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Category Archives: High Seas
Posted: March 5, 2020 at 6:14 pm
On 19 September 2020, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflowers voyage to the New World, an autonomous trimaran vessel, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, will trace the route of the original Mayflower in 1620, sailing from Plymouth, UK, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, US.
Although remotely controlled ships are not a new concept, Don Scott, chief technology officer of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, says the project is at the bleeding edge. Whats new about the project is the marine autonomy aspect, creating the ship as an edge device that operates on its own, sensing its environment, making intelligent decisions and acting on them without any human intervention, he says. Thats what makes this vehicle really innovative.
The Mayflower is a prototype, a proof of concept, to demonstrate that a solar-powered autonomous ship can navigate the oceans safely and cope with changeable weather, other ships, and encounters with marine creatures and submerged hazards.
Scott has worked on the oceans for 30 years. For him, one of the biggest challenges in developing an autonomous ship is the unpredictable nature of the sea. You certainly dont approach these engineering tasks lightly, he says. You very quickly get humbled by the power of the ocean.
He says one of the philosophies that underpins the design isthat the Mayflower Autonomous Ship needs to operate in an extremely hostile and dynamic environment, which is very unpredictable.
Until very recently, undertaking such an engineering task would have seemed impossible. For Scott, the recent convergence of technologies such as computing power at the edge and the growth of machine learning has meant that today it is possible to have an edge device make decisions in a timeframe that enables a vehicle to operate within the environment it was designed for.
Engineering for unpredictability requires partitioning different tasks, so that there is a strong sense of separation and layering between the software running on the edge devices. The architecture is highly modularised, where each edge device maintains its own situational awareness and communicates upstream and downstream with other modules.
Sensor inputs include six cameras, an automatic identification system, wind speed and direction sensors and obstacle avoidance sonar. Scott says: Each of these collects unstructured data, which is then processed and fed into a data server to provide the information needed for the vessel to navigate.
Weather forecasts are provided via application programming interfaces (APIs) to The Weather Company. Weather updates will be our highest priority, says Scott. We will steer around a storm cell, for sure.
The Mayflower is designed to run autonomously, but it will have the ability to send and receive data. Given that the ocean offers limited low-bandwidth satellite communications, weather data is given a priority. It is critical information we will get what we can get, says Scott.
IBM PowerAI Vision models are being used to provide object classification and object tracking for the vessels computer vision system, he says, adding: All of this information is fed into a navigation hazard map used by a collision avoidance module.
The collision avoidance module takes this data to determine a series of potential courses and speeds, which are then fed into a route planner, which Scott says is essentially an autonomous system that determines the course the vessel should take. Layered on top of the route planner is our safety manager, which deals with more localised information, such as wave direction and the unpredictable aspects of the ocean, he adds.
Each system on the vessel is redundant, with a backup module running in parallel, which is ready to take over if the primary system fails. One of the hazards of the ocean is short circuits, so the Mayflower Autonomous Ship has been built in a way that enables it to continue if systems are damaged.
Any system that is exposed to the ocean needs to be isolated to protect against electricity shorts, says Scott. We are hedging our bets on the electrical reliability of the system by putting in a backup system.
Because each system has been designed to operate independently, each one can be tested before they are all integrated on the ship, says Scott. For instance, at the start of March, the collision avoidance system, called AI Captain, is being tested at sea on another ship.
The ocean presents a lot of different hazards, such as land, marine debris, submerged objects, wildlife and even curious whales, says Scott. In a classical marine system, human vigilance is required to make decisions on these hazards.
The autonomous system also needs to adhere to the rules of the sea, he says. We need to identify surrounding marine traffic and make sure we are operating safely.
Scott says IBM suggested taking ODM, its rules-based engine for determining credit card fraud, and adapting it to marine regulations. This means that AI Captain enables the Mayflower to follow the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) as well as recommendations from the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Having the AI Captain make decisions based on a predefined set of regulations means its decisions do not come out of a black box, says Scott. In effect, the AI decision-making for collision detection is entirely explainable because it adheres to the rules that govern marine navigation.
For Scott, the vehicle systems the Mayflower will use are proven technologies, tried and trusted. We know we can do this voyage tomorrow, with the existing capabilities we have in classic deterministic systems, going waypoint to waypoint, and dynamic updates based on local conditions, he says.
But the fully autonomous AI Captain needs to operate without any human intervention. Scott adds: The thing that keeps me up at night is the collision avoidance system, which we havent tested yet. It is essential for the success of the ship. We need to go through a bunch of sea trials.
