Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Apes from new 'Planet' film revealed

PLANET OF THE APES, Roddy McDowall (left), Kim Hunter (right), 1968. (20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection)  

 A clip from "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" shows how the primates have been updated.

Get Ready to Be Creeped Out for Five Seconds by the 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Ape

Somebody's grumpy... 20th Century Fox/Weta Digital Of all the reboots, prequels and origin stories going on in Hollywood franchises right now, there hasn't been as much talk about this August's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which takes place in modern-day San Francisco and sets into motion the simian revolution that knocks humanity off its perch as masters of Earth. When the original "Planet of the Apes" with Charlton Heston came out in 1968, one of the things that made it a classic (beyond its awesomely campy dialogue) was its cutting-edge ape makeup. Forty-three years later, the prequel has just unveiled a short clip of what the apes will look like this time. It's pretty lifelike -- and kinda creepy.
The apes will be all CGI for the new film, which is directed by relative unknown Rupert Wyatt (he previously did the British prison-break movie "The Escapist"). The effects work was done by director Peter Jackson's Weta Digital, which handled his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "King Kong," so they've got some experience making monkeys seem human. But they've topped themselves with this footage, although we do have to remind everyone that it's all of five seconds long.
An original Planet of the Apes ape, circa 1968. 20th Century Fox What can you see in five seconds? Well, it's a simple shot of an ape who slowly moves his eyes to the right in a pretty natural, human way, underscored by some low, ominous music in the background. The impression this clip is supposed to make is pretty obvious: (1) Man, that monkey looks real; and (2) Uh oh, something bad is about ready to go down.

Ten best states for making a living

Photo of Chicago (Corbis)   

These places offer the highest incomes—after accounting for local taxes and expenses.

10 Best and Worst States to Make a Living

The job market is finally picking up some steam, providing hope to long-suffering job seekers everywhere. But if you're among the applying masses, you probably want to do more than just get a job.

If you want to make a living -- in other words, make enough after tax and fixed expenses to prosper -- your chances of getting a job that pays enough to live in comfort varies dramatically based on the state where you live and work. pulled unemployment rates, average wages, tax rates and cost of living from all 50 states and found that the best places to find a job were not necessarily the best places to make a living.
The unemployment rate is only 3.7% in North Dakota versus 11% in Michigan, for example. But Michigan is a much better place to make a living, with "adjusted average income" of $37,427 versus $35,365 in North Dakota, according to MoneyRates. MoneyRates rankings are based on their analysis of what you have left to spend, after adjusting for paying your state taxes and dealing with the comparative cost of buying groceries and keeping a roof over your head, among other things.

Golf hole may be world's most dangerous

Sharks in water (MrWaggy76,  

If you lose your ball in this Australian water hazard, you'll probably want to leave it there.

The most hazardous water hazard ever: a shark

--For more golf coverage, follow Devil Ball Golf on Facebook right here and on Twitter right here at @jaybusbee.--
Think golf's too boring a game? Then get down to Australia, slick, and play the Carbrook Golf Club in Queensland. The water hazard there features up to 30 real live sharks. Behold:

We're gonna need a bigger cart.




Yeah, that's a mean-looking shark and all, but I'd probably chance it if I put one of my Pro-V1s in there. Those things ain't cheap, you know.
The sharks were thought to be a myth for many years, but as you can see, that's no myth. Club officials speculate that the bull sharks, some of which are estimated at up to 10 feet long, washed into the lake during a flood in the early 1990s.

The best-paying college majors

Woman chemical engineer (Thinkstock)   

 Grads specializing in one field dominate a new ranking of starting salaries.

Best-Paying College Major: Engineering

Engineering majors continue to boast fatter salary offers than their peers, according to the most recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Majors in the engineering field dominated the association's list of top-paying degrees for the class of 2011, with four of the top five spots going to engineering majors. Each of these majors receive average starting salary offers of more than $60,000.
The only non-engineering major among the top five was computer science, which earned graduating students average starting salary offers of $63,017.
"The entire top-10 list underscores the interest employers have in hiring technical majors," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
And the interest in these majors isn't new. Engineering majors in last year's graduating class were also promised the most attractive salaries.

Gadget aims to mop your house for you

Scooba 230 (IRobot)  

The tiny Scooba 230 scours floors and squeezes into hard-to-reach spots, like behind the toilet.

The Little Robot Made to Clean the Icky Spots

Thanks to robots, there's no excuse for a dirty floor.
This week, I took a break from my normal product testing to run a robot through the paces of washing, scrubbing and squeegeeing my tile and hardwood floors. The Scooba 230 ( is the latest model in iRobot Corp.'s large family of household-helping gadgets, which includes the popular Roomba robotic vacuum, introduced in 2002.
Sold in a $300 package with accessories, the Scooba 230 is the least expensive Scooba from iRobot; the earlier Scooba 350 and Scooba 380 cost $400 and $500, respectively. It's less than half the size and weight of its larger and pricier predecessors, giving it the ability to scoot into tough-to-reach spots, like behind most bathroom toilets, where nobody wants to clean.
I like a lot of things about this robot, especially that it's smart enough to separate clean water from dirty water as it goes—instead of just regurgitating the same water and pushing it across the floor, like a mop. Loading the robot with water and cleaning solution takes just a minute, robbing even the laziest people of an excuse for not cleaning. And its compact size makes it easy to store.
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Video: Mopping the Floors So You Don't Have To
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The Challenges of Spring Cleaning
But to keep its price down, iRobot took away this Scooba's ability to vacuum as it scrubs the floors like previous Scooba models, so users will have to sweep or vacuum before they place it down and hit the power button. This defeats the idea of letting the robot do all the work. And unlike Roomba, which automatically returns to its recharging base after vacuuming so it can charge itself, Scooba stays where it finishes the job. An iRobot spokeswoman said this design is deliberate because it forces people to empty Scooba's bladder full of dirty water, rather than forgetting about it.

