.

If hes inducted it will have been a long time coming for Eagles legend Eric Allen. NFL legend Deion Sanders even went to bat for him a little over a year ago, stating that the six-time Pro Bowler is long overdue to see his bust carved and placed in Canton, Ohio.

Allen has just under 800 tackles on his career resume along with 54 interceptions and nine defensive touchdowns. Hes a member of the Eagles 75th Anniversary Team and the franchises Hall of Fame.

Watters has long been forgiven for his For who? For what? comment. He spent three seasons in Eagles green, racking up 3,794 rushing yards, 1,318 receiving yards, and 32 total touchdowns in 48 career games.

Vermeil should need no introduction. He led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance and won more than 100 games in the City of Brotherly Love over seven seasons before returning from a long hiatus and leading the Saint Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory. He too is in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame. His induction in Canton should be a no-brainer.

As it is every year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 will be introduced during the NFL Honors special on the eve of the Super Bowl. Mark your calendars for that one. and watch it live on Fubo TV. It airs live on Thursday, February 10th at 9 p.m. EST on your local ABC affiliate.

Read more:

3 Former Eagles are one step closer to Hall of Fame induction - Inside the Iggles

The Old Guard: The Ages Of The Immortals (Including Andy) – News Nation USA

The Old Guardfeatures a group of immortal warriors, most of whom have been alive for centuriesbut how old are they exactly? The marketing material and movie itself offer several clues to the immortals ages. Charlize Therons Andy is the oldest, but most of her companions have had very long lives as well.

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and based on the comic book seriesThe Old Guard, by Greg Rucka andLeandro Fernndez,the Netflix movie follows a team of warriors who have lived in the shadows for centuries, taking part in conflicts on whichever side they feel is right. The Old Guardis set in the modern-day, where a new immortal soldier Nile Freeman (Kiki Layne) joins the group after miraculously healing from having her throat cut. She is quickly initiated into the small group of warriors and learns how they have influenced history. While shes still learning about her new family, they come under threat from a greedy pharmaceutical executive called Steven Merrick (Harry Melling), who hopes to discover the secret to their immortality, bottle it, and put a price tag on it.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Related:The Best Action Movies Of 2020

Unfortunately for Merrick, hes not the first bad guy that the Old Guard has run into during their very long lifetimes. Heres a breakdown of when each member of the group besides Andy was born, and how old they are in the modern-day setting of the movie.

Whilethe movie form ofThe Old Guardkeeps Andys age ambiguous, it is known that she is the oldest member of the group. Her full name, Andromache of Scythia, refers to a Central Asian empire that ended in the second century CE, making Andy at least 1800 years old but likely older. A potential TheOld Guardsequel could expand the mythologyby exploring this, however the comics suggest that Andy is even older than her name suggests.

Rucka and Fernandezs comics depict Andy as being born circa 4500 BCE in the Western Steppe of Scythia. Andy developed immortality after being killed in battle, and led her tribe for hundreds of years. However, after centuries she left her position to seek justice and find other immortals. Andy even gives a precise age in the comics of 6732, meaning that she has been serving humanity for over six millennia.

Seen only in flashbacks and in The Old Guardsfinal scene, Quynhs (Veronica Ngo) age is perhaps the hardest to pin down out of all the immortals. In the comics shes called Noriko, and Andy recalls that they first metat the end ofAmr ibn al-As al-Sahmis conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 642, at which point Noriko had already been an immortal for a century. That puts her date of birth some time in early 500 AD,which would make her around 1500 years old during the events of The Old Guard.

However, in the movie its not specified exactly when or where Andy and Quynh met, except that Andy found Quynh when she was wandering through the desert, and that she was the first other immortal that Andy ever met. Many have speculated that Andy and Quynh will fight inThe Old Guard 2. In the comics, Andy met Lykon (Micheal Ward) before she met Noriko, and they fought together for two thousand years. Lykon also appears briefly in a flashback in The Old Guard, with Andy and Quynh both being present at the time of his death. If Quynh has been aged up in order to have been born before Lykon, she could actually be several thousand years old during the events of the movie. Hopefully,audiences willlearn more about her backstory including her age in The Old Guard 2.

According to his character poster, Joe (Marwan Kenzari) was born in 1066, making him 954 years old at the time The Old Guard takes place. Originally called Yusuf Al-Kaysani, Joe was a Muslim warrior during the First Crusade, who met the love of his life on the battlefield and killed him. However, fate chose them asthe next immortals to join the Old Guard, and after repeatedly slaying each other they realized that neither they nor the enemy soldier could be killed at which point their enmity turned to love.

Related: Every Song In Netflixs The Old Guard Movie

Younger than Joe by only a few years (which grew even less significant as the centuries pass), Nicky (Luca Marinelli) is 951 years old during the events of The Old Guard, based on a character poster that gives his year of birth as 1069. This means that he would have been in his late twenties 30 at most the first time he died. Like Joe and Andy, Nicky changed his name at some point from Nicol of Genoa to the more common name ofNick Smith, in order to aid his anonymity. This period of the Crusades has been a popular setting for movies as well as video games like Assassins CreedandCrusader Kings.Hailing from the city of Genoa, in what would later become the unified country of Italy, Nicky fought in theFirst Crusadeuntil he fell in love with one of the enemy, and instead began fighting new battles alongside him. After settling their differences, Joe and Nicky both met Andy and became part of the Old Guard alongside her and Quynh.

The baby of the group (at least, until Nile comes along), Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) is 250 years old during the events of The Old Guard, with his character poster marking his year of birth as 1770. His treacherous actions make it unclear whether hell return for a potentialThe Old Guard2. Born Sebastien le Livre (his nickname comes from his surname, which is French for Book), Booker was a soldier under Napoleon who deserted during the campaign into Russia. He was caught and hanged, but came back to life still hanging from the noose, being 42 years old at the time of this first death in 1812. As he lived on without ageing, Booker experienced the trauma of watching his sons die and being helpless to stop them, even as they grew to hate him for not sharing his gift of immortality. Being a young immortal,the 100-year penance that Booker is sentenced to at the end of The Old Guard would still be a significant amount of time for him.

A pivotal part of The Old Guards cast is Nile, who acts as a viewpoint character. A brand new member of the Old Guard, Nile Freeman is 26 years when she dies for the first time, having her throat cut while trying to save the life of a man she has just shot. After she wakes up in the infirmary without a mark to show for her injury, shes shunned by her fellow soldiers and about to be sent away for some probably very unpleasant testing when shes abducted by Andy. Nile has a military legacy to uphold, with her father having been killed in action, but also has a family that shes at first keen to return to. By the end of the movie, however, she has decided to stick with Andy and the other immortals, having seen the good that theyve managed to do in the world.

There are plenty of unanswered questions from The Old Guard that could be addressed in The Old Guard 2, and the precise ages of Andy and Quanh are among them. The sequel could also fill in the centuries of backstory that each of the immortals have, making their ages very important for the franchise going forward.

More:The Old Guard Ending & Sequel Setup Explained

Ernie Hudson On Ghostbusters 2016: Wouldve Been Easier If It Wasnt A Reboot

About The Author

Hannah has been with Screen Rant since 2013, covering news, features, movie premieres, Comic-Con and more! You can follow her on Twitter @HSW3K

More From Hannah Shaw-Williams

Read the original:

The Old Guard: The Ages Of The Immortals (Including Andy) - News Nation USA

Kambosos hopes to inspire fellow Aussies – The West Australian

Jubilant George Kambosos Jr is challenging Australia's other title aspirants to follow their dreams overseas as he savours his place in boxing immortality as an undisputed world champion.

Kambosos is the first Australian boxer in history to win three world-title belts in one fight after scoring a stunning upset win over previously unbeaten American Teofimo Lopez in New York.

The new unified lightweight world champion was rewarded for his unwavering dedication after more than four years without a fight in Australia.

Sacrificing precious family time with endless months training offshore in the Philippines with the great Manny Pacquiao and fighting in the US, UK, Greece and Malaysia, Kambosos is now the holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF straps.

"That's something these other guys in Australia who are making a bit of noise, they talk a big game and say they want to come over here but when it comes to booking that flight, they don't," Kambosos told AAP.

"So I don't understand how everyone wants to get behind them but they don't want to get overseas and chase it where it really happens, chase the big fish.

"It's a big difference when you're comfortable in your own zone and you need to leave your comfort zone and take the risk and achieve and get to the top and achieve what it is to become a world champion.

"They don't want to do it but Kambosos has done it and has been doing it for many years. We're here, we're fighting for the biggest thing Australia has ever seen.

"It's the pinnacle of the sport."

Blood streaming from a nasty cast above his left eye, Lopez claimed he'd been robbed despite being sent crashing to the canvas by Kambosos in the opening round - the first time since he professional debut five years ago the American had been floored.

"You're a hell of a fighter but I won the fight tonight. I want everyone to know that," Lopez protested.

"The referee raised my hand, I won tonight. I don't care what anybody said."

Not for the first time over the past week, Kambosos branded the vanquished champion "delusional".

"I won the fight fair and square. Take a look at your face. Take it like a champ, let's do it again in Australia," Kambosos said.

"Eighty-thousand fans in Australia, let's do it again."

After years of offshore toil, Kambosos won't be defending his titles anywhere but Australia and dedicated his victory to wife Rebecca, three young children and his late grandfather George.

"This is for my kids, my grandfather George Kambosos, who passed away two months away," he said.