These trials are beginning in early March.
Posted: at 6:14 pm
Tour report #3: Carolina Road on the high seas - Bluegrass Today Skip to content
Lorraine Jordan entertains dinner guests on Danny Stewarts West Coast Bluegrass Cruise
Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road are touring now in California, and have promised to send us regular reports with photos from the west coast. Here is one from bassist/vocalist Randy Graham.
Bluegass cruises are in reality festivals at sea, and may well represent the best entertainment value available when one considers that they are all inclusive. Accommodations, meals, snacks, 24 hour room service, spa, pools, hot tubs, interesting ports of call, and world class entertainment are all rolled to one very affordable package. We love them, and Danny Stewarts west coast cruise to Mexico certainly did not disappoint.
Our first day out,Dad and I rented a golf cart and toured Catalina Island which was absolutely beautiful. Our final port, Ensenada, Mexico, was found to be a bustling city, full of interesting sights and shops.
In between there were concerts and workshops provided by some of these best in the business, which included a special True Grass show with Carolina Road and the incredible Junior Sisk and Danny Paisley. Wow, what a show, and what a treat to make music with these icons on traditional bluegrass.
We are now back in the good ol USA and on our way to Morgan Hill, California for another True Grass show sanctioned by the California Bluegrass Association. Really looking forward to it. More soon!!
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Design Collective by Cintas Creates High Fashion on the High Seas with Virgin Voyages Apparel Collection – Yahoo Finance
Posted: at 6:14 pm
British fashion designer Gareth Pugh and Design Collective by Cintas collaborate on modern wardrobe collection
Richards Bransons new cruise line Virgin Voyages is scheduled to set sail in April 2020. Today Design Collective by Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) announced that it will execute a modern apparel collection designed by British fashion designer Gareth Pugh for the crew. Virgin Voyages led a collaboration with Design Collective by Cintas to bring Gareths fashion-forward designs to life with apparel pieces that mirror the vivacity which is synonymous with the Virgin brand.
"Were honored for the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Virgin Voyages and Gareth to bring together modern and luxurious designs to Virgin Voyages," said Todd McKeown, President and COO of Design Collective by Cintas. "Richard Branson puts his employees first, so it was critical for every crew member to feel confident and comfortable in the apparel, so they can be a critical part of the total passenger experience. We used our extensive experience in designing and manufacturing for the cruise industry and worked with Gareth Pugh and the Virgin Voyages team to develop this game changing program."
The core collection includes sustainable fabrics and garments designed for a range of job functions, climates and body types. The program breaks with cruise stereotypes by removing epaulettes (shoulder stripes designating rank for officers), ties and waistcoats. It features a distinct combination of structure and fluidity and includes a wide range of looks from slick razor-sharp tailoring to relaxed pillow-case tunic shirts referencing the early days of British punk, and more.
"We really wanted to shake up the industry and redefine cruise fashion. Working with fashion Designer Gareth Pugh helped us create a fantastic wardrobe collection for our crew reflecting a modern sailing holiday experience," said Dee Cooper, SVP Design and Customer Experience at Virgin Voyages. "We decided to partner with Design Collective by Cintas to make sure the garments would really deliver on all levels. Their knowledge of fabrics and application made the designs functional for the cruise environment, and they helped create an Epic Sea Change for all."
Virgin Voyages currently has four ships on order, and will launch its first adults-only vessel, Scarlet Lady, in Spring 2020.
For more information about Design Collective by Cintas, please visit: http://www.cintas.com/designcollective.
About Design Collective by Cintas
The Design Collective by Cintas is a distinctive fashion house dedicated to creating a modern wardrobe for employees. With design studios in Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto and Miami, Design Collectives award-winning designers blend garments from our ready-to-wear line with custom-designed pieces to curate apparel collections that enhance brand identity. These collections are often complemented with garments from our retail brand collaborations, giving employees wardrobes they love to wear. Design Collective is a division of Cintas Corporation, a publicly held Fortune 500 company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of both the Standard & Poors 500 Index and Nasdaq-100 Index.
About Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages is a global lifestyle brand committed to creating the worlds most irresistible holidays. The brand currently has four ships on order with master shipbuilder Fincantieri and has operations in the US, UK and Europe. With its inaugural season beginning this year, Virgin Voyages first ship, Scarlet Lady was designed to reflect a yachts sleek luxury. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, Scarlet Lady will be Adult-by-Design, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea will be naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being activated through a mix of high-energy moments coupled with relaxation and rejuvenation. Scarlet Lady will also feature alluring entertainment and 20+ world-class intimate eateries on board. Putting a twist on luxury, Virgin Voyages will offer incredible value for its sailors with all restaurants, group fitness classes, soft drinks, and many more Virgin surprises.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200302005650/en/
Christina AlvarezMulberry Marketing Communications708firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 6:14 pm
Designed to fill the gap between rough-and-ready explorer yachts and the support vessels that shadow superyachts to carry the spillover from the main yacht, the Crossover 27 from Dutch shipyard Lynx Yachts is a fully customizable mashup of the two types of boats. The Crossover 27 provides a posh yacht with the stowage space to travel with all the tenders, toys and other amenities while also providing the comfort and technical capacity to spend long periods of time on board. The 27 is the first example in Lynxs new Crossover Series that was announced at the Monaco Yacht Show last fall.
We are creating, thanks to a US customer, a new concept that we are going to call a crossover that will be on the platform of a shadow vessel with half the space of the deck dedicated to hosting big toys and the rest will be a main saloon and accommodation, said Filippo Rossi during an interview with Superyachts.com. At the end it will be a big explorer yacht capable to carry all that you want to go anywhere in the world with freedom and safety. Rossi is sales and marketing manager for Lynx Yachts.
The highlight of the Crossover 27 is the 753-square-foot main deck. Use this 23-foot-wide space for stowing tenders and toys. Once youve launched them into the water, guests now may enjoy a huge deck space for sunning, dining or throwing a seaside soiree.
A good-size saloon with large windows leads to the galley and then the wheelhouse on the main deck. Down below a spacious master suite and two guest cabins accommodate a total of six. Two crew cabins (for four crew members) sit far forward.
The main deck is great for storage, but its even better for entertaining.Courtesy Lynx Yachts
Head back outside and everyone will enjoy the big beach club aft at water level, as well as the sundeck way up top. The sundeck is home to a couple of Yamaha WaveRunners, two standup Jet Skis and the crane for launching the tenders. Once theyre launched, its another great place to snatch a little private sunning time.
Tucked behind the swim platform is the lazarette, which provides all kinds of storage for the rest of the water sports gear: stand-up paddle boards, canoes, surfboards, scuba and snorkeling equipmentyou name it.
All kinds of deck space makes this a very livable explorer.Courtesy Lynx Yachts
Netherlands-based Bernd Weel Design penned the yachts exteriors, and French firm Franck Darnet Design handled the interiors. Diana Yacht Design took care of the naval architecture. A couple of Caterpillar engines give the Crossover 27 a top speed of 14 knots and a range of 1,350 nm while cruising at 12.5 knots. The first hull is already spoken for and will be delivered in 2022.
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Posted: at 6:14 pm
In which Hunter Harris attempts to exorcise the movie quotes haunting her brain.
Were not one nation under God, were one nation under this Geoffrey Rush quote. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Walt Disney
Unless we time-travel back to me being 17 and breaking curfew, Im not an actor. I cant look at a script and devise a perfect line reading. But I have another gift: I can watch a movie and get a certain line-reading stuck in my head for all of eternity, in this life and the next. I have written previously on one such line that I cant get out of my head, from Marriage Story. There, Adam Driver, biggest boy, confronts his wifes allegation of infidelity with a frown and the words You shouldnt be upset that I fucked her, you should be upset that I had a laugh with her! That Marriage Story line is obtuse and vexing and hilarious, the most unrealistic moment of a hyperrealistic romance. I have returned with another line that twerks around this noggin of mine. In Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, there exists a line that feels distinctly opposite: Its the most realistic moment in a high-seas fantasy. You best start believin in ghost stories, Miss Turner, Geoffrey Rush snarls. Yer in one!
I am brave enough to admit that we dont give this line enough credit. Even if it were printed on every American dollar bill, like the words In God We Trust, which I think are printed on dollar bills, it would not be enough. Add this line to our Constitution, stitch it onto a pillow, go as this line for Halloween! I dont think Im being dramatic when I borrow a quote from another good Keira Knightley period piece and say: This line from Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has bewitched me, body and soul!
In Black Pearl, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) plays Port Royal, Jamaicas first daughter. Like many a Disney ingenue, she is wealthy and privileged and a habitual line-stepper. At ten years old, shes onboard a ship that picks up Will Turner (another 10-year-old who will, in about ten minutes, turn into Orlando Bloom), at which point she pockets a pirate medallion around his neck, worried that her father will arrest her new crush for his criminal associations. For years, Elizabeth has kept this medallion tucked away, forgotten, until she dreams about it one night and decides to wear it around her own neck.
