American Museum of Natural History is hosting its first adult sleepover

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For years, grown-ups could only watch jealously as their children gallivanted off to spend a night in the American Museum of Natural History. But, that will change on August 1st with the first adult-only sleepover program, which will see lucky participants camping out beneath a certain blue whale.

The overnight event is billed as a more sophisticated version of the kid-friendly “A Night at the Museum” program, and will cost $375 to attend. Participants will be treated to a live animal demonstration, a midnight viewing of the Dark Universe Space Show, and a special presentation in The Power of Poison exhibition. All visitors will also have the opportunity to roam the empty halls. Additionally, the package includes a champagne reception,…

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Watch Christian Bale as Moses in Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus’ trailer

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The biblical epic of Moses has inspired generations of creatives, but Egypt has never looked as dour as in the first trailer for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. The movie will star Christian Bale as a mean and muscular Moses, and looks set to follow the events laid out in the book of the same name. Exodus tells the story of Moses attempting to free his people from enslavement in Egypt. Expect to see plagues, burning bushes, Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul as Moses’ sidekick Joshua, and of course the titular exodus, when Gods and Kings hits theaters this December.

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Next ‘Star Wars’ film being shot in IMAX

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After saying that Star Wars Episode VII would be shot on regular 35mm film instead of the larger, 70mm IMAX film, a new tweet from the production suggests the jumbo format has not been left out. A new post from Bad Robot’s (director J.J.Abrams’ production company) Twitter account shows an IMAX camera hoisted high above a sea of sand dunes, saying only “#bestformatever.” Slashfilm confirmed with IMAX that the production was using the format, though it remains unclear whether it’s only for certain parts of the film versus the entire feature.

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Taxi app will use Apple’s iBeacon and your iPhone to broadcast coupons to nearby users

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How would you feel being a walking advertisement? If you’re wearing a T-shirt with a company’s logo on it, that’s one thing. But your phone — in your pocket? That’s quite another, and it’s just what taxi hailing company Taxi Magic is doing with its iOS app. A new version being released this Thursday will let you beam out your referral code for the service to others, all using Apple’s iBeacon technology.

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Lyft, the pay-to-hitchhike app, baits regulators by launching in New York City

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Lyft, the app that enables passengers to grab rides with strangers, just announced it will begin serving customers this week in the New York City outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

“The people of New York deserve more transportation options,” Lyft wrote in a blog post. “Lyft provides greater access to a safe, affordable personal transit alternative that is built for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers.”

Lyft, which is available in more than 60 US cities, is cheaper than a taxi and its drivers undergo more stringent background checks than cabbies, the company says.

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Samsung’s ‘Gear VR’ virtual reality headset purportedly revealed in leaked image

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SamMobile has published what it claims is the first image of Samsung’s upcoming virtual reality device. The product is allegedly called Gear VR, and as Engadget reported last month, is the result of a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus VR. Unlike the Oculus Rift, Samsung’s Gear VR isn’t a virtual reality headset in the traditional sense. Based on rumors we’ve seen thus far, it’s more accurate to think of it as a fancier version of Google’s Cardboard giveaway. Your phone powers the entire experience. Presumably the Gear VR will offer a more comfortable means of strapping a smartphone onto your face thanks to its elastic band and padding. It’s not the sleekest-looking thing, though what we’re seeing here appears to be a render — and…

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Bringing the apocalyptic landscape of ‘Planet of the Apes’ to life

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Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Rise of the Planet of the Apes was that it made you care for a character who you knew was responsible for the downfall of humanity. While much of that came down to the brilliant acting of Andy Serkis, it was also due in large part to the advanced animation and motion capture techniques that turned Caesar from a man in a gray bodysuit to a stunningly realized intelligent ape. That process and more are explored in depth in the new book Rise of the…

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Latest trailer for Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Zero Theorem’ grapples with why we exist

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The latest trailer for Terry Gilliam’s latest opus, The Zero Theorem, has landed, and it’s every bit as visually arresting as it is philosophically dense. Here, Christoph Waltz plays computer genius Qohen Leth as he struggles to solve the titular Zero Theorem, an impossible proof that would effectively verify the meaninglessness of existence. Grappling with existential angst in his dark, ad-drenched future, he finds solace in “the girl with pink hair” and eventually a reason for being.