"It's for my family, my wife, my grandfather. I know he's in the ring with me right now."

Read more from the original source:

Kambosos hopes to inspire fellow Aussies - The West Australian

Want to invite positive energy? Put out fresh fruits to attract wealth and abundance – News Track English

Fortune and abundance come to those who believe in them. This is especially true in India whose multilayered culture is imbued with expressive rituals and traditionsand food is not spared.

Food and symbolism play an important role not just in important celebrations, but also in day-to-day lives. In a new report tackling how superstition and religion affect daily life in India, analysts at SevenJackpots highlighted interesting rituals and traditions that influence individuals who like to pursue luck and prosperity.

Fresh fruits are not just altar gifts for the gods; theyre also considered a vehicle of positive energy. When placed on the dining table, fruits are said to attract positive energy and draw abundance into the home. Peaches are among the popular fruits for wealth and prosperity as it symbolizes immortality according to Chinese philosophy; this fruit is also associated with money and abundance, as well as good health and long life.

Red apples are popular in the north for attracting prosperity, while the south draws positive energy from pineapples and oranges for wealth and abundance. Pomegranates are also auspicious, especially for those seeking fertility.

Dont have fresh fruit on hand? Pieces of artworks or dcor items that depict fruits are also seen to attract positive energyjust look at the number of homes that have pictures, paintings or even decorative items of fruits in their dining areas. Now, its worth noting that although traditions and customs are often correlated to attracting a lucky streak especially among gamblers and casual entertainment games players, these rituals might not have a direct impact when playing ones favorite online roulette games. That said, the study still highlights the importance of how the active and proper pursuit of these customs ultimately lead to a positive mindset.

Devotion and superstition have withstood social evolution, digitization, and economic developments. They are not in conflict with education or modern lifestyles and are just as popular across Bharat as they are among desi communities living abroad, SevenJackpots industry researchers have found.

Attracting luck and prosperity goes beyond fruits, plants are very much involved too. The Vastu Shastra concept calls for integrating architecture with nature to bring abundance.

To create a Vastu-perfect home, consider adding the Money Tree (botanical name: Pachira aquatica) which is said to stimulate the flow of wealth in the house. Notice the trees five leaves in each steman auspicious number in feng shui.

Lotus (botanical name: Nelumbo nucifera) is also pious as the Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi sits atop of it. You may also want to keep basil plants (Ocimum tenuiflorum) at the porch of your home facing the north or east area for good health and wealth.

Theres also the lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), which is seen to bring abundance to its owner with its different number of stalks representing a unique blessing by feng shui.

The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is also an auspicious plant that embodies prosperity and wealth, while the snake plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is known for its slender leaves and for inviting good fortune.

Not just aesthetically pleasing, these plants also purify the air which is a key component in attracting prosperity and positive vibes to a home.

'Get spit-free food here...', a unique campaign launched in Kerala

You must also eat asafoetida kachori

More:

Want to invite positive energy? Put out fresh fruits to attract wealth and abundance - News Track English

Probabilities of Dominican players to the Hall of Fame 2022 – Central Valley Business Journal

The Hall of Fame and Cooperstown Museum, has made official the ballot with each of the men among whom the next inductions to immortality will be chosen, in a ballot that has four Dominican players and two others from Venezuela as the Latino representation.

Of the Dominicans, outfielders Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramrez will have their tenth appearance on the ballot for the Hall of Fame (and last if they are not elected), while the next two representatives of Quisqueya la Bella are from Alex Rodrguez and David Ortiz, both at his first chance to immortality.

Rodrguez arrives with the tie of a full season suspension in 2014 after the use of doping, while another case related to steroids such as in 2009 reveals that he had used prohibited substances in 2003 before the league adapted policies against such cases against naturalness. of the game.

David Ortiz with everything ahead of him to be chosen, the breakdown would only be expected about developing most of his career as only an offensive player, although with the path made after Edgar Martnez today under the same conditions he rests in immortality.

Among Dominicans facing their last trip to the ballot, the rockiest road is made starting with Manny Ramrez who was suspended in 2009 and 2011 for steroid use, for a time of 50 and 100 games, respectively. While Sammy Sosa is accused without being proven of having used prohibited substances, who has in his favor that before 2003 there was no policy against this.

In addition to the aforementioned cork bat that was discovered, although the Dominican has the perfect slice. His position was always that it was a practice bat and the one that he intentionally used in an official game, although among other bats that were reviewed, no other trace was found that could look like a trap.

At least his offensive numbers leave David Ortiz as Hall of Fame, a 10-time All-Star player and 7-time Silver Bat bases. He has 2,472 career hits, including 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs and a .286 / .380 / .552 offensive line.

He accumulated a total of 55.3 Wins Over Replacement (WAR) in his career, while a WAR7 as the representation of his best seven years in the league of 35.2, who for every 162 games averaged a WAR of 3.7 in his entire career in the pitch.

Possibilities: enter.

Statistics to enter has them all and one more chin, although his record for doping leaves everything to the discretion of the voters. Since 3 times MVP, 14 All-Star selections, 10 Silver Bats and 2 Gold Gloves. A career of 3,115 hits, 696 homers, 2,086 RBIs and an offensive slash line of .295 / .380 / .550.

With 1,272 games played at shortstop and 1,194 games at third base, his 117.5 lifetime WAR is the second-highest for a shortstop defender, as is his 64.3 WAR in his best seven seasons, while decorating such majesty. at 6.8 WAR for every 162 games played.

Possibility: criteria of the voters.

The Dominican watched most of his games with 1,037 from left field. Throughout his career he had 12 All-Star selections and 9 Silver Bats, connecting 2,574 hits, 555 home runs and a .312 / .411 / .585 offensive line.

His career WAR of 69.3 is 3.6 higher than the league average for players who have participated in the LF and finished in the Hall of Fame, while he had WAR in his best seven seasons of 39.9 and 4.9 WAR. on his average for every 162 games.

Possibility: criterion of the voter.

The native of San Pedro de Macoris among his award-winning career includes an award for MVP, 7 All-Star and 6-time Silver Bates. He had a career of 2,408 hits, including 609 home runs, having 1,667 RBIs and a .273 / .344 / .534 offensive line.

His total WAR of 58.6 ends up falling below the average for a Hall of Fame as RF (average of 72.1), equal to his WAR for every 162 games of 4.0 (5.1 of average), but his WAR in his best seven seasons of 43.8 is 1.3 out of the league average, as a result of how shocking it was in an era in history as the home run rivalry against Mark McGwire.

Possibility: criterion of the voter.

Read the original:

Probabilities of Dominican players to the Hall of Fame 2022 - Central Valley Business Journal

Encanto and 10 Other Disney Animated Movies That Are Secretly Superhero Films – IGN SOUTH EAST ASIA

Its no secret that superheroes are all the rage in Hollywood right now, especially at Disney, which owns the mighty Marvel roster of characters as well as certain Fox assets like Kingsman, Alita and even Captain Underpants. The Mouse House has also produced their own homegrown cape and tights epics like Pixars two Incredibles films, but have they been producing more stealth entries in the superhero genre all along?

We say yes, and this week Walt Disney Pictures is providing Exhibit A to our assertion with the enchanting fantasy Encanto (read our review). The new animated film follows a Colombian family called the Madrigals who, after a terrible tragedy, were gifted a magical candle that grants powers to each of the newborn children over three generations. That is, it grants powers to all except our lead protagonist Mirabel Madrigal (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), who stands by and watches her fellow family members flex their super strength (her sister Luisa), healing powers (her mother Julieta), weather control (her aunt Pepa), psychic ability (her uncle Bruno), communication with animals (little cousin Antonio), enhanced hearing (cousin Dolores), or the ability to grow beautiful flowers with a hand gesture (her sister Isabela).

Encanto deftly tracks Mirabels journey of self-discovery as she tries to keep her family together when cracks in the magic begin to occur. While the film has been described since its production announcement in 2016 as having elements of magical realism, comic book fans would not be faulted for finding correlations to superheroes like Storm, Professor X, Animal Man, Daredevil or even Poison Ivy. We even got to ask the movies co-writer/co-director Charise Castro Smith about the parallels between Encanto and other superhero properties.

It's funny, people have been making that comparison, Smith told IGN exclusively. From the inside it doesn't feel that way. From the inside it feels very much like a story about a family a lot like mine. A family with a lot of internal pressures and a lot of love. People who can do extraordinary things, people who have secrets. So yes, the characters in this movie do have superpowers, which is a really cool, interesting element, but I think what I gravitate towards the most is just the relatable family dynamics and sibling relationships. My own relationship with my grandparents, both of them, was a big element that I tried to bring into this story. So sure, yeah, Luisa is totally a superhero!

Luisas super ability to literally carry around a church or village bridge may seem like feats for Superman, but she and the other Madrigals are not alone in the annals of Disney history for seeming to possess superhero traits. Here are 10 other films from the studio that would totally fit the bill of being superhero movies

The tagline of 1978s Superman was Youll believe a man can fly. But what about an elephant? Granted, if you apply the definition of a superhero as any being with extraordinary abilities then just about every animal who ever walked on four legs and spoke in a Disney movie would fall under that category. Yet the character of orphaned Dumbo is exceptional even within the world of the film, as his ability to use his gigantic ears to fly distinguishes him from other circus elephants. He doesnt use this ability to fight crime but to get a Hollywood contract, which is well-deserved and probably what a modern flying elephant would do too.