A decade after Wills arrival, in what seems like a total coincidence, pirates raid Port Royal. Elizabeth is kidnapped by the titular pirates on the titular Black Pearl, and its captain, Barbossa (Rush), explains to her the titular curse. (Because Elizabeth stole the medallion from Will Turner, she uses his surname as her own.) [This medallion is] one of 882 identical pieces [the Aztecs] delivered in a stone chest to Corts himself, Barbossa explains over dinner. Blood money paid to stem the slaughter he wreaked upon them with his armies. But the greed of Corts was insatiable. So the heathen gods placed upon the gold a terrible curse. Any mortal that removes but a single piece from that stone chest shall be punished for eternity. Elizabeth almost guffaws in disbelief. Of course she does! This is nuts! I hardly believe in ghost stories anymore, Captain Barbossa, she says. To this, his pockmarked skin grins.
Aye, he begins. Thats exactly what I thought when we were first told the tale. The pirates aboard the Pearl found the island, found the chest, and found the gold. Like the Bling Ring, they robbed it of every gold piece. The more we gave em away, the more we came to realize the drink would not satisfy, food turned to ash in our mouths, and all the pleasurable company in the world could not slake our lust. We are cursed men, Miss Turner! Like every woman who has ever had to endure the monologue of a man, Elizabeth Swann looks on, rather nonplussed by this information. They are cursed men, but we are cursed by men, so its hard to muster up a lot of empathy whether you are being held captive, as she is, or just a woman living in New York City, as I am.
And here is when it happens: Elizabeth makes a botched attempt to stab Barbossa with a steak knife and escape, but upon exiting the captains quarters, she finds herself among a skeletal crew. Not skeleton crew, like, understaffed. Skeletal crew, like, where there once were human men, there are now sentient skeletons dressed in tattered rags. Captain Barbossa points his index finger and walks out of the shadows into the moonlight, his body transforming to bones before our very eyes. You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner, he tells her. Yer in one!
Whats nutty is that Pirates of the Carribean has many quotable lines: The way Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, relatively pre-controversy) twists his braided beard and whines, But why is the rum gone?! The way an amber-eyed pirate peers into a hiding spot and says, Hello, puppet, the words twisted and mangled so that they come out: Ehlow, Pop-ette! Barbossa declines Elizabeths plea to return her to Port Royal, sneering, Im disinclined to acquiesce to your request. But its been 17 years since Curse of the Black Pearl was released enough time for these lines to learn to drive a car and apply to college and fight with their moms over how short prom dresses can be and its the ghost stories delivery that I just cannot get out of my worms-for-brains head.
Around 300 days ago, on April 10, 2019: I went public with a truth I hold to be self-evident: dont avada kedavra my ass, I wrote, but last night i came to the conclusion that u best start believin in ghost stories miss turner YER in one is better than YER a wizard harry i would make a poll but i know that im right and also its too many characters. Was it unwise to pit two powerful women a Pirates line and a Harry Potter line against one another? Perhaps! But I did it, and I was right to do it.
Did a former crush suddenly start watching your IG story again? Girl. You? Best start believin in ghost stories, Miss Turner. Because youre? In one! Did you just confidently lie to your local Apple Genius Bar technician, nodding your head and insisting that yes of course youve backed up your computer, and no you dont know how all that water got in there. You! Best! Start! Believin in ghost stories, Miss Turner! Because! Congratulations, theres a good chance youre about to be in one! If, on Christmas Eve, as is his tradition, Kevin Spacey releases another unhinged home video? We all better start believin in ghost stories, Miss Turner were in one!
Perhaps this line appeals to me so much because, at present, we are living in a parallel universe that feels a little like a ghost story. Children are in cages. Our planet is dying. The Renegade dance is too hard for my brittle bones. Joker earned more Oscar nominations than The Farewell. Victoria never got a Jellicle name. Olive Garden has changed its motto from When youre here, youre family to Were all family here. Who will answer for all the raw chicken in the streets of Boerum Hill that one time? Why has it felt like Halloween since Christmas 2017? What Im saying is this: We are walking around in dark and uncertain times of political and personal turmoil. A ghost story this might be! I can only hope that somewhere, Rooney Mara is placing an order for pie.
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Posted: at 6:14 pm
TV bosses believe shes the perfect choice to take over Cruising With Jane McDonald .
But comedian Susan Calman may be in for a rough ride when she hits the high seas as her replacement.
For while the former Strictly Come Dancing star proved she can handle some tricky footwork on the dancefloor, she was definitely struggling to find her sea legs when she took her first ever cruise, 18 months ago.
