September 15, 2019

NASA astronauts are preparing for the Moon in a big water tank

NASA astronaut candidates have to meet a long list of criteria before the space agency decides they're fit to carry out important duties in space. When astronauts return to the Moon in the near future, they'll be met with challenges that few space travelers have ever endured, and NASA wants to make sure they're ready for life on another world. In a new blog post, NASA highlights one of the tools at its disposal for preparing future Moon explorers: the Neutral Buoyancy Lab located at the Johnson Space Center. In a massive water tank, astronauts experience simulated low-gravity, and they wear much more than your average swimmer. When it comes to simulating low gravity here on Earth, our options are very much limited. NASA's massive water lab is about as good as it gets, and while it's not exactly a one-to-one simulation of the Moon's low-gravity environment, it's close enough that astronauts get a good idea of what challenges await them when they arrive on the lunar surface. NASA explains:
NASA astronauts wear weighted vests and backpacks to simulate walking on the Moon, which has one-sixth the gravity of Earth.  Astronauts Drew Feustel and Don Pettit are among those training in the massive pool, which is used primarily to train astronauts for spacewalks aboard the International Space Station.
As you can see from the image, an entire team of divers aids in the simulated exercises, and the astronaut is equipped with boots and gloves that match closely with what they'll be wearing during Moonwalks. NASA is currently expecting to have crewed missions ready for travel to the Moon as soon as 2024. The mission's launch date, which was mandated by the Trump administration, shortened the timeline for a return to the Moon dramatically, and there are still plenty of experts who believe NASA will fall short of the goal and have to push things back a bit. In any case, the astronauts chosen for the missions will be ready for the Moon whenever the rockets are ready to fly.
September 15, 2019

Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Sep. 15)

This is undoubtedly one of my most anticipated weeks of new releases on Netflix this entire year. The reason? One of my favorite Netflix originals, Disenchantment, is returning with new episodes. I've talked about the show before, but it is so much more than just The Simpsons or Futurama in the middle ages. It has a strong narrative thread, and I'm actually stoked to see where the story goes after the first part's cliffhanger. Other highlights this week include Between Two Ferns: The Movie, which should be just as insane as the web series, and Criminal, which countless true crime junkies will inevitably binge the second it drops. Here is the complete list of the Netflix streaming arrivals and departures for the week of September 15th, 2019:


Sunday, September 15th

  • Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Steal a Pencil for Me
  • Surviving R. Kelly: Season 1

Tuesday, September 17th

Wednesday, September 18th

  • Come and Find Me

Thursday, September 19th

  • Océans

Friday, September 20th

Saturday, September 21st

  • Sarah’s Key


Sunday, September 15th

  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Series 1-3

Monday, September 16th

  • Super Genius: Season 1
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D

Friday, September 20th

  • Carol
We’ll be back next week with another roundup of all the new shows, movies, and specials arriving and departing from Netflix. In the meantime, check out everything coming and going from Netflix in September, plus a full calendar of release dates for all of Netflix’s originals movies and shows.
September 15, 2019

‘Gears 5’ will add new modes and maps in its first six months

Now that Gears 5 is out the door, The Coalition and Microsoft are ready to preview what's next. They've outlined what you can expect in the first six months, and there shouldn't be a shortage of new material. The initial season ("Operation" in Gear...
September 15, 2019

Hulu’s ‘Castle Rock’ season 2 teaser shows the origins of ‘Misery’

Hulu is at last ready to offer a glimpse at Castle Rock's second season, and it's evident this won't be the feel-good hit of the year. A newly posted teaser for the Stephen King-based anthology focuses on the arrival of a younger version of Misery v...
September 14, 2019

MIT scientists just created the blackest black ever

When it comes to paint, not all shades of black are the same. You can pick up a can of flat black spray paint at the hardware store and it'll do a pretty good job of absorbing light, but if you really want the blackest possible black you have to enter the high-tech world of carbon nanotubes. For years, scientists have been experimenting with tiny carbon structures that, when arranged in the right way, can absorb an incredible amount of light. Now, researchers from MIT have developed a new material that captures an incredible 99.995% of all incoming light, making it the blackest black on the planet. In a new paper published in ACS-Applied Materials and Interfaces, the MIT research team explains that while they appear to have created the blackest material ever, they weren't even really trying to do so. The team's work was focused on growing carbon nanotubes on aluminum, which can prove difficult due to the way aluminum reacts when exposed to air. By using salt to break down a pesky layer of oxidation on the aluminum's surface, the team achieved their goal, and it was then that they noticed how black the aluminum became when it was covered in the tiny nanotubes. "I remember noticing how black it was before growing carbon nanotubes on it, and then after growth, it looked even darker," Kehang Cui, co-author of the work, said in a statement. "So I thought I should measure the optical reflectance of the sample." Upon measuring the material's ability to reflect light they realized they had stumbled onto something extraordinary, and it surpasses all other super black materials created in recent years. Vantablack, a coating that also uses carbon nanotubes attached to thin layers of material like aluminum, absorbs around 99.96% of incoming light. Looking forward, the researchers expect this record to be broken sooner rather than later, calling it "a constantly moving target." Nevertheless, it's an impressive achievement from a team of scientists who didn't even mean to achieve it.
September 14, 2019

9 new trailers you need to watch: Doctor Sleep, Midway, Last Christmas, and more

It Chapter Two made less than $100 million at the box office, below estimates, but well above anything else playing right now in cinemas. Coming to contest it this weekend, however, is Hustlers, a movie based on the real-life story of a gang of strippers who took from the rich, like Robin Hood, to paraphrase the original article this film is based on, and gave to themselves… so maybe not exactly like Robin Hood. The Goldfinch should also be on your radar, a drama starring Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman. If for some reason you’re staying in this weekend, then there’s a great new Netflix TV series that’s quite easy to binge, The Spy, starring Sacha Baron Cohen in a role unlike anything you've ever seen him in.