Another character with the ability to fly is the famed boy who never grew up, Peter Pan. J. M. Barries character from the 1904 play Peter and Wendy checks all the boxes for superhero-dom: Sustained flight? Check. Colorful tights? Check. Immortality? Check. Kid sidekick? Heck, hes got his own gang of Lost Boys. Fights bad guys with strange disfigurements? Yes, Captain Hook definitely qualifies. Cool vehicle? Dudes got his own flying ship! If you need a comic-book corollary, you can look no further than Sprite from Marvel Studios recent Eternals, who in the comics is intended to have actually been Barries inspiration for Peter Pan after Sprite showed off to him one night in 1901.

Like Peter Pan, the title magical nanny played so memorably by Julie Andrews also has the ability to fly, but additionally boasts the power to speak with animals, telekinesis and reality manipulation. Shes also pretty good at transporting herself and others into imaginary worlds rendered in glorious 2D animation. One might say she is "practically perfect in every way." She even got that most superheroic of things, a sequel, with 2018s Mary Poppins Returns where Emily Blunt portrayed her.

Another Disney movie directed by Robert Stevenson (who also helmed Mary Poppins) and featuring a combination of live-action and animation was Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which was sort of a proto-Harry Potter. It stars Angela Lansbury as the good witch Miss Eglantine Price, who uses her magical abilities to fight Nazis during World War II. Shes a bit like John Constantine if he was a dowdy woman who adopted some war orphans. Its also possible she became a mystery writer in coastal Maine later in life, but that remains unconfirmed. The one aspect that separates her from Mary Poppins is she is a witch-in-training, so many of her spells backfire, but she is nevertheless formidable.

Based on the traditional fairy tale that was so memorably adapted by Jean Cocteau in 1946 as La belle et la bte, this 90s classic had the distinction of being the first full-length animated feature to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It follows the beautiful bookworm Belle who frees her father by taking his place as the title Beasts prisoner, then comes down with a serious case of Stockholm syndrome for the hairy monster who was once a prince before he was transformed by an enchantress. This curse turned him into the Beast, but also gifted him with enhanced strength, speed, agility, durability, healing and senses, not to mention some sweet claws and fangs. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were not feeling super creative when it came time to christen Marvels own blue-tinged version of the character: Hank McCoy, whose nickname on the X-Men team is Beast!

Both Marvel and DC have their own version of the Greek mythological hero, and Hercules papa Zeus was even featured briefly in Zack Snyders Justice League (both the 2017 and 2021 versions). Of course, the Disney version of the super strong hero was more a full-of-himself lunkhead than his comic book counterpart, who in recent years has been outed as gay in the Marvel 616 timeline and is dating a certified Guardian of the Galaxy named Marvel Boy. Still, a guy who principally rescues damsels in distress and fights monsters sounds like a superhero in our book.

This one is cheating slightly, as Edgar Rice Burroughs creation has its roots in the same early 20th century pulp novels that later inspired comic-book superheroes like Batman, The Shadow, etc. The very idea of a feral child raised by apes and being an expert hunter with great dexterity instantly brings to mind Wolverine. In many ways the Wolverine of the films led a kind of wild existence before he was civilized by Professor X, much the same way Jane Porter civilizes Tarzan.

Its fitting that Elsa, loosely based on the titular character from Hans Christian Andersons fable The Snow Queen, was originally envisioned by the filmmakers as the straight-up villain of the film since she has so many similarities to DC Comics baddie Mr. Freeze. Yet she also closely resembles Marvels mutant hero Bobby Drake/Iceman in her ability to conjure and manipulate ice and snow into weapons, shields, escape routes, etc. The fact that her uncontrolled abilities are turning her kingdom of Arendelle into a veritable snowpocalypse goes hand-in-hand with typical X-Men-style drama, i.e. a mutants emotions cause their powers to get so out of hand that they wind up harming or almost harming a ton of peeps. Luckily, Elsa learns to Let It Go proper, and by the sequel Frozen II has mostly mastered her abilities.

Like Mirabel from Encanto, the title Polynesian princess of Moana may not have much in the way of powers, but her sidekick on her journey -- the shape-shifting demigod of the wind and sea and master of sailing named Maui -- certainly qualifies. The fact that he is played with gusto by living superhero Dwayne Johnson only adds to that heroic charisma. Maui is also a bit of a selfish douche, but eventually answers the call of heroism in order to restore the heart of the giant goddess Te Fiti, and fights a ton of big sea monsters along the way. The big guy also has immortality and sentient tattoos, which at a certain point is almost gilding the lily but who are we to complain? Although hes not a comic book-accurate representation, Mauis fellow Pacific Islander Jason Momoa certainly bears some resemblance as Aquaman with his numerous tattoos and overall heroic reluctance.

The Southeast Asian hero Raya is a girl right after Frank Millers heart. Shes badass, excels at martial arts and hand-to-hand combat as well as weapons like swords and sticks, and rides a big bug/armadillo creature named Tuk Tuk just like Millers beautiful assassin Elektra! Okay, maybe Elektra never rode a giant bug-thing, but the similarities are definitely there. Raya is part of the street-level superhero tradition where the persons natural talents and skills more than make up for their lack of standard powers. There is a magical gem at the center of the story with some degree of true power, but its really mostly a MacGuffin to take Raya on her heros journey.

What other Disney characters are secretly superheroes? Lets discuss in the comments!

Read this article:

Encanto and 10 Other Disney Animated Movies That Are Secretly Superhero Films - IGN SOUTH EAST ASIA

The Ending of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Has Forever Puzzled and Fascinated Me – Gizmodo Australia

For years, I believed Indiana Jones was immortal. I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when it was first released in theatres and, since hed taken a drink from the holy grail before he rode off into the sunset, I thought Indiana Jones would live forever. It wasnt until years later that the explanation on how eternal life given by the grail was limited to the temple dawned on me. And I tell you all of this because its just one example of why Im still completely fascinated by the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

For anyone who maybe hasnt seen it in a few years, heres the set up. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and his father, Henry (Sean Connery), have spent the whole movie looking for the Holy Grail. Its the cup Jesus used at the last supper, which then caught his blood at his crucifixion, and is believed to grant eternal life to whoever drinks from it. Problem is, the Nazis are after it too, and when everyone arrives at the grails location, one of the Nazis (a fellow grail collector named Donovan, played by Julian Glover) shoots Henry, forcing Indy to retrieve the grail. To do so, hell have to face three challenges.

Of course Indy bests the challenges, the Nazis die, Dad is saved, and all is well. What happens in the meantime though, to this day, remains as weird and dense as any scene in the franchise. And look: I am, 100%, a mega fan of this movie. Everything Im about to say doesnt change that I love Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, full stop. And, normally, I hate the level of nitpicking Im about to do. Its just that anytime this movie is on, which is a lot in the last 30 plus years, I think about these things. I cant stop thinking about them. So it was time, finally, to see if I was the only one. My apologies Indy fans. Dont let any of what follows let you think any less of this movie which is amazing and I love it and Im sorry. But here we go

The first challenge is called The Breath of God. Its series of saw blades that you can only get by if you kneel. A penitent man, as Indy says. OK, we got that. So Indy knows to kneel, but how did Indy know he had to roll too? And I never quite understood what the shot of the rope on the wooden wheel was. For the longest time I thought it was the knight stopping the blades because it happens instantly. Of course, thats not true, its just Indy kind of blocking the blades, so Donovan and Elsa (Alison Doody), who accompany him on the trials, can get through. But even then its like, how did he know to do that so fast? Because its instant. Also, why is there even a rope there? Who resets it other times? Anyway, its a fun moment thats a bit odd but is by far the clearest of the challenges.

The second challenge is The Word of God. It requires a person to spell out the name of God, or rather the Latinization of Gods proper Hebrew name, Jehovah, one of seven in Judaism. And, humorously, were told that in Latin Jehovah begins with an I as Indy steps on the J revealing the deadly secret. The secret is, if you step on the wrong letter, you fall to your death. OK, got it. Director Steven Spielberg even puts in a shot meant to illustrate that the real letters have huge stone pillars below them to support the person while everything else is hollow. And yet, I have always had so many questions about this. Has no one ever made a mistake in this challenge before? Is that why all the letters are still there? And if someone was to die in this challenge, would someone replace the letters? When Indy falls and grabs hold, how does the letter hes holding onto not break as well? Its quite clear from the film that hes not holding onto a stone with a pillar under it. Then he gets up, starts spelling and his heel hits another block, it doesnt fully break. I know thats because its a practical effect, but it always bugged me. Seriously, I could go on and on about this challenge but I have to, oh no, whats happeningWHO CONSTRUCTED THIS ROOM? WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DID THEY HAVE TO MAKE THIS PERFECT PILLARS? HOW LONG DID IT TAKE? ok, sorry, sometimes I cant control myself.

And then theres challenge three, The Path of God. Oh boy, The Path of God. At this point you all know where Im going to go with this one dont you? Indy has to take a leap of faith in order to pass, only the chasm is too long for a human to jump. So he just puts his foot out and wouldnt you know it? Theres an invisible bridge. Now, I know this is a movie about impossible things and supernatural beings in a series thats been full of aliens, ghosts, gods, and Nazi-melting magical boxes but an invisible bridge? What the hell. How did the people who built this room figure this all out? Was it a special material? An optical illusion done with mirrors? Mirrors didnt exist centuries ago. Did they colour it somehow with an ancient paint or clay? How did they get it to blend so perfectly? Or, is it even there at all?

