This 800-page Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie hardcover book shows the space opera like you’ve never seen before, and it’s being offered for just $149.98 shipped, today only, originally $250. In addition to designing Darth Vader, C-3PO, and R2-D2, McQuarrie created hundreds of pieces of unique Star Wars artwork, including conceptual paintings, costume designs, storyboards, matte paintings, posters, book covers, album covers, and even Lucasfilm’s annual holiday cards, which have all been re-scanned for this book.Product page. Read more for a video comparing Ralph McQuarrie’s art to the actual Star Wars films and additional pictures from the book.
Photo credit: Terry Gates / Gizmodo
Galagadon, a freshwater shark from the Cretaceous Period, is related to a group called carpet sharks found in Indo-Pacific seas today, and measured 1-2 feet in length, with teeth the size of a sand grain, about four-hundredths of an inch (1 millimeter). However, these teeth are shaped just like the spaceships found in the 1981 Japanese arcade game Galaga, which is the sequel to 1979’s Galaxian. Read more for an artist’s depiction of an actual Galagadon shark.
Photo credit: Seth Gould via Twisted Sifter
Coffer appears to be a normal chest at first, but this amazing project by metal-smith Seth Gould took 2 years to complete, and is actually a puzzle box made entirely from wrought iron, pure iron, steel and brass. What makes it even more amazing is that all the parts, screws and springs included, were handmade. The forging was done using a coal forge, hammer, anvil, and power hammer. Once the pieces are close to their finished shape, they were moved to the bench to refine the surface and then shaped with a file. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Ever wonder what it would be like to stand on Saturn’s ring system? If so, this video should provide some insight, thanks to data gathered by the Cassini-Huygens mission. For those who don’t know, this mission was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites. It’s been active in space for nearly 20-years, with 13-years spent orbiting Saturn, studying the planet and its system after entering orbit on July 1, 2004. Read more for another video and additional information.
Avi Loeb, chairman of Harvard University’s Astronomy Department and friend of late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, claims that the mysterious interstellar object Oumuamua is actually a spaceship sent be extraterrestrials, and it uses a solar sail for propulsion. “The Spitzer Space Telescope found no evidence of heat emission from the object, and that means that it is at least 10 times more reflective than a typical comet or asteroid. What we have, then, is a thin, flat, shiny object. So I arrived at the idea of a solar sail: A solar sail is a spaceship that uses the sun for propulsion. Instead of using fuel, it is propelled ahead by reflecting light. In fact, it’s a technology that our civilization is developing at this very time,” said Loeb. Read more for a video giving ten reasons why Oumuamua will blow your mind.
The Munsters fans rejoice! Stern Pinball, Inc. announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines celebrating the iconic American TV sitcom. Featuring Herman, Raven, Lily, Spot and Grandpa, players will be transported to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, joining the entire family on this haunted pinball adventure. It will be available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (above) models, all with stunning and distinctive hand-drawn art. The Limited Edition – only 500 units available worldwide – includes additional unique features such as an exclusive mirrored backglass, anti-reflection pinball glass, shaker motor, exclusive custom art blades, a custom autographed bottom arch, a sequentially numbered plaque, and exclusive custom casket-themed cabinet artwork. Read more for pictures of the Pro and Premium models as well as additional information.
Google’s annual Doodle4Google contest has begun and kids have until March 18 to submit their Google Doodle for consideration, with the this year’s theme of “When I grow up, I hope…” being revealed by Kermit the Frog on The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon. Students K through grade 12 who want to participate in the 11th annual Doodle for Google competition have to either live in one of the 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico or Guam to be eligible to participate. The only rule being that the artwork represent the Google logo, fits with the theme, and be submitted within the 10-week window of entry. Read more for the Jimmy Fallon segment and additional information on how to sign up.
Yes, the 2019 Awesome Games Done Quick event is underway, and for those who have never heard of it, it’s basically a series of video game marathons, where players perform speedruns for a live audience with thousands watching live on Twitch. This year, it takes place at the Rockville Hotel in Washington D.C. and proceeds benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation. In 2018, the event raised $2,295,191 for the foundation, and so far, ADGQ has raised more than $9 million. Read more for the livestream and additional information.
Artificial intelligence solves problems in a fundamentally different way to regular programming, since for the later, you actually code a program by writing specific instructions for every situation that it might encounter. Now for AI, you first create a generic program that can learn, and then train it, no extra information or research needed. To accomplish this task, you make a program that can learn, otherwise known as a neural network. It’s a technique for building computer programs that is loosely based on the way we think the human brain works, and it’s perfect for mastering simple games like Flappy Bird. Read more to for another AI teaching itself to play a Flappy Bird-like game.
Photo credit: George Varouhakis
Researchers have spotted massive jets of water vapor streaming away from a protostar in the Cat’s Paw Nebula, the star-forming region located approximately 5500 light-years from Earth. The observations were made by a team from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory using the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), a collection of radio telescopes in Chile, owned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The jets are a result of star formation, and as it begins to coalesce out of massive clouds of dust and gas, most of the material surrounding it is pulled towards the mass at the center, but some is propelled away from the growing protostar as a pair of jets. Read more for a video and additional information.