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Tom Cruise, Elon Musk, Joining Forces to Make First Feature Film Shot in Space



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It’s widely agreed that actor Tom Cruise is one of the most devoted action filmmakers of our time, performing his own death-defying stunts and consistently pushing the envelope on what is possible. Now it seems he is trying to outdo himself again, as it’s been reported that Cruise is partnering with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA to shoot the first feature-length film in space.

Very little is known about the project at this point, except that it won’t be part of the Mission: Impossible franchise and that Cruise is still actively shopping it around to different studios, presumably ones that can afford what will almost surely be an astronomical production budget.

On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed the news with a tweet.

The challenges of surviving in space–much less making a film there–are daunting. First, of course, you must get into space; overcoming gravity is an exceedingly expensive task. Once there, Cruise and his team of filmmakers will be at risk from space debris (made so viscerally famous in the movie Gravity) as well as the threat of cancer, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s from space radiation.

One of the most daunting risks is the physical rigor of working in zero gravity, which includes the rapid loss of muscle tone and the destruction of immune cells and red blood cells, which is, among other things, bad for the heart.

Then you must produce breathable oxygen and collect and recycle wastewater. Astronauts on the International Space Station, for example, distill their urine to collect 85% of its water.

Anyone on the crew or cast would have to train for two years just to be prepared for zero-gravity. Reportedly, Cruise is already training to use the bathroom in space.

But if there’s any actor primed psychologically and physically for such hardship, it is Cruise, who in recent years has severely injured himself several times and risked his life on stunts so incredible they’re hard to watch without cringing. This includes Cruise free-falling 2,000 feet and hanging on to the side of an aircraft as it lifted off.

Some of his stunts were so dangerous that his stunt coordinator initially refused to sign off on them.

According to Deadline, “There has never been a leading man (Jackie Chan might dispute this) who puts himself at risk as often as does Cruise, in the name of the most realistic action sequences possible. If he is successful shooting a project in Musk’s space ship, he will be alone in the Hollywood record books.”

The newest gambit for Cruise would make Hollywood history…but is it possible? The logistics of filming a feature-length film in space are immensely complicated, to say the least. But if there’s any entrepreneur primed for such a challenge, it’s Elon Musk, whose bold though eccentrically futuristic visions–for everything from electric cars and underground transportation tunnels to creating a private sector analog to NASA and eventually colonizing Mars–have few modern rivals.

While there have been science documentaries shot in space–such as the 2016 “A Beautiful Planet,” which was filmed onboard the International Space Station (ISS)–Cruise, Musk, and NASA would be pulling off a first.

At least one former NASA astronaut, Marsha Ivins, a veteran of five space missions, says it’s simply not possible.

“As long as NASA has purview over the space missions, I can pretty much tell you the answer is going to be no. Because that’s not what NASA’s funded space program is about. It’s about science.”

The cost of transportation and insurance alone would make it extremely difficult.

“Just the mere fact of getting that much equipment and people up into space would be cost-prohibitive in my mind,” said producer Dylan Reiff, who specializes in negotiating insurance plans for films. “They’d have to just bring the director and the [director of photography] and the talent they were filming.”

But is it possible? With the minds, will power, and combined resources of Tom Cruise, Elon Musk, and NASA on the table, who’s to say this won’t turn into both a financial boon and an iconic preamble for the new space age?

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FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House



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Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.

But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?

Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.

The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.

The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.

According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building setfocuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.

Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimesinclude assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”

An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”

Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”

However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.

The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.

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Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm



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If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.

What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.

Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.

But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.

The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.

“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.

“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”

Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.

“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.

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Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change



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Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.

However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.

The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.

“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”

“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.

Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.” 

“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.

Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.

On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.

“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.

However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.

“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.

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