Overall, were meant to assume that the bridge is always there but is just so hard to detect, anyone who is willing to step out onto it has faith. Thats the gist. But the scene around it is so wonky. To start, its quite clear when Indy enters the space either theres nothing there, or its completely invisible. Then, after he takes a step, the bridge appears almost out of nowhere, revealing itself within the space. So was it always there or not? And if it wasnt, how does this place know if you believe or not? These questions wouldnt matter if there wasnt a shot of Indy getting over the bridge where its clearly permanent stone. Its physically in the space, without a doubt. But thats then followed by a shot where Indy throws sand over it, and its invisible again. Ive been watching this for 30 years and I still have no idea how any of this works. The fact you can argue either way sort of plays into the mystery of it but nevertheless, its just very confusing, and cool, but very confusing to me.

Once Indy, Donovan, and Elsa get to the room with all the cups, things are once again mostly plausible. Save for the fact Donovan is obsessed with the grail, specifically says hes imagined what it could look like, then lets Elsa pick a cup thats no prettier or more ornate than any other cup in the room. She doesnt even look at them all, she just grabs this nearest one. Yes, years of rewatches have made it fairly clear Elsa is just betraying Donovan and knows hes an idiot, but with his life on the line, you think he would have taken a bit more time and consideration here. Obviously the point is no, he doesnt, hes a dumb Nazi who deserve what he gets, but still. If Im nitpicking, Im nitpicking. Watching the sequence again, the knights rules are crystal exactly clear: The grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal, he said. That is the boundary and the price of immortality. Which could be interpreting that in two ways. One is that ONLY the grail cant go past the seal, which is false, then the real meaning, which is that the seal is also the boundary of immortality. I dont blame my 9 year old self for not getting it immediately the first time he watched this movie, honestly.

Plus, how does the immortality work? The knight is still alive but also very weak and aged. Not hundreds of years aged, but aged nevertheless. Does he keep ageing like that? What happened when he loses all his strength? Maybe he doesnt really get to move around much. I must admit I wouldve loved to see the Knight walk backwards through all the challenges to wave at Indy. Does he have a secret path? And how often does he walk around the other rooms? He doesnt have to stay in the grail room, necessarily, to remain immortal. He could probably walk around and hang out in the other rooms over the centuries. Its not like people are coming for the grail every day. And when someone does come, how do they kill him if hes immortal? Do they have to fight outside?

You see? Ive thought about this 10 minutes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade way too much. Its endlessly fascinating. Yes, its a bit silly, Im thinking about it way too much especially as, honestly, you could handwave all this as a touch of the supernatural in a movie series filled with it. But despite what you just read above, I dont actually care all that much if Last Crusade doesnt make logical sense. I just love that it exists, and still inspires me to watch and think about it decades after its release.

Read the original:

The Ending of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Has Forever Puzzled and Fascinated Me - Gizmodo Australia

Solar Eclipse 2021: Everything that you need to know – Hindustan Times

The last solar eclipse of the year will take place on 4th December, Saturday. This day will be the new moon day of Krishna Paksha of Margashirsha month. Here are all the details relating to the eclipse.

When it will take place?

The Solar Eclipse will start on December 4 at 10:59 am, and will continue till 03:07 in the afternoon.

Will it be visible in India?

The Solar Eclipse will be visible in Antarctica, South Africa, Southern regions of Atlantic, Australia, and South America, but not in India.

What is the importance of this Solar Eclipse?

The second Solar Eclipse will occur on the Amavasya in the Hindu month of Kartik during the Vikram Samvat 2078 and will mostly impact the natives of Scorpio zodiac sign and those born in Anuradha and Jyeshta Nakshatra.

This will be the last eclipse of this year. This Solar Eclipse comes two weeks after the partial lunar eclipse of November 19. It will be a total eclipse. When the Moon completely covers the surface of the Sun while forming a straight alignment with the Earth and the Sun, it is known as a Total Solar Eclipse.

What is Sutak Kaal?

Sutak Kaal is considered to be a certain time period observed before the Solar Eclipse, which is considered to be inauspicious. According to the Sanatan Dharma, it is the period when the Earth remains under severe contamination due to the malefic influence of Solar Eclipse. In order to get rid of such effects, several religious precautions are necessary to be followed.

The Sutak Kaal during the Solar Eclipse in 2021 depends entirely on the time of eclipse. As per the Panchanga, the Sutak Kaal begins four phases before the time of occurrence of a Solar Eclipse. According to the Hindu Panchaga, there are eight phases or pahars from sunrise to sunset in total, out of which four pahars or twelve hours prior, the Sutak Kaal begins and ends with the end of the Eclipse.

Do we need to observe Sutak Kaal in India?

This eclipse will not be visible in India. Hence, the Sutak Kaal and its impact will not be religiously observed as well. However, Indians staying in South Africa, Southern regions of Atlantic, Australia, and South America should adhere to the Sutak Kaal.

Any remedies we need to perform on the day of the eclipse?

One should avoid undertaking any important activity during the duration of the eclipse. In addition, it is advised to offer water to Sun and chant Aditya Hridya Stotra. One can also donate copper, jaggery, wheat or ghee to a temple.

Do pregnant women need to take any precautions?

Yes, pregnant women are advised to take precautions as the eclipse is believed to impact new life. During this time, the pregnant women should avoid going out of their houses and witnessing the eclipse in any way. During the period of Sutak Kaal on the day of eclipse, women they should refrain from performing tasks like sewing, embroidery, cutting, peeling and cleaning. They should also avoid using knives and needles during the period of the solar eclipse.

What is the mythological significance of Solar Eclipse?

In vedic astrology, the Solar Eclipse is connected to the legend of Rahu and Ketu. According to Matsya Purana, when the amrit or nectar of immortality was extracted from the ocean during the Samudra Manthan, a war began between the Gods and Demons or Asuras since both of them wanted to consume it. In the midst of all, a demon named Swarbhanu planned to consume the nectar by hiding among the Gods. But during all of this, Lord Surya and Lord Chandra revealed his reality by catching him.

As soon as this trick played by the Asura Swarbhanu became known to Lord Vishnu, he became angry and separated his head and torso with his Sudarshan Chakra. But since Swarbhanu had tasted the Amrit, he did not die. Instead, his head was named Rahu, whereas his torso became Rahu. Hence, as a result of his vengeance, every year Rahu covers the Moon and the Sun and causes the phenomenon of Solar Eclipse.

--------------------------------------------

Neeraj Dhankher

(Corporate Astrologer, Founder - Astro Zindagi)

Email:info@astrozindagi.in, neeraj@astrozindagi.in

Url:www.astrozindagi.in

Contact: Noida: +919910094779

View original post here:

Solar Eclipse 2021: Everything that you need to know - Hindustan Times

Only One Third of US Adults Would Take an Immortality Pill – Futurism

A new survey of roughly 900 American adults says that actually no, people dont want to live forever.

When asked whether theyd like to take a pill that would allow them to live forever at their current age, only about 33 percent of survey respondents said yes, according to research published in the Journal of Aging Studies. Another 42 percent said no, while the remaining 25 percent wasnt sure.

The low number offers a surprising departure from the emphasis on dubious longevity research and treatments among tech leaders in Silicon Valley. If this survey is to believed, it seems that the average person may be more accepting of their mortality than those peddling young blood transfusions or other questionable anti-aging treatments.

But part of the issue, PsychNewsDaily notes, is that the survey respondents were broken down about evenly into three age groups: young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, senior citizens with an average age of 72, and an even older cohort with an average age of 88. While the three groups answered almost exactly the same way, they did have different thoughts on which age theyd like to be frozen at, given the choice.

Both older cohorts suggested that if they were to be frozen at a certain age, theyd want it to be decades younger than their current age, a trend that more aligns with similar research that found a more positive response to living longer after clarifying that respondents would be healthy the entire time. In this case, it seems the notion of being stuck in the body of an 88-year-old for all of eternity didnt come across as the most tantalizing scenario.

As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent companys forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. Its free to join, sign up now!

Read the rest here:

Only One Third of US Adults Would Take an Immortality Pill - Futurism

The Great Philosophers: Pythagoras was a mystic who believed in immortality – The Independent

It is well known that Pythagoras supposedly came up with the theorem that allows us to calculate the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle from the length of its sides. It is less well-known that he was a mystic who founded a religion that emphasised a belief in immortality and the transmigration of souls (a kind of reincarnation, in which the soul enters an already existing body rather than a newborn).

Pythagorass ideas about the triangle were only a small part of the contribution he made to the history of mathematics. His work on the mathematical foundations of music is probably the most significant. Legend has it that he first came to an understanding of the link between music and maths while observing a blacksmith at work. He noticed that there was a relationship between the size and weight of the blacksmith's hammer and the pitch of the note that was produced as it struck the anvil. It appeared that music was governed by maths.

For Pythagoras and his followers, this was indicative of the ultimate nature of reality: behind the play of appearances, they believed, all things are number. Precisely what this means, however, isn't entirely clear, since history has not been kind in leaving us clues to Pythagorass precise thinking. All that we know of him comes from fragments, apparently written by his disciples.