$2 bills are not as rare as you might think

The $2 bill (Who Knew)  

The oft-forgotten currency with Thomas Jefferson's image isn't fake — and it's not worth collecting.

Pro golfer's bad luck strikes again

Rory McIlroy  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)  

Rory McIlroy runs into an annoying problem just days after falling apart at the Masters.

McIlroy’s terrible, horrible luck continues: airline loses his clubs

For more golf coverage, follow Devil Ball Golf on Facebook right here and on Twitter right here at @jaybusbee.
When your luck goes south, it goes south in a hurry. As you probably know by now, Rory McIlroy coughed up a three-day, nine-hole lead at the Masters in grand style, going 6-over par in just three holes to torpedo any chance he had of winning the green jacket.
Oh, but the bad news for McIlroy didn't end there. He had to share a plane with Charl Schwartzel and the new apparel Schwartzel picked up in Augusta as the two flew to Malaysia for their next tournament. At least McIlroy was a good sport about it, making the best of an awkward situation on Twitter.
But after 25 hours in flight, when he arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Open, he found himself in the shoes of so many other travelers: His luggage didn't show up. But unlike many other travelers who need to pick up a new outfit or two, McIlroy's luggage -- i.e. his clubs -- is rather important for his career.
"It's one of those things," McIlroy said, and you have to guess that it was with a Charlie Brown-esque sigh. "Going through so many time zones and so many connecting flights your bags are going to get lost sometimes."
Talking to the BBC, McIlroy conceded that the only shot he'd like back from Augusta is the tee shot on 10, the one he put so far off the fairway that he had to walk among the houses that run alongside the 10th.

HS player overcomes nightmarish gaffe

Player overcomes Chris Webber gaffe   

Townspeople help ease a boy's pain after a mistake likely costs his team a state title.


Player gets support after Chris Webber-like title game gaffe

It was just one play from arguably the most competitive and entertaining boys basketball state title game in Wisconsin history, yet it will almost certainly be the one that remains as the lasting legacy of De Pere (Wisc.) High point guard Reece Zoelle. With fewer than 10 seconds remaining in overtime in De Pere's Wisconsin Division I title game tilt with Madison (Wisc.) Memorial High, Zoelle wrapped up a turnover near the baseline that should have been a game clincher. His problem began when he slipped to the floor, with the ball slipping out of his hands and the De Pere senior scrambling to recover it.
Zoelle pulled the ball back in and did what any player would do in those circumstances: He called a timeout. The problem was that his team didn't have any timeouts remaining.
What unfolded thereafter bore disturbing similarities to Chris Webber's famous end-of-game gaffe in the 1993 NCAA championship game against North Carolina. Zoelle was handed a technical foul for calling a timeout that his team didn't have, Madison Memorial's best free-throw shooter went to the line and calmly hit both attempts, and the game went into a second overtime. Eventually, Memorial emerged with an 80-78 victory, with Zoelle's technical standing as the moment that cost De Pere its first basketball state title since 1934. You can actually see the entire episode unfold in excruciating real time at the 2:10 mark of the video above.
"Trust me, I've thought about it so, so many times," Zoelle told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "I know that if I wouldn't have called that timeout, we would have come away with the gold ball."
As hard as it may be, Zoelle is moving on from the heartbreak associated with his final high school game, thanks in large part to a personal support group that has been spearheaded by his cousin and best friend, fellow Wisconsin prep star Calahan Skogman.

Web charmed by dolphins befriending cat

Cat and dolphin. (YouTube/Screengrab)   

These merry mammals pop up out of the water to get close to their new feline buddy.

Cat's amazingly cute encounter with dolphins becomes Internet sensation

Recently-posted video footage showing a cat's incredibly cute encounter with dolphins at a marine park in Islamorada, Fla., is touching the hearts of viewers from around the world. The playful bonding between a cat named Arthur and dolphins named Thunder and Shiloh occurred in the late 1990s at Theater of the Sea, during the facility's swim-with-dolphins program. The footage, showing Arthur rubbing his head against and lovingly pawing the slender snouts of the sleek mammals, has gone viral since being uploaded to the Internet last month.

How Obama plans to slash $4 tril from debt

President Barack Obama (AP)  

The president's 12-year strategy offers a tricky mix of tax increases, steep cuts, and a "debt failsafe."

Key from the speech: What’s in Obama’s deficit reduction plan?

After largely staying on the sidelines during the fight over the deficit, President Obama today jumped headfirst into the fray, laying out a broad framework to reduce the federal budget gap by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.
In a speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Obama proposed what he called a "balanced approach," a mix of spending cuts and tax increases "that puts every kind of spending on the table, but [...] protects the middle class, our promise to seniors, and our investments in the future." he said.
The plan contrasts with one released last week by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican point man on budget issues. Obama derided Ryan's approach as "less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America."