The film premiered last fall at the Venice International Film Festival, and received mixed reviews at the time. However, audiences and fans of Gilliam’s work may take to it a little better when it hits theaters later this summer.

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The International 4: Valve’s $10 million ‘Dota 2’ tournament brings e-sports to the masses

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The rapid rise of e-sports continues this July with the biggest and most lucrative tournament held to date. The fourth Dota 2 International takes place in Seattle’s 17,000-seat Key Arena, where the world’s best teams are competing for a share of a spectacular $10.5 million prize pool, highlighted by a first place award of over $4.8 million.

The majority of that funding comes from Dota 2‘s highly engaged and committed players, who’ve been buying in-game Compendiums of goodies and rewards that in turn have directly funded the TI4 prize pool. With a new, much larger venue, a prize pool that vastly outstrips anything that’s come before, and a comprehensive set of online streaming options, The International 4 promises to be a seminal moment…

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Watch a giant whale sculpture getting washed live now

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It’s not every day you get to see a giant whale being washed live on the internet. But today is your lucky day. The enormous, fiberglass blue whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History in New York is currently being vacuumed and brushed — all 94 feet of it. You catch out all the high-stakes action going now, between 11:30 AM EST and 12:30 PM, at the museum’s livestream account. The exhibition manager’s lofty scrubbing is also being accompanied by pop-up blue whale facts, and you can weigh-in with your own takes on Twitter using the hashtag #WhaleWash. It’s not the first time the whale washing has been recorded for posterity. Catch a time-lapse video of the…

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10 heroes who funded potato salad on Kickstarter

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What makes a potato salad? Is it a dollop of mayonnaise, a dash of white sugar, and perhaps some minced celery? Not in the future. In the future, single bowls of potato salad are made by thousands of people. People from everywhere: citizen venture capitalists, ready to advance the interests of the species through one man in one kitchen with one vague desire to eat. The entire course of human history — kings murdering for crowns; millions dying in the machinery of revolution; every prayer; every orgasm — has led to this potato salad.

This absurd quest for the affluent has already raised more than $36,000 and shows no signs of stopping. Here are some of the exotic people who are making it happen.

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Electric Objects is making a big digital picture frame you’ll actually want on your wall

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The digital picture frame is a gadget that hasn’t reached its full potential. Most are chintzy devices that can do little more than project endless slideshows and a visual aesthetic that would feel at home in the SkyMall catalog. What’s worse, many still require you to hassle with USB cords and SD cards to feed them images. Today a startup called Electric Objects is setting out to change that. It’s taken the basic concept of the digital picture frame and reimagined it as something bigger and more ambitious, a smart, internet-connected screen that was built as a platform for showcasing great art.

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Airlander 10: up close with the gigantic airship the US Army wanted

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An hour’s train ride away from London resides the world’s largest aircraft. Called the Airlander 10, it’s a 300-foot-long throwback to a bygone era when it was believed that airships and dirigibles would fill the skies and become the dominant means by which we moved goods and people around. Jet-fueled planes ended up fulfilling that ambition more adroitly, but the Airlander is the product of a team passionately convinced that airships still have a role to play in the modern world.

