“Mad Max: Fury Road” Gets Glorious New Trailer [Video]

OH WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY.

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

[Warner Bros. UK]

“The Mortal Instruments” to Become TV Series

ABC Family will soon be playing with instruments.

The Mortal Instruments, that is.

The teen-centric network has already ordered Shadowhunters for a full 13 episodes. Shadowhunters will be based on The Mortal Instruments young adult book series by Cassandra Clare.

Cassandra Clare, author of "The Mortal Instruments" series.

Cassandra Clare, author of “The Mortal Instruments” series.

Ed Decter of SyFy’s Helix is attached as showrunner and executive producer.

The show will start with 13 episodes and begin production in May. No word yet on casting.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Shadowhunters follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was made a feature film back in 2013, and while Screen Gems had hopes of another Hunger Games or Twilight-like franchise, the movie flopped, making only $31 million in the U.S.

"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" cast poster, 2013.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” cast poster, 2013.

CS Student Remakes HD Version of Super Mario 64’s First Level [Video]

Let’s-a-go!

This is a project built in Unity 3D, a recreation of Mario 64’s first level, Bob-Omb Battlefield. I originally built this to demonstrate the Super Character Controller, a custom character controller written for Unity, but I got a little carried away. The project is open source and can be downloaded by anybody and used for anything, outside of selling it. Mario, of course, belongs fully to Nintendo, and if you haven’t had the chance to play Mario 64 I’d put it somewhere on your to do list. The game is available on the Nintendo 64, as well as the Wii’s Virtual Console.

Download it here. Requires the Unity webplayer plugin installed.

[Erik Ross]

The ‘Mother Of All Demos’ Becomes Stage Show

thedemo

Arguably the greatest tech demonstration in history has become an operatic drama.

Avant-garde composers Mikel Rouse and Ben Neill have put together a “multimedia musical production” that will be performed at Stanford University tomorrow and on Wednesday. It’s based around a December 1968 presentation by Doug Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute.

As we noted after his death in 2013, the presentation later became known as “The Mother Of All Demos” as it became clearer and clearer just how visionary Engelbart had been. In the space of 100 minutes he gave the first public demonstrations of both the computer mouse (which he patented as “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System”) and video conferencing.

Engelbart was actually speaking from his computer lab 30 miles away from the conference venue. It’s only that fact that meant the presentation was recorded and is still viewable today.

In the same presentation he talked through numerous ideas that later became part of every day technology, including hypertext links, computer networking, interactive document editing and the type of graphical interface that we’d now recognize as Windows and the like.

Rouse and Neill have now put together a multimedia opera based on both Engelbart’s career and the demo itself. As well as clips of the original presentation, they have turned the text typed by Engelbart into operatic vocals. The event, simply titled “The Demo”, also includes reenactments of key moments from Engelbart’s life and original electronic music plus demonstrations of modern use of the technologies Engelbart predicted.

This Darth Vader Toaster Will Turn Your Bread to the Dark Side

vader2

From Thinkgeek:

Each Star Wars Toaster is molded in sturdy black plastic and meticulously detailed to look Darth Vader’s helmet (minus the very top bit). It makes an imposing addition to any kitchen counter. Pop in two pieces of bread, frozen pancakes, hamburger buns, Alderaan muffins, or whatever, and in moments Vader ejects them with “Star Wars” toasted onto one side. Like your toast on the darker side? A handy dial provides temperature adjustment. With the imposing presence of Darth Vader, the Star Wars Toaster will help eaters start their day feeling ready to take over the planet, and anything else that might get in their way.

vader1

[Darth Vader Toaster]

Fossils of Massive Prehistoric Salamander Found in Portugal

A not-so-adorable salamander-like amphibian ruled the shores during the Late Triassic Period.

The Metoposaurus algarvensis was “as long as a small car and had hundreds of sharp teeth in its big flat head, which kind of looks like a toilet seat when the jaws snap shut,” according to CBS News.

Depiction of the Metoposaurus algarvensis by Joana Bruno.

Depiction of the Metoposaurus algarvensis by Joana Bruno.

The Metoposaurus was a major predator of the early dinosaurs, living long before the T. rex and even the massive Brachiosaurus.

Fossils belonging to the metoposaurid species have been found in Africa, Europe, India, and even North America, but this the first time remnants have been unearthed in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically  Portugal. Metoposaurids are distant ancestors of modern-day amphibians, like newts and frogs.

Skull palate of the Metoposaurus algarvensis unearthed in Portugal.

Skull palate of the Metoposaurus algarvensis unearthed in Portugal.

The species became extinct when the climate began to change, just before the breaking up of Pangaea, which also led to huge volcanic eruptions.

“It didn’t just break up overnight. It took tens of millions of years and it broke up along the margins of the Atlantic Ocean today,” he said. “Portugal is right on the edge of the Atlantic so these guys would have been living right in the middle of this rift,” according to Steve Brusatte, the study’s lead author from the University of Edinburgh’s School.

[via CBS News]