“What if an app could tell you how long before you die?” That’s the premise of Countdown. What if the app tells you that you only have like two days left? The thriller launches on October 25th, just in time for Halloween.

Doctor Sleep

Even more horrific than that might be Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, which premieres on November 8th. It’s the story of the now-adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor), who meets a girl with similar powers.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

This one shouldn’t need any introductions. It’s the Breaking Bad movie you may have wanted all these years. It’s going to be available on Netflix come October 11th, so here’s a refresher of the story so far:


One of World War II’s pivotal battles in the Pacific was Midway. That’s what this movie is about, the battle that largely changed the tide of the war after Pearl Harbor. The war movie is also out on November 8th, starring Like Evans, Patrick Wilson, Alexander Ludwig, Mandy Moor, Dennis Quaid, and Woody Harrelson.

Last Christmas

You know what comes after Halloween, right? That’s right, the holidays, which will inevitably bring a bunch of new Christmas-themed movies. Last Christmas is one of them, starring Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson as mom and daughter, with the latter having a Russian?-like accent. The movie is a rom-com, of course, with Clarke’s character Kate falling in love with Henry Golding’s Tom over Christmas.

Like a Boss

After the holidays, you’re going to need something light, like Paramount’s Like a Boss, coming out on January 10th. Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish play two old friends whose beauty company takes off after a massive investment. But will their friendship survive? (Of course, it will, it’s a comedy!)

Little Monsters

A Hulu original, Little Monsters is a La Vita E Bella kind of movie. But instead of nazis, you have zombies. And that’s really all you need to know about it. Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad star in this one.

Queen and Slim

We saw a bunch of Queen and Slim clips in the past few weeks, but this is the latest trailer for the drama. A couple on their first date get pulled over and kill a cop in self-defense. This changes everything for them, effectively becoming the black Bonnie & Clyde. Well, without all the bank robbing.


Finally, Radioactive is a collaboration between StudioCanal and Amazon, a biographical drama telling the real-life story of Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike) and Pierre Curie (Sam Railey), the pair of renowned scientists who discovered radioactivity.
September 14, 2019

Sling TV now works in Apple’s Safari browser

You can now stream both live and on-demand Sling TV content within Apple's Safari browser for desktop. The Dish-owned over-the-top internet TV service already supports Chrome and Edge, but this additional feature means you don't have to use its Mac a...
September 14, 2019

The creators of ‘Silicon Valley’ are making a origin series

The co-creators of Silicon Valley are developing a series on the origins of, according to Variety. John Altschuler and David Krinsky are reportedly adapting a book entitled The Players Ball: A Genius, a Con Man, and the Secret Histor...
September 13, 2019

If you refuse to cut the cord, these $50 wired Sony earbuds with extra bass are down to $29.99

Bluetooth headphones are the new norm, of course, but not everyone wants to cut the cord and there’s nothing wrong with that. Wireless models are definitely more convenient, but only until the battery dies because you forgot to charge them. If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality earbuds that still have a cord, check out the Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds on Amazon — especially while they’re on sale for $29.99 instead of $50!

Here’s some important info from the product page:

  • 12mm dome type driver units deliver powerful deep bass. Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Integrated microphone and smartphone playback control
  • Hybrid silicone earbuds for secure, comfortable fit
  • High-energy neodymium magnets for powerful sound
  • Tangle-free, Y-type flat cord with slider. Capacity - 100 mW.Diaphragm:PET
  • Lightweight for ultimate music mobility. 0.47 in neodymium drivers for powerful, balanced sound
September 12, 2019

Apple put a hilarious Easter egg in its iPhone 11 event roundup video

Apple unveiled quite a few products earlier this week during its iPhone 11 event -- not just the new iPhones we’ve all been waiting to see. We learned the pricing structure for Apple’s new services, we got a new Apple Watch as well as trio of health studies, and a brand new affordable iPad that’s even bigger than the old one. And then there were the three new phones, including the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, and all their special features that needed a proper introduction. The event was rather long, and we covered all the announcements coming from Tim Cook and company as it happened. But if you want to relive it, Apple created a whimsical two-minute clip of the entire press conference and introduced a hilarious Easter egg in it. The video recap doesn’t present all of Apple’s announcements in chronological order, but that’s not really the point. What you should be looking for is a frame that depicts what looks like a blue screen of death, which is, of course, an iconic marker for Windows PC errors. And that frame comes in just as the narrator reminds you that the new 10.2-inch iPad is two times faster than the best-selling PC. If you do catch that error while the video is playing at regular speed, you won’t see its contents, but the blue might put a smile on your face as it’s timed to perfection. But if you do stop the clip to try to catch that image, this is what you end up seeing — trust me, it gets blue real fast, but I tried to catch a screenshot of it as early on as possible: “Error 09102019,” the error message reads. “This is just a thought. But it might be nice to have some sort of easter egg message in here for the hard core Apple fans that will stop the video.” Fans have indeed deciphered the string of numbers in binary that appears after the text, and this is what they got (via PhoneArena):
So you took the time to translate this? We love you.
Now we’ll be looking for more Easter eggs in every future Apple video. You can check out the entire video below: