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Posted by Amy Shira Teitel

An asteroid passed 745,000 miles from the Earth this past Monday, but the most interesting thing about its passing was its tiny moon.

The passing asteroid is called 2004 BL86, and we knew it was coming. Astronomers have been tracking its trajectory and knew that this pass would be its closest to the Earth for the next two centuries. So astronomers working at NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, were ready.

What they found in radar images is that BL86, which is only about 1,100 feet across, has a very small moon about 230 feet across that’s been traveling through space with it. The pair were captured in 20 individual images that NASA stitched together into a movie.

AsteroidMoonThis GIF shows asteroid 2004 BL86, which safely flew past Earth on Jan. 26, 2015.

It’s actually not that rare for asteroids to have companion bodies. In the population of known near-Earth asteroids, about 16 percent are like BL86 — larger than 655 feet across and part of a pair or binary system. Some are even known to have two moons.

For the moment, this recent pass by BL86 is the closest an asteroid will come to the Earth until the asteroid1999 AN10 flies past us in 2027. But there are more asteroids out there that we don’t know about that we should want to find. If one looks like it’s going to come uncomfortably close to our planet, we’re going to need time to Armageddon that thing.

There are a few ways to deflect an asteroid so it doesn’t hit the Earth and wipe out humanity, though nuking it and turning it into more rocks isn’t the best one. A solar sail could use concentrated solar energy to nudge an asteroid’s path just enough for it to miss hitting the Earth. Spacecraft with mirrors aiming light onto the asteroid, and also painting one white are two other possible ways to use solar energy to deflect an asteroid. Some scientists have considered attaching ballast to an asteroid, changing its center of gravity and thus its orbit. Zapping an asteroid with lasers could break pieces off of it, changing its trajectory just enough to make it miss the Earth.

There are a lot of interesting ways to deflect asteroids out there. Because while it’s fascinating to find an asteroid with a moon, it’s better to find an asteroid with a moon knowing it’s not going to impact the Earth.

IMAGES: NASA/JPL

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Webcomic creator Madeleine Flores tells CBR about expanding her gag-based comic into a full-on story as BOOM! Studios brings the project to print.

Brandon Tenold: I Drink Your Blood

Jan. 30th, 2015 09:00 pm
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Posted by Brandon_Tenold

I take on the notorious exploitation movie “I Drink Your Blood”, which deals with one of the biggest threats to America today: rabid hippies! Support the show on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/BrandonTenold

MikeJ: Responding to YouTube Comments

Jan. 30th, 2015 08:57 pm
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Posted by mikej

Some people certainly have a lot to say, and the YouTube comments section is no different! Let’s take a look at some of the interesting stuff people say and how they can be responded to. Music by http://incompetech.com/
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Posted by Rocked

After their performance at MAGFest13, the men behind the supremacy talk about touring, writing, crazy fans, and how they can do everything better than YOU! You can see my live photos of MaSu at MAGFest13 by clicking here!
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Posted by MasakoX

Welcome to Googledegook! The show where I mangle popular lyrics and words with the power of Google Translate. What have I messed up today? You’ll see but be careful, I’m going to give birth!
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Posted by Vangelus

The companion piece to Predanaut Fang in his promo photography is the military sword-swinging Mechanaut Soldier. Is he up to par and able to survive against his predatory foe?
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Posted by Rap Critic

Catch up with our “New Years” Podcast, where we talk about the grammies, YG and DJ Mustard’s beef, Eminem’s “reveal” in the Interview, and Joel Ortiz’s House Slippers.
[syndicated profile] nerdist_feed

Posted by Jessica Chobot

I am a MASSIVE video game horror fan. My first foray into the genre was an old PC game called Seventh Guest. You play in first-person as “Ego” and explore the haunted mansion of Henry Stauf, a drifter and murderer who gains success as a doll maker and then retreats into his creepy mansion under mysterious circumstances.

Choblog_7thGuest

This game absolutely terrified me. Until I started playing Doom, which messed with me even more.