More:

The Great Philosophers: Pythagoras was a mystic who believed in immortality - The Independent

From Iceland Man In The Age Of Immortality: Viktor Orri rnason Composes A Future With Eternal Life – Reykjavk Grapevine

The Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2100 BCE and one of the earliest examples of human literature, tells the tale of a thwarted search for immortality. In it, the raucous King Gilgamesh travels to the end of the world in order to solve the only problem he in his kingliness is powerless againstdeath. There, he meets a brewess named Siduri, who urges Gilgamesh to be happy with what he has, telling the desperate man:

When the gods created mankind,Death they dispensed to mankind,Life they kept for themselves.

Thousands of years later, in 23 BC, Horace pens Odes, whose 11th poem in the first book ends with the infamous phrase: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero or Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow. At the same time, Epicureanism has its revival in Rome, whose inhabitants find wisdom and guidance in the Greeks philosophers primal teneta fearless embrace of death and celebration of lifes simple pleasures.

Fast forward almost 2000 years and Oscar Wilde pens The Picture of Dorian Grey. Add another hundred years and physicist Max Tegmark introduces the thought experiment of Quantum Immortality. Flash to 2005, when noted futurist Ray Kurzweil, the Director of Engineering at Google, gives a concrete date for singularity: 2045.

Now, just 24 years before Kurzweils predictions come to pass, neo-classical composer Viktor Orri rnason throws his own hat into the ring with Eilfurhis debut album which continues the thousands of years of exploration of mankinds inevitable future sans death.

The idea really grabbed me that it is possiblethat not too far in the future we will have such technical advances that we may be able to regenerate ourselves and choose to live as long as we want, Viktor explains. My thoughts then became: What does that mean for us as human beings? What is the purpose of life? How can we even enjoy it?

In Viktors view, it was mans own knowledge of their mortality that drove so much of their happiness. Today, people imagine themselves living 60-90 years and this gives you a timeline to engage with life with the knowledge that you will die, he says. If that is gone suddenly, its going to be difficult to stay optimistic and easier to just be bored and depressed.

To showcase this progression, Viktors nine-track album bases itself around three songs, entitled Var, Er and Var-Er.

The whole album is a display of a distorted reality, of time being irrelevant.

Var-Erthe last song on the album and finale of Viktors adventure into the futurebegins with a smooth horn progression peppered with spurts of twinkling trills. Its a bit Rites of Springalbeit more relaxeduntil a droning mens choir appears, pulling the listener into the depths of meditation. Slow and intense on the surface, the song is underscored at all times by a visceral sense of restlessness, of searching, or unease. Apparently living forever doesnt sound particularly upbeat.

The goal was to create a space where you would feel lost, Viktor explains. To create a sense that you could lose yourself in time.

And to do this, Viktor actually did lose himself in time. When composing each track, Viktor used tape-based time manipulation to warp discordant sounds together.

[This] was very important to me in the process of making this music, he continues. These are tools that allow me to mix together things that were originally recorded in different tempos or keys, to slow them down or speed them up to get them to play together. The whole album is a display of a distorted reality, of time being irrelevant.

But the question remains, were these medical advances available, would Viktor embrace them? Will he be uploading his brain in 2045?

I would do it, but Id want to stay optimistic, he laughs. Everyone Ive talked to, though, are frightened by this. So yes, I would definitely do it, but it saddens me to know that many of my friends and family would not want to.

As a whole though, Viktors album urges us to seize the day, regardless of our immortality status or not.

My question was, in the end, what do we need to do to enjoy life? And it became about the simple things in life, Viktor concludes. We need to learn to appreciate the moment. Allow yourself to be a child and look up at the sky and enjoy how wonderful it is. Enjoy every breath you take.

Eilfur by Viktor Orri rnason will be released on June 18th, 2021. Check him out on his website.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, its become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevines journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining ourHigh Five Club.

You can also check out ourshop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Also you can get regular news from Icelandincluding the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happenby signing up to ournewsletter.

More here:

From Iceland Man In The Age Of Immortality: Viktor Orri rnason Composes A Future With Eternal Life - Reykjavk Grapevine

Aloe there: Getting up close with the plant of immortality – Daily Maverick

Image: Val Van Sittert / Unsplash

In Athol Fugards 1978 play, A Lesson From Aloes, the aloe is used allegorically as a tool for trying to establish a sense of place in a country with so much racial conflict.

In isiXhosa, Aloe ferox is named Ikhala. It is beautiful, strong enough to survive harsh, dry conditions and has well-known medicinal properties. In the Eastern Cape, it features as a symbol on car number plates, and it also appears on the medal for the Order of Mendi a national honour for bravery.

The central image is sealed above by a green emerald which is surrounded on three sides by renditions of the bitter aloe, a hardy indigenous South African plant used in traditional medicine. The three bitter aloes represent resilience and survival and also serve as symbolic directional pointers, showing the way when rendering assistance to those in need during natural disasters, says the governments website.

Aloes have featured in San paintings dating from 5,000 to 2,000 years ago, and medicinal use of the plant is recorded in Egypt from as far back as 3000 BC as well as being referenced in the Bible.

Such is the importance of the Aloe genus in the South African landscape and in the world.

The aloe is a member of the Asphodelaceae family and is sometimes referred to as the plant of immortality as it can live and bloom without soil. Their flowering time is predominantly from May to August, and their height varies from a few centimetres to 4m.

Originating from southern and eastern Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula, there are more than 550 naturally occurring species in the world.

Planting aloes in your garden

Aloes like a tropical climate with no frost and can withstand high temperatures and limited water. Their preferred domain is rocky outcrops, where you can marvel at the show of them marching across the countryside like Triffids the fictional plant imagined by British sci-fi author John Wyndham in his 1951 novel.

Winter trips through the Eastern Cape and en route to the Lowveld are well rewarded with magnificent shows of flowering aloes. Not only are they loved for their vivid colours, statuesque forms and hardiness, but they are often the main source of food for some birds during winter. Sunbirds flit around the flowers enjoying the sap and it is always worth having at least one aloe in your garden to enjoy the birds they attract.

When planting them domestically, they do not need rich soils although they will benefit from them and they need up to eight hours of sunshine a day.

About its healing effect

The sap from the Aloe vera plant is enormously important for its healing properties.

Aloe vera gel treats mild burns, and Aloe vera in toothpaste treats candida, plaque and gingivitis. It can also help with the eradication of acne.

Extract of Aloe vera juice added to smoothies or mixed with fruit juices helps with hydration, which leads to improved liver function, and it is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins B,C and E. Aloes are the only plant source of Vitamin B-12, which makes it an excellent supplement for vegetarians and vegans.

Added to this, Aloe vera controls the secretion of acid in your stomach, reducing heartburn and combating gastric ulcers. It does not contain sugar and has only a few calories, so the dietary benefits are there.

The Aloe Farm

On the strength of all this information, and longing to see a magnificent show of aloes in flower, I drove out to Andy de Wets Aloe Farm in Hartbeespoort.

De Wet developed a passion for aloes as a young man and hybridised his first aloe in 1973, after which he went on to study botany, and is now recognised as the biggest grower and hybridiser of aloes in the world. He exports his products all around the world.

From the more than 550 natural occurring species, he has hybridised many more, with beautiful shapes and colours and sizes.

There is the splendid Aloe Bafana developed for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, featuring a mass of yellow flowers; the two-tone Aloe Rocket which is dedicated to South Africas very own rocketman, Elon Musk; and the Aloe Peri-Peri and Hedgehog are two of his biggest sellers.

Close to his heart is the saving of aloes in the wild, as people often strip the veld of naturally-occurring aloe plants, such as the Aloe Marlothii. To this end, he has developed the large Aloe Magalies Mix, a hybrid which matches Aloe Marlothii in size. In addition, he is growing smaller hybrids from seed to mitigate against the theft of smaller aloes in the veld.

The names he gives many of his aloes are glorious, such as Aloe Firefly, Aloe Marilyn (after the famous photo of her in the flared skirt), Aloe Crunchie, Aloe Tom Thumb, and Aloe Alligator with its extremely serrated leaves.

And so, the aloe reigns: interplanted with crassulas and cotyledons and Echeveria, they make the most splendid show of colour during the winter months, silent figures that add structure to the garden. And who knows, extrapolating from Fugards play, could the magnificent aloe possibly be a vehicle for peace in a tempestuous society? DM/ML

Link:

Aloe there: Getting up close with the plant of immortality - Daily Maverick

‘Will give up immortality for Maggi’: Twitter unbothered as Nestle acknowledges 60% of its food portfolio is unhealthy – Free Press Journal

The worlds largest food company, Nestle, has acknowledged that more than 60 per cent of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a "recognised definition of health" and that "some of our categories and products will never be 'healthy no matter how much we renovate", the Financial Times reported.

A presentation circulated among the top executives this year, seen by the Financial Times, said only 37 per cent of Nestle's food and beverages by revenues, excluding products such as pet food and specialised medical nutrition, achieve a rating above 3.5 under Australia's health star rating system.

This system scores food out of five stars and is used in research by international groups such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation.

As per the report, Nestle, the maker of KitKat, Maggi and Nescafe, describes the 3.5 star threshold as a "recognised definition of health".

However, Indians are die-hard fans of Maggi. We can live without a lot of things but never Maggi. The Maggi that promises that it will get ready in 2 minutes always takes more than 5 minutes, but we still trust it with eyes shut. We love it endlessly.

So, when Indians heard this news, hearts broke collectively. However, ardent Maggi fans seem to be ready to risk their health for it.

Here's what Maggie fans are saying on Twitter. Have a look.