The comic was on a Strictly cruise of the Mediterranean in 2018 when she was floored by some choppy seas quite literally.
But after picking herself up from the deck, Susan, who was also too short to see over the ships balconies, was informed that what she called rough was barely a gentle wave.
Scottish Susan, 45, later learned to love sea travel, adding: For someone who hates flying, its a grand way to vacation.
The only trouble is, shes also taking over the singers other Channel 5 show Holidaying with Jane McDonald, so shell be flying too...
But Susan was still thrilled when Jane told her yesterday: Im sure you will have a ball. I certainly did.
Susan gushed: I have a signed photo of you in my living room. Youre magnificent in every way and will always be the best cruiser ever.
Mmmm. Its good to be gracious, Susan, but try not to go overboard.
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Posted: at 6:14 pm
Get ready to cast off into the New Heart of Fire update for Sea of Thieves coming to the high seas next week.
Sea of Thieves, the pirate-themed MMO from UK developer Rare has just turned two years young and now the sea songs are over, players should get ready for the next major update. before it makes land, hitting Xbox One and PC on 11 March, Rare has revealed information on the upcoming Heart of Fire update and it looks typically tongue in cheek. While a new video over on the official Sea of Thieves YoutTube runs down some of the more functional details, were most excited about the incoming cosmetics.
As part of the Heart of Fire add on, pirate pets will get the chance to dress up in some amazing banana costumes. Combat will get particularly fruity too, with a range of banana themed weapons available in the premium store. If that isnt enough, Heart of Fire will bring a ton of content too.
PvP focused players will get some less squishy weapons. The new Blunderbomb looks like it could cause some serious confusion when it falls into players hands. The item is a chuckable explosive that is primarily meant to inflict knockbacks rather than damage. Useful in close quarters it can be used to knock enemies off their perches or even loaded into cannons to knock an opposing ship off course.
The biggest content bounty coming to Sea of Thieves is the PvE updates for Heart of Fire. Next week players will get a new story mission for the pirate simulator which follows on from the narrative kicked off last year. We dont want to spoil the details but rare has put substantial work into this chapter of the game to make a cinematic experience that plays slightly different each time payers sail into action. The whole update is wrapped up with the normal bug fixes and technical improvements that you might expect from a major update.
Anybody looking for something to do in the meantime can head over to Sea of Thieves and haul in as many qualifying fish as possible between now and Sunday, in order to bag some sweet new prizes in the Hunters Haul fishing challenge. Until then pirates, happy hunting and well see you on the seas when Heart of Fire kicks off next week.
Posted: at 6:14 pm
In a sea of cinematic assassins, Duke Togo stands a cut above the rest. Operating under his trademark codename Golgo 13, Togo is an elite killer who possesses near-superhuman sniping skills, making him a hot commodity on the international scene.
The 2008 Golgo 13 TV series drew elements from the manga series and the animated films to create a modernized take on the franchise, mixing a smooth detective-style narrative with a level of James Bond intrigue. Through the series' run, Golgo 13 pulled off an elaborate number of high-profile assassinations, and we've gathered the 10 best, right here! This list ranks each kill from excellent to God-like! Eat your heart out, Agent 47!
A brilliant knife-throwing expert decides to make a name for himself by killing Golgo 13 so he can assume his notoriety. To do so, he orchestrates a hit to lure Golgo 13 in and set him up for a stealth kill.
During a stage performance, Golgo 13 prepares to shoot his target, prompting his would-be assassin to hurl a knife at him for a killing blow. Sensing the incoming attack, Golgo 13 blocks it with his rifle, then turns sights on his aggressor, executing him with a single shot to the head.
This episode finds Golgo 13 squaring off against two highly trained ex-Foreign Legion soldiers carrying highly modified assault rifles equipped with an advanced digital scope. As a field test, the soldiers stalk Golgo 13 to prove the scope's efficiency and viability for sale around the world.
The ensuing battle takes place against the backdrop of a rally race where the soldiers hold a range advantage over Golgo 13's M-16 rifle. To compensate, he changes position several times to get in front of the rally race, using a car's headlight glare to blind one of his foes long enough to score a head shot. As the second soldier pursues with vengeance in mind, Golgo 13 dives down a hill and puts his opponent on higher ground. The soldier's gunfire misses Golgo 13 entirely due to a flaw in the scope's design when used on a slope, as opposed to flat ground, givinghim an open kill-shot.