Doom was my first shooter experience, as well as the first time I came across such blatant Satanism and gore on a computer monitor. I had to get my Satanic Nazi hunting in on the sly, because I knew I would be in serious trouble if my mother discovered how many afternoons I was dedicating to over-the-top violence. Like with any good horror movie, I both loved and hated Doom all at the same time. I was scared out of my wits over what I was witnessing on screen, nervous about getting caught by my parents, and thrilled with how much the game freaked me out.

The next horror title that really stoked my fire was Konami’s Silent Hill. My love for Silent Hill was overshadowed only by my obsession for Silent Hill 2 (a title I still place within my personal Top Games of All Time list). In fact, I was so engrossed by the Silent Hill mythos I soaked up as as much info on it as I could, scouring both official and non-official posts with theories on where Silent Hill was actually located (this was before Konami came out with any official comment) and how each of the different Silent Hills were tied together.

To this day, if a particular game title captures my attention enough, I usually go above and beyond to find out more about what lies at the center of the game play and storyline. The creepier, the better! I’ve got a few faves that I’ve searched for and read about over the years and now, I share that list with you:

ChoBlog_SilentHillCollection

Silent Hill: Depending on your Google search, Silent Hill’s actual location is given as a town within West Virginia  (the movie) to Maine to Pennsylvania. The official word is that Silent Hill is a fictional town and doesn’t technically live in any one place (or one mind). Interesting Fact: Silent Hills (P.T.) is going to RRRRRAAAAWWWWWKKK!!!!! I hope.

Choblog_MiyakeIsland

Tomb Raider (2013): Although not really “horror” per se, the newest installment to the Tomb Raider franchise takes place on Yamatai island, an island believed to be located within the Dragon’s Triangle. The Dragon’s Triangle (also known as The Devil’s Sea) is the Asian version of the Bermuda triangle. Located off of Japan’s East coast, the Dragon’s Triangle has been accused of swallowing up boats, planes and the humans aboard with no trace. Interesting fact: Miyake Island (one of the islands within the Dragon’s Triangle vicinity) requires its citizens to carry a gas mask with them AT ALL TIMES. The island is at constant risk of volcanic activity and alarms go off regularly depending upon the amount of sulfur within the air.

Choblog_FatalFrame

Fatal Frame: Rumored to be based on the Himuro Mansion murders. The Himuro Mansion itself is a bit of a Japanese urban legend. Located “somewhere outside of Tokyo,” it is said to be the location of a variety of gruesome and cruel murders revolving around an ancient Shinto ritual known as “The Strangling Ritual.” However, the producer of the series said the game’s storyline was based on a variety of Japanese ghost stories and legends and did not mention Himuro Mansion specifically. This, combined with the fact that I wasn’t able to come across any research regarding the Himuro Mansion murders directly that did not reference the Fatal Frame game as the source of its article, leads me to believe that this urban myth is one designed by Tecmo’s PR company. Still.. you never know. I’ve seen weirder things come out of Japan revolving around death.

Choblog_NorthBrotherIsland

DAYLIGHT: (Full disclosure – this is the title I worked on with Zombie Studios.) We based our story’s location on North Brother Island, found  just off of New York City. Located on the island was Riverside Hospital, a smallpox treatment and recovery center. In addition to the creepy isolation of the hospital itself, there was the General Slocum disaster which led to a death toll of over 1,000 people (many women and children) either by burning to death or drowning before the Slocum crashed up onto North Brother Island’s shores. Interesting Fact: After infecting countless people, Typhoid Mary was sent and confined to reside at Riverside Hospital for two decades until her death in 1938.

Choblog_Chernobyl

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl: Chernobyl is not exactly a secret to anyone: a once idyllic city in the Ukraine that was evacuated in an instant when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant went AWOL. The area is still uninhabitable (although a few elderly people have refused to move), however there are occasional day time tours for the curious.

What are some of your favorite horror games? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @JessicaChobot!