Original post:

'Will give up immortality for Maggi': Twitter unbothered as Nestle acknowledges 60% of its food portfolio is unhealthy - Free Press Journal

Can Jupiter Use his Powers and Wisdom to Rectify Racial Injustice and Inequality?: Ram Devineni and Yusef Komunyakaa on their Tribeca-Premiering AR…

Jupiter Invincible, the latest augmented reality comic book from Ram Devineni and his NY-based Rattapallax media house, marks a bit of a departure for the doc filmmaker and technologist. Best known in the AR world for his comic book series Priyas Shakti starring Indias first female superhero and rape survivor (and UN Women-designated gender equality champion) Devineni now travels both back to these shores and back in time, all the way to pre-Civil War Maryland. And he brings along an impressive trio of collaborators.

Our superhero of this tale, the titular Jupiter, is the invention of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. And though Jupiter might be an enslaved teenager hes also immortal and able to join forces with the more mortal superhero Harriet Tubman on her Underground Railroad mission to freedom. Together with illustrator Ashley A. Woods (whos worked on Tomb Raider, Niobe and the Ladycastle series) and editor Eric Battle (whos drawn for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics), Devineni and Komunyakaa have created a futuristic history lesson able to leap from festival exhibitions, to a staged reading, to (with any luck) a classroom near you in a single bound.

Filmmaker was fortunate enough to catch up with half of the creative super team, Devineni and Komunyakaa, just prior to the comic books TFF launch on June 9th.

Filmmaker: Ram, I believe youre the only non-African-American to be involved in this project, so how exactly did it come about? Was the idea for Jupiter Invincible brought to you by one of the other artists?

Devineni: The initial idea for the comic was mine, but it was more of a concept. I wanted to create a story about an African-American enslaved person who had the power of immortality. Even though he could not die or be killed, he did not have foresight. So he would witness the repercussions of his actions, even 100 years in the future. Can Jupiter use his powers and wisdom to change the course of history to rectify racial injustice and inequality? That was the nucleus of the idea, but it was Yusef Komunyakaa who made it into reality by writing a brilliant story with complex characters and scenarios. Yusef can speak more to that.

Komunyakaa: I hope Jupiter Invincible renders a slanted gaze into that brutal institution where rather obscene wealth and privilege rose out of, and has been passed down generations. Jupiter is an albino, and this makes him doubly an outcast. After getting struck by lightning, going to the netherworld where his mother reigns after dying in childbirth, and then returning to the plantation with skin now Black, he seems an evenhanded young man who feels that he was born to talk horses into obedience. However, Jupiter is naturally defiant because he says, My heart is not a slave.

Filmmaker: You two have collaborated with illustrator Ashley A. Woods and editor Eric Battle to create Jupiter Invincible. So how did this process work? Did you approach the project as a unit, or did each of you tackle only your specific area of expertise?

Devineni: Although I am the overall producer and brought all the different talents together, I believe it was a collaborative process and that everyone shared their opinions and inputs into every aspect. My initial idea was very rudimentary but became concrete after conversing with Yusef about the story and characters. We spent several months in 2019 developing it. After our conversations Yusef would write a few more pages until we had enough for the first edition. This was Yusefs first comic book but he is a master poet and storyteller. He wrote it more like a stage play, so I had to convert it into the comic-book format before working with Ashley A. Woods on her stunning designs and artwork. I really believe we had the perfect team to create Jupiter Invincible. There was beautiful synergy between everyone involved in the project.

Filmmaker: Im very curious to hear about the research that went into the project, specifically at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and at the Hampton Plantation in Maryland. In addition, youre bringing to life photos from the Library of Congress. So how do all these elements intersect in the final work?

Devineni: The idea to create the comic book started in the summer of 2019, when I was selected by American Arts Incubator to run a comic book workshop in Durban, South Africa. This was my first trip to South Africa, and I had very limited knowledge of its history. While in Durban I met some of the Indian and Black freedom fighters who were involved in the struggle to end apartheid. They told me their stories. Later I would spend time in Johannesburg researching the movement at the Apartheid Museum.

Looking at the historical photos, there were many similarities between the apartheid complex and the power structures that were created during the Jim Crow era in America. Afterwards I spent several months at the Merriweather Art District in Colombia, Maryland where I visited the Hampton Plantation, and followed the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubmans pathways to freedom. What was apparent about slavery was a vast system to brutalize and exploit African-Americans that continued after the Civil War. The shameless opulence of the plantation mansions contrasted dramatically with the slave quarters. I relentlessly photographed everything, knowing I would use the materials for a future story.

It was only later when I started working with Yusef on the comic book that I decided to integrate the images into Ashleys artwork through augmented reality. It was critical to show the reality of slavery and life on the plantation. I also utilized the digital archive of photos and stories from the US Library of Congress and put them into the AR. Even though our comic book is fictional there is sound historical research, and the characters are based on authentic people.

Filmmaker: Jupiter Invincible comes with the exhibition at Tribeca, followed by another at the Schomburg Center Literary Festival. And then youve got the staged reading at the Stella Adler Studio (of Acting). So why this multi-pronged strategy? Are you hoping to reach as many different audiences as possible?

Devineni: I am proud that our comic book and exhibition is very approachable for young audiences and accessible from different avenues. Through the augmented reality in the book and the exhibition at Tribeca audiences can see the imaginative use of AR to go deeper into the story and history and experience the spectacle of the technology and see Ashleys powerful artwork. While at the Schomburg Center Literary Festival we want audiences to appreciate the beautiful language written by one of Americas greatest poets, Yusef Komunyakaa. I also believe the comic is easily adaptable for theater and cinema, and we hope to showcase this at the Stella Adler Studio. We are also doing virtual events and workshops at Comic Con Africa. We want to make the correlation between apartheid in South Africa and slavery in America.

Filmmaker:Do you have a plan in place to eventually get Jupiter Invincible into schools across the US?

Devineni: We are releasing the comic book for free in multiple formats, and we hope to bring this back to Columbia (Maryland) and introduce it in their libraries and school system. Obviously this is a complicated process with the pandemic and with schools reopening, but we have some remarkable partners and supporters in the community. The comic book is a mixture of pop culture art, literature, history and technology perfect for young people and schools.

When I went to school in New Jersey in the 1980s and 1990s there was very little exposure to stories about African-Americans or slavery. The only time I learned about slavery in school was when we watched the TV miniseries Roots, by Alex Haley. That was it, and the topic was never mentioned again. I believe bold new stories and narratives are needed to create a cultural shift and challenge perceptions about race in America.

Komunyakaa: Personally, I feel that such a comic book goes beyond mere entertainment, and it probably could create a slightly diffident dialogue. We have just begun; this is the first installment of an imagined character in a historical landscape. And everything that happens on the page has meaning. I feel that comedy and satire also enter this psychological space. We have just opened the first door to Jupiters life. Get ready for surprises and twists in the labyrinth.

More here:

Can Jupiter Use his Powers and Wisdom to Rectify Racial Injustice and Inequality?: Ram Devineni and Yusef Komunyakaa on their Tribeca-Premiering AR...

‘The Bitter Comes With The Sweet’: Without Death, There Is No Life – WBUR

In the early days of the pandemic, my days were bookended by stories of death. I woke up each day hours before dawn to work on my book manuscript, happy to have a passion project to soothe my anxious energy. Mybookchronicleshow Vermont patients, caregivers and health care providers navigated medical aid-in-dying, in the aftermath oflegalization. In the morning, I combed through my notes, writing feverishly about dying, and in the evening, I absorbed the news of bodies accumulating around the world more quickly than they could be buried.

I have never been more acutely aware of my own mortality. I offered my husband detailed instructions about how to tend to my unfinished manuscript, should the need arise. We joked, with gallows humor, about how my death would make an ironic capstone to the book; he, of course, agreed to pen the afterword for the posthumous publication.

Studying medical aid-in-dying, and now living through the greatest pandemic in 100 years, has forced me to reckon with mortality. Over the five years that Ive collected stories about death and dying, people have often questioned how I could study such a morbid topic. Isnt it depressing? The answer is, anything but. Humbling and grounding, yes, and at times terribly sad, but never depressing.

An avid reader since childhood, I have always taken great comfort in stories. When the pandemic began, I realized that immersing myself in stories about death had actually helped me. Thinking about my own inevitable death is sad, but it doesnt terrify me anymore. At 40, I hope I have a great many years left, but Im also more or less at peace with my finitude.

Yet last spring, when I picked up Natalie Babbittsnovel Tuck Everlasting to read to my 7-year-old son, I realized it was this bookthat first made me address my mortality, some 30 years ago.

If the concept of mortality was terrifying to me, the idea of immortality was even more so.

Published in 1975,Tuck Everlasting takes place in the 19thcentury, 87 years after the Tuck family unwittingly drinks from a magical spring that renders them immortal. The story is set in motion when a 10-year-old girl, Winnie Foster, accidentally discovers their secret. They bring her to their woodland cottage to persuade her to keep quiet, warning her of the catastrophe that would ensue if news of the spring were to become public.

The novelquickly charmed educators and parents, winning numerous literary awards. While itcaptivates young readers with its lyrical prose, its matter-of-fact philosophizing on life and death set it apart. In a key scene, Angus, the patriarch of the Tuck family, explains to Winnie that dying is an unavoidable part of the wheel of life. The bitter comes with the sweet. It is the difference between having a life and merely being alive. You cant have living without dying.

The Tucks haunted my childhood. To my 10-year-old self, it seemed clear that the only thing scarier than dying wasnotdying. How awful it would be to outlive nearly everyone that you love! How bleak it would feel to be resigned to a life of complete social isolation. If the concept of mortality was terrifying to me, the idea of immortality was even more so.

This is precisely what the author had in mind. Babbittwrote the book to tame the worriesof her daughter Lucy, who was then 4-years-old. Babbitt wanted to help Lucy understand that dying was a natural part of the wheel of life, thatnotdying is much less desirable than it may seem.

Flipping cultural scripts on fears about death: thisis the power of stories.

As a non-fiction author, I write for reasons not so different from Babbitts. I use real peoples stories to examine cultural fears about death in my case, about lack of control over dying. Medical aid-in-dying offers what is, for many, a seductive vision of personal control over dying, and the promise of a peaceful, sanitized death. Yet such control often proves illusory, both becauseaccess to assisted death is much more complicatedthan it may seem, and because death, itself, is wily.

[P]eople have often questioned how I could study such a morbid topic. Isnt it depressing? The answer is, anything but.

I think about a woman in her mid-60s Ill call Candace, who developed metastatic cancer. Once it was clear that she was not going to get better, Candace decided to die on her own terms, with medical assistance. She procured the lethal prescription, which was no easy feat, because many physicians are reluctant to participate in the process. By the time she was ready to die, however, she was no longer able to ingest the medication.

The pandemic has made me even more sure that, like Candace, we are not in control of our destinies. But the Tucks werent in control, either. They waited passively, resigned to let the oppressive unfurling of time wash over them. In this sense, immortalitys promise of control over death is also illusory. It is poignant that the Tucks look forward to the day,every 10 years, when their sons return to the family cottage. During the pandemics eternal spring, when days bled into weeks and then months, I identified with this feeling, marking my days with UPS deliveries, as time moved ever so slowly.

During the pandemic, I have been in the fortunate position of being able to forestall illness and death with the appropriate precautions, such as staying at home. These measures should permit me to avoid the wrong sort of death. (There is universal agreement at this point that dying from COVID-19 is the wrong sort of death.) But I cannot avoid death altogether, nor (I think) would I want to.

Now, 10 months into this crisis, my book is complete. The wheel spins on. The end of the pandemic no longer feels as far off and impossible as it did last spring. And still, I wonder what kind of story I am in. I marvel at that wonder.

Follow Cognoscenti on Facebook and Twitter.

Go here to read the rest:

'The Bitter Comes With The Sweet': Without Death, There Is No Life - WBUR

Charles Woodson’s Words Prove Just How Special The Hall Of Fame Is – Wolverine Maven

Charles Woodson is arguably the greatest cornerback to ever play football. Everyone, including Woodson himself, knew that he'd be a first-ballot Hall of Famer once the time arrived, but that doesn't make the moment any less special. Even for someone who comes off as being cooler than a polar bear's toe nail, Woodson couldn't contain his emotions once the hall became a reality.

And by the way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In a sport rife with masculinity and machismo, there's something so pure about seeing a superstar overcome with emotions when a dream comes true. Anyone who has ever played football likely started doing so in grade school, so reaching the pinnacle evokes the most genuine reactions.

Woodson is the man, there's no doubt about it. He was Mr. Football in Ohio as a prep star, helped lead Michigan to a national title and became the first ever defensive player to win the Heisman while in Ann Arbor and won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. Now, he's a Hall of Famer. As he said, it's quite literally a form of "immortality" because the bronze busts should last for thousands and thousands of years. Woodson has long been one of the best Wolverines and cornerbacks of all time and now, he's simply one of the best of all time officially.

See the original post here:

Charles Woodson's Words Prove Just How Special The Hall Of Fame Is - Wolverine Maven

Cicely, Cloris, and two paths to Hollywood immortality – The Boston Globe

In remembrances of Cicely Tyson and Cloris Leachman, two acting titans who died last week, one couldnt help but notice parallels between their careers.

In the early 1970s when they first achieved national acclaim, both were already in their mid-40s. Leachman won an Academy Award in 1972 for her supporting role in The Last Picture Show. That same year, Tyson starred in Sounder, becoming only the second Black woman nominated for a best-actress Oscar.

Both also enjoyed success on television Leachman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, later, her own spinoff series, Phyllis. Tyson soared in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots. At 80, Leachman won an Emmy, her eighth, for Malcolm in the Middle. Tyson, also a multiple Emmy winner, made a celebrated return to Broadway in The Trip to Bountiful, winning a Tony when she was 88. And each continued to work into their 90s.

Yet theres a jarring difference. On the Internet Movie Database, Leachman has 287 credits while Tyson has 94, although their career longevity was roughly the same. Of course Leachman, as a white actress, always had more opportunities. Tyson could have worked more, but instead she chose only those roles that exalted the emotional complexity of Black people, especially Black women.

I made up my mind that I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress, and I would use my career as my platform, Tyson told CBS This Morning cohost Gayle King in one of her last interviews. She was promoting her autobiography, Just as I Am, written with Michelle Burford, where she explains the promise she made to herself.

As an artist with the privilege of the spotlight, I felt an enormous responsibility to use that forum as a force for good, as a place from which to display the full spectrum of our humanity, Tyson wrote in the book, which was released two days before her death. My art had to both mirror the times and propel them forward. I was determined to do all I could to alter the narrative about Black people to change the way Black women in particular were perceived, by reflecting our dignity.

Like Lena Horne, who years earlier refused to accept roles she found demeaning, this meant that Tyson often found meaningful work scarce. If Hollywood refused to acknowledge the depth of Black lives, that would be the industrys shame. Tyson would not perpetuate its lies for more money or greater fame.

Still, I wonder what else Tyson might have given us if allowed the breadth of opportunities Leachman enjoyed. (In my casting director fantasies, I long imagined Tyson playing political trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.)

In her career, Leachman could move from the drama of a depressed woman having an affair with a much younger man in The Last Picture Show, to the narcissistic and neurotic Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to the hilarious Frau Blcher in Young Frankenstein. Her range was inexhaustible.

The same could be said of Tyson, who also carried the burden of correcting this nations disgraceful image of Black people, one very much reinforced by popular media. To be clear, I doubt she saw that weight on her petite shoulders as a burden at all. It was the cost she willingly paid for her time on this earth. Thats a choice many Black people confront throughout their lives whether to prostrate themselves for white acceptance or create a life where they can lift their people as they climb.

From Coretta Scott King to Harriet Tubman to a sharecropper fighting to save her family from the ravages of the Depression and racism, Tyson excelled in playing tenacious, undefeated Black women. She held up a mirror to her community, and what we saw reflected was beauty, substance, and self-respect. For more than six decades, Tyson refused to stand in a spotlight that shone on her alone.

Both Leachman and Tyson are icons. One will be remembered for finding that distinctive spark in every part she played. Tysons greatest role was her sacred belief that what was best for her culture would be best for her career. A love of Blackness was her true compass, and with it she defied ignorance, saw light in desolation, and traced a path from our broken places to glory and grace.

Rene Graham can be reached at renee.graham@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @reneeygraham.

View post:

Cicely, Cloris, and two paths to Hollywood immortality - The Boston Globe

Regular Exercise and Lifting Weights Might Be the Key to Immortality – The Great Courses Daily News

ByMichael Ormsbee, PhD,Florida State UniversityEdited by Kate Findley and proofread byAngelaShoemaker, The Great Courses DailyAging doesnt cause the dramatic drop in muscle mass that we often see; rather, it is chronic disuse of muscles due to inactivity that is primarily responsible. Photo By DenisProduction.com / ShutterstockAging and Lifting Weights

Research has repeatedly shown that lifting weights can help prevent age-associated chronic diseases like osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. It is also a major factor in allowing you to move around and maintain your independence.

You need at least enough muscle mass to walk unassisted, get out of a chair, and carry groceries. The best part about lifting weights is that there are no age restrictions.

Now, you may need a modification of an exercise or two, but that is where a certified personal trainer can come into play and show you proper form to prevent injury and make any changes you may need to accommodate any physical limitation. Consider Ernestine Shepherd, who began to lift weights at age 56 and started competing as a bodybuilder in her 70s.

As we age, a phenomenon called sarcopenia occurs, which is the natural, progressive loss of muscle mass. Studies have shown that between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, we can lose more than 8% of our muscle mass, and that can accelerate to more than 15% per decade after the age of 75, if measures are not taken to prevent it.

Fortunately, we can do much to slow this process down. Most people think that aging alone causes us to lose muscle. Now, though, research is showing that its not simply aging but rather the lack of physical activity that is responsible for sarcopenia.

One study looked at lifelong exercisers to determine if chronic exercise could prevent the loss of muscle mass and strength in aging adults. The researchers took 20 men and 20 women between the ages of 40 and 81 years old who exercised at least four to five times per week and competed as triathletes.

These older athletes were put through a series of tests to study their health, strength, and body composition using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI technology. MRI gives us a precise view of the fat and muscle in specific regions of your body. This study used it on the quadriceps muscles of the thigh to look at muscle quality.

As you might expect, the younger people in the study did have a lower body mass index, or BMI, and body fat percentage compared to older athletes. However, the lean muscle mass and strength were no different between the younger and the older athletes.

Whats more is that these benefits were similar in both men and women. This highlights the fact that long-term exercise training can aid in preserving muscle mass and may also prevent increases in body fat as we age.