Originally…

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An oral history of LucasArts

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LucasArts may not be making new games anymore, but over the years it crafted some of the most influential interactive experiences ever — from space sims like Star Wars: X-Wing to graphic adventures like Maniac Mansion. If you’re in the mood to reminisce, Jaz Rignall has delved into the company’s history in a lengthy profile at US Gamer. It’s not a definitive history, but it’s a very personal one, filled with plenty of thoughts from the creators who were there in the beginning. It covers everything from George Lucas’ involvement in designing titles to why writing classic adventure games made Ron Gilbert a better tweeter. “I’m probably really good at Twitter,” he says, “because we had to do text in 80 characters.” Be sure to check out the…

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Thousands of rare videos of legendary rock bands are now on YouTube

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Google’s YouTube is getting thousands of new videos featuring historic live concert footage courtesy of a new deal with Music Vault. The live music archive is adding more than 12,000 new clips to a collection that was already at about 1,600 videos. According to YouTube, that all adds up to 2,000 hours of exclusive footage that includes performances by The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, The Sex Pistols, The Who, and others. More will be added in daily shows, curated playlists, and what Google is promising will be original content.

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Facebook friendship bracelets put a name to Molly’s face

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It’s a scene that will be familiar to many: after hours of dancing, synchronized teeth grinding, and hugs, your new best friend disappears into the night, never to be seen again. At Belgium’s Tommorowland music festival, a new wristband may make such predicaments a thing of the past. Tommorowland’s organizers have transformed the traditional festival wristband, which acts as a festival-goers ticket, into a modern-day Facebook friendship bracelet.

On receiving the wristband in the mail, users are invited to register it online and link their Facebook account. Then, at the festival, revelers are encouraged to make connections by simultaneously pressing a heart button on the wristband. Rather than automatically making a friend, the…

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BBC apologizes for leaking ‘Doctor Who’ scripts online

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Doctor Who fans are scrambling to download leaked scripts from the eighth season of the popular British sci-fi TV show after the BBC left copies on a publicly accessible web server. The mistake saw five scripts uploaded to the BBC’s Miami web site, and security expert Graham Cluley reports that the site could be indexed by search engines like Google. Cluley believes the scripts were sent to the BBC’s new Latin America headquarters for translation ahead of the show’s transmission in August.

The scripts include full details of the season opener “Deep Breath,” which will see Peter Capaldi debut as the Twelfth Doctor. We’ve only seen Capaldi’s costume so far, so a full script leak will frustrate and excite fans in equal measure. “We deeply…

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‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ is China’s number one film of all time

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Movie critics didn’t think too much of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, but that didn’t stop it from becoming an international success. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the movie has earned $222.74 million in China, bypassing James Cameron’s Avatar by a little over five million dollars to become the top-grossing movie ever in the country.

Much of Transformers: Age of Extinction’s success can be attributed to intelligent marketing. On top of casting regional stars Li BingBing and Han Geng in supporting roles, Paramount Pictures also ran a reality TV show to select four extra Chinese actors for the movie. According to The Hollywood ReporterAge of Extinction is also rife with familiar imagery, ranging from “Chinese milk…

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Lego minifigs drowned in arctic drilling incident

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Greenpeace is making an impassioned call for Lego to end its partnership with the oil giant Shell. In a two-minute YouTube commercial, the environmental campaigners twist The Lego Movie‘s “Everything is Awesome” theme into a somber song, befitting for the on-screen events. The commercial depicts an idyllic Arctic scene, populated by polar bears and ice skaters, which is tarnished by an spillage created by the fictional Shell company’s drilling, and even goes so far as to drown the movie’s lead characters in oil.

It’s a hugely effective spot, and is accompanied by a Greenpeace microsite laying out the charity’s issues with Shell’s arctic drilling plans and Lego’s involvement with the company. Greenpeace first began campaigning against…

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Dubai is building the world’s first temperature-controlled city

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Dubai is set to become home to the first temperature-controlled city on the planet. The ambitious project is expected to feature a mall, an indoor family theme park, and a “network of temperature-controlled openable promenades” — all billed as “the world’s largest.” According to developer Dubai Holding, the 7km (4.35 miles) expanse of covered walkways will allow week-long stays without the need for cars or exposure to Dubai’s harsh desert climate, which averages 104 degrees Farenheit in the summer.

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