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How did the Living Laser's appearance in an issue of "Quasar" result in a defining moment for an X-Men "What If...?" tale?

skyline of the day

Jan. 30th, 2015 08:22 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
skyline of the day

I didn't manage a walk yesterday. I wanted one. I needed one, but it just didn't fit into the day. On the other hand, by 6:30am I had completed my work for the month, which was a GIGANTIC relief, and I got to mother's early, so there was plenty of time to do stuff. And plenty of time to watch the snow accumulate. We went to arrange the funeral in the afternoon, and my goodness is that an expensive business. There were no difficult decisions, though; we were of a mind and quite clear what was consistent with my father's wishes and tastes.

Abrinsky and I had been looking forward to an architecture gig in Milton Keynes, but sadly we were both too shattered to do anything beyond having tea and crawling into bed.

Today we've both had a day off from everything , and that means we had opportunity to go for a walk and, in my case, to focus on napping. Tomorrow we're trying for some real life with a plan to visit Birmingham and join the wake for Birmingham Central Library...
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Posted by Kyle Anderson

Anybody who thinks maybe things would lighten up in Westeros following kings dying, champions getting their eyes gouged out, condemned men committing patricide, and trolls attacking walls needs to realize what the hell show you’re watching. Nothing good seems to be happening in the immediate future of Game of Thrones and that’s exactly the way we like it. (Sidebar: What if King Robert never died? What a boring show it would have been.) With the two final episodes of Season 4 showing on IMAX screens as we speak (I mean, generally; I don’t know what time of day you’re reading this), we also finally(!) have a trailer for Season 5 to go along with it, showing in the cinemas.

The two-ish minute trailer is suitably cinematic and shows little flashes of things we knew were on the horizon, like Oberyn Martell’s understandably pissed-off daughter, armies marching, and Lord Baelish being conniving. Cersei is still not a fan of her little brother, especially now that he’s up and knocked off their dad while sitting on the crapper, and he’s off in a box and having a beard. Jon Snow continues his sojourn into the North against the White Walkers and we get a tantalizingly short look at universal badass Arya Stark picking up her needle sword. And the fact that there’s a creepy-slow version of David Bowie’s “Heroes” playing in the background makes it all suitably legendary and tragic, something the show’s always done.

But the main thrust of the trailer, which seems to be the overall narrative, is that Varys is trying to convince Tyrion to help another ascend to the throne, someone beloved and with an army and a good family name. She may or may not also have dragons. The promise of Tyrion joining up with Daenerys Targaryn is almost too exciting to take.

The trailer is, as yet, not available through any official channels online, but that hasn’t stopped it from being uploaded unofficially. Watch here if you dare: 

Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres Sunday, April 12th on HBO. How much more excited are you about this season? Let us know in the comments below.

[HT: Complex]

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The big game is still two days away, but the Super Bowl promo for Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" is here now.
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"Constantine" dives deeper into its DC Comics toybox as an upcoming episode introduces Eclipso's black diamond to the series' mythology.
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David Cerone discusses John Constantine's smoking habit, his hopes to adapt "Dangerous Habits" and explore Fate's helmet in a second season.

I remarked on Tumblr

Jan. 30th, 2015 02:58 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
I've been watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and I keep having this dissonance over seeing people in 20s-style wardrobe openly drinking - publicly - even in front of police.

I keep having to remind myself that Australia didn't have Prohibition. And it makes me realize how, as an American, 20s costumes are inextricably linked in my mind with concealed flasks, speakeasies, and jokes about bathtub gin.

because it's been a while

Jan. 30th, 2015 02:54 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
How to remove bloodstains from almost any fabric:

1) Wet down the area with COLD water. (Always, always use cold water.)
2) Pour enough salt on the stain to make a thick paste. Scrub the paste into the stain with the tips of your fingers. Set aside.
3) Fill the sink/an appropriately sized tub with cold water. Pour in salt until the water hits saturation point. Hang the item so the stained part is dangling into the water.
4) After 3-4 hours, drain the sink/tub/etc and rinse the fabric, scrubbing it against itself or with the tips of your fingers. If the stain isn't entirely gone, you can usually get the rest of it with a mild soap and some scrubbing.

(This method gets the edges of the bloodstain, not just the center of the bloodstain: the salt denatures the proteins.)

Between

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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