Additionally, this study helps to debunk a common myth by showing that aging alone doesnt cause the dramatic drop in muscle mass that we often see. Rather, its the chronic disuse and inactivity that are primarily to blame.

One of the most interesting people to discuss is a man who is a prime example of how exercise and a healthy diet can improve your muscle mass and quality of life, Professor Ormsbee said. Hes John Nagy.

Nagy is a participant in the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence at McMaster University in Canada. Not only does he exercise vigorously, but he is also 97 years old.

A recent interview described his daily routine like this: his warm-up begins with movements in the shower, followed by floor and ball exercises for his core and his back. Hell then walk to the Universitytwo miles each wayor make up for it on his treadmill, followed by a 90-minute workout at the University.

He also keeps dumbbells, resistance bands, and a Swiss Ball in his apartment next to the treadmill along with a stationary bike. Mr. Nagy embodies the idea of using regular exercise to maintain his quality of life and to stay able-bodied so that he can live to the fullest.

Just like Ernestine Shepherd, Professor Ormsbee said. Maybe we should all take a pageor maybe a few chaptersout of their books.

Michael Ormsbee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences and Interim Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. He received his MS in Exercise Physiology from South Dakota State University and his PhD in Bioenergetics from East Carolina University.

See the rest here:

Regular Exercise and Lifting Weights Might Be the Key to Immortality - The Great Courses Daily News

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki believes users will create the metaverse – VentureBeat

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki wants to inhabit the metaverse an online place where we work and play and entertain ourselves. He has dreamed about it for a long time, and he has so many followers now that Roblox will likely be one of the most credible candidates for building the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such asSnow CrashandReady Player One.

Roblox has 36 million people who come back daily to play on the platform. That makes the company one of the lead horses to move on to the next generation of technology. And Baszucki is a big fan of getting his own users to do the work.

People do everything from playing traditional games, to social experiences that are more around hanging out and just being together whether its working together in a restaurant or running away from a tornado, Baszucki said. And in the midst of this very difficult time, weve seen a lot of people using Roblox as a way to stay connected, whether its trying to have a birthday party, or how do we graduate from high school.

Baszuckis company is planning to go public soon through a direct listing offering, and Baszucki isnt able to talk about the latest financial details now. But Roblox has built a big war chest, raising $520 million in private capital at a $29.5 billion valuation earlier this month. It can use that money to build the metaverse and populate it with things that the users created.

Since Roblox focuses on user-generated content, Baszucki doesnt think his team will create the metaverse. His users will.

Above: Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki (right) speaks with Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat at Into the Metaverse.

Image Credit: VentureBeat

We think of ourselves as shepherds of this idea. But its an idea thats been around for a long time, he said. Our founding story goes way back to a prior company, Knowledge Revolution, where my Roblox cofounder Eric [Cassel] and I were building educational software to help people figure out how to understand physics experiments. And in the process of watching lots and lots of students use interactive physics, we saw that in addition to doing their physics homework, they were building stuff and creating stuff and watching what would happen when a car ran into a building. This kind of germinated the idea.

That origin is not so different from what Nvidia is doing today with its Omniverse physics simulation world, which is a kind of metaverse for engineers. (Richard Kerris of Nvidia will speak about that on Day Three of our event). Nvidias focus, however, is hyper-realistic.

Our hope is the metaverse doesnt just look like reality, Baszucki said. It feels like reality so that the cars in the metaverse have engines and they have axles and they have wheels. When the wheel falls off the car, the car does what we would expect in real life. So part of this hope of a physically driven metaverse is actually easier to program and easier to create emergent behavior because it kind of works like we expect.

He added, Weve all lost ourselves in a Pixar movie that is very high-quality rendering but it is not photorealistic rendering.

Above: How to make a metaverse

Image Credit: Roblox

The true metaverse will have something like eight different characteristics, Baszucki said. You have to have an avatar with a virtual identity. You can be everything from a rock star to a fashion model, and thats one big draw of the metaverse.

You can make friends with real people and socialize in the metaverse. It has to be immersive, or make you feel like youre somewhere else and you lose your sense of reality. You should be able to log in from anywhere, regardless of the country or culture where you come from. You need a low-latency connection, whether youre at a school or a business.

The metaverse has to have low friction, meaning you can go anywhere instantly. If youre studying ancient Rome at school, you should be able to transport yourself there within a second and take a tour with your class. It has to have a variety of content to support the long tail of interests people have. You need a vibrant economy to ensure that people can make a living in the metaverse not just coders but artists and designers too. And finally, you need safety and stability, so that people can come together and improve digital civility.

Above: Roblox will hold events related to Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline.

Image Credit: Roblox

Baszucki has done a couple of events with Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One and Ready Player Two. I asked Baszucki if he identified with the characters in the book who created the Oasis, or the books version of the metaverse. The founders of the Oasis in the book are Ogden Morrow and James Halliday.

When Ready Player One came out, I sent it to all the executives in the company because it was capturing not just societal changes but what I thought were visionary technologies that we were going to see play out as these platforms got better, Baszucki said. We really try to fade into the background. So Im not sure either one of those characters applies to us. We dont make any content. We actually dont have control of the content. We try to make really good technology and tools and a platform. And then we get amazed by the content.

He added, We almost see ourselves more as the creators of a primitive part of the electrical grid, back there in the distance, and were trying to more and more highlight the creative geniusof our creator community, which is really the real engine that works with us to power our part of the metaverse.

Baszucki compares what Roblox is doing to the invention of the printing press. The tech was so new that some philosophers at the time felt that people started reading too much. Over time, the culture came to accept book reading. Video went through the same cycle, as are games now. I joked that parents will one day tell their kids to stop reading and go back into Roblox to learn something.

Above: Lil Nas X in a Roblox experience

Image Credit: Roblox

People will know they have a physical identity and a digital identity, he said. Just as people that are very facile with books and videos and balancing them, were optimistic they will be with the metaverse as well. Were not so dystopian in our vision relative to maybe some science fiction. We think people will be able to balance this and use it in a positive way. We think it will be an integral part of learningand working.Just another tool side by side with video and books and other forms of communication.

Amid the pandemic, Baszucki said he has enjoyed seeing experiments on Roblox like concerts and parties that enable people to enjoy each other while social distanced.

Were hopeful that there are many situations where immersive 3D communication can bring people together, where its very difficult when theyre forced to be at a distance, he said. An example would be our Roblox holiday party, which we did in Robloxwith hundreds and hundreds of people.And because they were all employees, we were able to do the things we might do at a holiday party. I wish we could have been together physically. But we did have a nightclub. We did have a stage, wedid havea bar.

Quality has its own way of rising to the top. But the company has to spend a lot more time making sure the place is civil. More than 1,700 trust and safety volunteers ensure that Roblox is a safe and stable world for players.

We dont in any way filter on quality, but we have incredibly polished experiences that tend to do better, he said. We try to build systems that bubble up interesting things.We dont really know what is high quality if its safe and civil our Roblox community will vote with their feed and with their engagement and say this is interesting.

User-generated content rules on Roblox, and many young developers are starting to become entrepreneurs, forming teams or even studios focused on Roblox games. Hundreds of thousands are making interesting content, and more than 1,000 are making $10,000 or more and 250 are making more than $100,000. Those people are working alongside big brands that are making their own games for the platform.

The advances that will lead us to the metaverse are inexorable, Baszucki aid, as bandwidth, mobile devices, and other technologies improve.

Roblox has 830 employees, but Baszucki said it will need a diverse group of people to fill out its team to build the metaverse, with experts ranging from 3D game engines to corporate civility.

Baszucki believes that, if done right, the metaverse will make the world a better place by increasing the civility of the world.

The way we moderate, the way we nudge, the way we encourage civil discourse on the platform Im optimistic well be able to measure the general civility of society by watching whats happening on this platform, he said. Im also excited that at various ages, there will be various levels of appropriate nudging. There will be the ability tohave people with very different viewpointspop a little outof maybe the bubble they have and safely meet people with very different viewpoints and have a civil discussion with them.

Above: Part of the JDRF world inside Roblox.

Image Credit: Roblox

I also asked Baszucki if the metaverse is the place where well achieve digital immortality, as happens in the Ready Player Two novel.

This is such an enormous thing to think about. I think it goes way beyond the medical. Its a whole separate industry right there, Baszucki said. I do thinkover time the metaverse will be this wonderful place where [non-player characters] NPCs improve.Well see theTuring test happen not just through text and voice, but well see the Turing test happen in themetaverse.Well start to see NPCs that are harder and harder to distinguish from people over time.And this may be the foreshadowing to ultimately immortality. There may be forms of immortality that are a rough approximationof you and me. So I could imagine if you and I wore a device for our whole life that recorded everything we saw and everything we said, machine learning might be able to create an approximationof us that could live. But Im not so sure. I think its gonna be a while before we can snapshot every neuron and build that out.

So if you had to think of one, one thing you want to do in the metaverse, so what would that be?

Asked what he wants to do in the metaverse, Baszucki said his first thought was boring: just hang out with people that he knows in a social setting.

I think I want to have that ability to come together with people Ive been missing for a really, really long time.

He also wants to play a game in a virtual junkyard with friends, or two teams of five. They would build a crazy contraption with welding torches and drills and other gear, and then they would compete with each other using their contraptions.

Its all about the complexity of the physics and the interaction and emergent behavior, Baszucki said. These kinds of things are exciting to me.

Excerpt from:

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki believes users will create the metaverse - VentureBeat



12345...102030...