This episode takes place on the high seas after a group of criminals hijack a U.S. oil tanker and take the crew hostage. With time running out until they move the tanker into international waters, the authorities hire Golgo 13 to prevent their escape.
After testing the superior sniping skills of one of the criminals, Golgo 13 makes his move. He infiltrates the tanker and executes most of the criminals, leaving his sniper for last. He uses a pulley to add another level of movement onto an already rocking boat, and sets up a blind spot which proves to be a lethal combination for his enemy.
One of Golgo 13's most grisly kills occurs in this episode featuring an armored van used to spring an international drug lord from custody. Unable to stop the van, the U.S. hires Golgo 13 to take out the drug lord before he can escape over the Mexican border.
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After analyzing the van's schematics, he acquires a specialized gun with armor piercing rounds and kills his target by shooting through the van's underbelly. The bullet travels vertically through the length the target's spinal column, before exiting out the top of the head.
The pilot episode of the series finds Golgo 13 in hot water after a brawl in Texas lands him in the local jail. Meanwhile, a corrupt CIA informant hijacks a domestic flight and holds the passengers hostage on an airport tarmac, prompting both the FBI and CIA to spring Golgo 13 from jail in return for taking out the threat.
To pull off the job, Togo acquires a heavily modified .308 Winchester rifle, and sets off to snipe his target. However, a change in the plane's positioning forces him to adapt on the fly. From 2 kilometers out, Golgo 13 snipes his target through the cockpit window of the plane, earning him both respect and fear from the CIA.
Golgo 13 shows off his long-game tactics in this episode which takes place in Canada. The CIA have hired him to take out a double agent before he can escape, and uses his female accomplice to lure him out. After kidnapping her, burning her clothes and imprisoning her in a log cabin, he gifts a red coat to a woman in exchange for cleaning the kitchen.
It's all a setup to allow his female prisoner a chance to escape, using the red coat for clothing. When she attempts to make her escape with her double agent boss on a snowmobile, Golgo 13 snipes both of them with a single, difficult long-range kill-shot.
Golgo 13 is hired to kill a wealthy real estate mogul by a vengeful competitor. He capitalizes on his target's love of theater by infiltrating his birthday party, which includes a stage play. After setting off firecrackers which coat everyone in gunpowder residue, Golgo 13 sets about crafting a makeshift disposable gun for the final kill.
The stage performance commences, and the story progresses to a scene involving a fake gunshot using a blank, which Golgo 13 uses to mask his own shot. After striking his target dead, Golgo 13 drops the disposable gun in a soup pot, where it proceeds to melt away, denying the police a murder weapon to pin to their killer.
The American government hires Golgo 13 and another assassin of equal skill known as AX-3 to take out a secret criminal research facility attempting to weaponize poisons and toxins from deadly animal species. After accomplishing the task, both assassins prepare to go their separate ways, until AX-3 receives a call from his handler with a bounty on Golgo 13.
With one bullet left in each of their rifles, the two assassins engage in a standoff with Golgo 13's back to the facility's entrance, where deadly snakes and spiders may emerge at any moment. He uses the incoming tide to stall until sunset, which prompts a flock of bats to emerge from the cave's entrance, creating a moment of opportunity. Both assassins leap into action and score grazing rifle hits on one another before Golgo 13 finishes off AX-3 with a knife-throw to the chest.
The anime's penultimate episode features Duke Togo's plane crashing into a small island being used by the U.S. military to conduct trial runs on a new kind of armored power suit with highly advanced weapons and defensive capabilities. Golgo 13 plays against the pilot of the suit by testing its weaknesses several times, before determining the appropriate kill-shot.
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When the pilot becomes mentally unstable and terrified of his opponent, it gives Golgo 13 the chance to fire a single round into the barrel of its shoulder-mounted flamethrower unit, setting off an explosion that destroys the armored suit, and kills its occupant.
Arguably Golgo 13's most outrageous and incredible kill occurs in this episode featuring a villain named Vargas Walton, a millionaire who keeps young women on his island fortress for the purpose of harvesting their organs to generate funds for terrorism. The fortress was designed specifically to thwart any assassination attempts, including ricochet shots that could strike a target.
Supremely confident regarding his safety, Walton is nevertheless executed by Golgo 13 after he fires a single shot from a helicopter which ricochets off of the waves created by the women frolicking in a pool, significantly changing the angle of the shot. If that weren't impressive enough, Golgo 13 immediately accomplishes a second, identical ricochet shot to take out Walton's henchman J.J., a Olympic medal sniper!
NEXT:10 Video Games That Should Become Anime Series Like Netflix's Castlevania
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Derek's been a pop culture nut since he was a wee lad. When it's time to yell "Get off my lawn," he'll probably do it with Cloud's buster sword in hand. In the meantime, Derek loves contributing to both ScreenRant and TheGamer, so make sure to check out his stuff!
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Posted: at 6:14 pm
A cruise was never on the vacation list for Tracy and Jim Corbran of Tonawanda. Jim didnt like the idea of being out in the ocean. (I can be on a river, but not in the water where I cant see land, he said.) Tracy wasnt interested in relaxing by a pool or other traditional cruise activities.
But when the Corbrans, who are classic movie fans and members of the Turner Classic Movie fan club Backlot, heard friends rave about the TCM cruise, their interest was piqued. As they learned more about it five days of classic movie screenings, celebrities and all things TCM the cruise proved irresistible.
The idea of TCM made a cruise interesting. Our friends made it sound wonderful and it was, said Tracy Corbran, who added she enjoyed the leisurely pace of the cruise and the chance to participate in multiple classic movie activities.
The Corbrans were two of more than 1,500 passengers on the recent TCM Classic Cruise on the Disney Magic that sailed from New York City to Bermuda. Movies were shown on multiple big screens (with free popcorn) from early morning to late at night; TCM hosts and celebrity guests with ties to classic Hollywood talked at screenings and other events. Movie-themed trivia, bingo, dancing and a costume party were held. Traditional cruise activities and shore excursions were offered, too.
It was the seventh TCM cruise and the seventh sellout. Rooms were gone so fast, in fact, that the 2020 cruise will sail on the larger Disney Fantasy to accommodate demand.
The TCM Classic Cruise has proven to be one of our most beloved fan experiences, and due to unprecedented consumer demand, Im proud well be offering fans this engaging and immersive film event once again in 2020, said Genevieve McGillicuddy, vice president of enterprises and strategic partnerships. Joining forces again with Disney on an even larger ship allows more fans to come aboard for six entertaining nights at sea with TCM.
Jim and Tracy Corbran show off the Disney Cruise Line mugs they won in a trivia contest on the TCM Classic Cruise. (Toni Ruberto/Buffalo News)
The TCM cruise is one of hundreds of specialty or themed cruises that are a growing segment of the cruise industry. The allure? An immersive experience with like-minded people on just about any topic including music (The Outlaw Country Cruise), astronomy (a space-themed cruise for World Space Week on the Queen Mary 2), comedy (The Impractical Jokers), wrestling (Chris Jerichos Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea) and television (The Walking Dead).
Humberto Martinez of Miami has taken multiple traditional cruises, but the TCM cruises are his favorites. For those who love the Turner Classic Movies channel or movie classics in general, these cruises offer a unique atmosphere and experience, said Martinez, who has attended three TCM cruises with his wife, Consuelo. Not only does one get to meet, chat and mingle with the TCM hosts, but one gets to meet new and old friends who share the same passion for movies and share experiences and plan future meetings and cruises.
Anthony Diaz, CEO of Sixthman, an industry leader in themed cruises, understands the appeal of the shared experience.
Whether its a genre of music like big iconic pop star like Kesha or blues rock with Joe Bonamassa, people love coming together when they share a passion, Diaz said. While that proves itself with music, it has expanded into film with TCM and other areas like the Impractical Jokers. Were even doing a cruise with Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium.
Its neat to see this notion that when you bring people together who are passionate about something and give them opportunity to vacation with heroes something really special happens. The artists want to come back and the guests come back and they bring friends, Diaz said, adding that about 60% of guests on Sixthman cruises return, often bringing friends with them.
Fans packed onto the deck of the recent Chris Jericho Rock N' Wrestling Rager at Sea to watch an AEW match. The specialty cruise also included celebrity appearances and fan experiences. (Photo by @WillByington)
Though fan-based cruises are usually booked through companies like Sixthman and Entertainment Cruise Productions, AAA Western and Central New York can help with other themed cruises. Elizabeth Carey and Brian Murray, hosts of WECK Radio's AAA Talking Travel show, are hosting a Bermuda cruise in October that features such events as a WECK cocktail party.
Were finding people are becoming more adventurous and not doing traditional cruises, said AAA travel consultant Renee Pilley of the Williamsville office. She said she has worked with customers on such specialty cruises as Mardi Gras-themed and Disney trips including Halloween on the High Seas and a day at sea with Star Wars and Marvel. Food and drink specialty cruises are very popular, too.
People come in for anything to do with food, said Pilley, who recently booked a wine cruise called Taste of Bordeaux for customers who are especially fond of the wine from the region. The fact that it is hosted by Travel Channels Samantha Brown as part of her Places to Love series is a bonus.
Everyone knows her, everyone loves her. Samantha Brown is a travel celebrity, and everyone wishes they could have her job, Pilley said.
Janice Mergenhagen poses with her "Star Trek" bears near a "Spock" statue on a "Star Trek" cruise. (Photo courtesy Larry Tetewsky)
Like a pop-culture convention on a ship
Kenmore residents Janice Mergenhagen and Larry Tetewsky have gone on nearly 20 cruises. Frequent attendees of pop-culture conventions, they quickly learned a themed cruise gave them the ultimate fan experience.
They have just taken their fifth specialty cruise, the sold-out, seven-day Star Trek cruise on Royal Caribbeans Explorer of the Seas, which featured more than 30 guests including such Star Trek luminaries as Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan and yes, William Shatner.
We were very surprised at how accessible everyone was, Mergenhagen recalled of their first Star Trek cruise.
It was like a convention on a ship, Tetewsky added. Without a doubt, it is the best Star Trek convention you will go to.
While a traditional convention may have up to 20,000 people seeing 20 or so celebrity guests, cruises are generally limited to 2,000 to 4,000 people often with the same number of stars.
You will see them everywhere on the ship and they will talk to you, Tetewsky said about celebrity guests. Youre also sharing the cruise with a base of like-minded fans, so youll never run out of people to talk to.
Classic movie fans had the chance to sit and chat with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz throughout the 2019 TCM Classic Cruise. (Toni Ruberto/Buffalo News)
Jim Corbran had a similar experience on the TCM cruise, especially when it came to the networks hosts Ben Mankiewicz, Dave Karger, Alicia Malone and Eddie Mueller who mingled with fans throughout the ship when they werent doing presentations.
The experience, Corbran said, made it feel like you know them.
AAA of Western and Central New York: Visit westerncentralny.aaa.com for details on all cruises.
Sixthman: It started with Rock Boat concerts, now in their 20th year. Since then, Sixthman has hosted themed cruises in music, movies and more. For details on future cruises, visit sixthman.net.
Entertainment Cruise Productions: Since 2001, ECP has hosted more than 80 theme cruises from "Star Trek" to its Jazz Cruise, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020. Visit ecpcruises.com.
TCM Classic Cruise: Fan demand led to TCM's next cruise being booked on a larger ship, the Disney Fantasy. The six-night Western Caribbean cruise is from Oct. 4 to 10. Visit tcmcruise.com.
Posted: at 6:14 pm
Franklin Roosevelt on December 8, 1941
Thats the sentiment that my friend John U. Bacon, best-selling author and sports historian, expressed in a recentcommentaryfor Michigan Radio. Bacon was referencing advice from the University of Michigans former sports information director, Bruce Madej, who said,First, lets start with the truth.While the advice is simple it is often ignored, and it leads to a failure of integrity.
Being honest about wrongdoing requires courage. The reason that organizations, large and small, for-profit and non-profit, get into trouble is that too often when a crisis strikes, the instinct is to protect the institution before addressing the harm done to its victims.
There is another aspect of honesty. Tell people what they need to hear. During a crisis, people are upset; they seek reassurance. A leader who delivers the truth and does so calmly and confidently gives people a reason to believe that the right people are in charge and will do what they can to improve the situation. At the same time, honesty dictates being straight with people. Just because they seek comfort does not mean you dispense bromides like everything will be better, trust me. No, be brutally honest.
A history lesson
A classic example of brutal honesty was Franklin Rooseveltsaddress to Congressand the nation on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese navys attack on Pearl Harbor. While we remember his comments as the Day of Infamy Speech, we forget the tenor and tone of his voice. It was firm and resolute. After excoriating the aggression, Roosevelt did not pull any punches. Although he did not reveal the full damage done to the U.S. Navy, but he did not sugarcoat the losses.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Then, Roosevelt asserted his leadership and his faith in our military.
As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.
Roosevelt lastly turned to what had happened on this day of infamy into a righteous cause for all Americans.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
In the novel,The Kite Runner,the author Khaled Hosseini, writes, When you tell a lie, you steal someones elses right to the truth.
Honesty raises a cause to righteousness. Dishonesty taints not only the leader but also erodes faith in the institution. When people lose confidence in their leader, they also turn away from that institution. By contrast, as Roosevelt did, when people believe in their leader, they join with him to put things right.
Better then to face an ugly reality immediately than to have it rot. Be honest.
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