Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

SpongeBob Is Coming to a USPS Mailbox Near You in Nickelodeon’s Holiday Push

December 9, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

All right, it's been done before, but not for a while: Nickelodeon is partnering with the ever-embattled U.S. Postal Service to promote its long (extremely long!)-running children's series SpongeBob SquarePants, in which a member of the order

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Meet Dava Newman, the World’s Universe’s Leading Space Fashion Designer

December 6, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Women who are smaller than about 5'5" can’t go on spacewalks , according to aerospace engineering professor Dava Newman, who herself is too small. That’s because the bulky pressurized space suits built for leaving spacecraft start at size medium. (Talk about a role model problem, if small women don’t even get a shot!) Photo: Marla Aufmuth MIT professor Dava Newman (at right) shows off a prototype skintight space suit (Also, I checked, and Sandra Bullock is 5'7", so in this case Hollywood didn’t lie.) That limitation was part of the motivation for a 15-year research odyssey Newman has undertaken to design a bio-suit that would fit close to the body and allow astronauts of all sizes to be more agile in space, research funded at first by NASA and now by a string of academic research grants. A big appeal of her work is that Newman is essentially a fashion designer for astronauts, and that’s why she spoke at the TED Women conference in San Francisco this week, showing off a skintight bio-suit prototype that makes space look super hot. “We make them for females because I’m in charge,” she said in an offstage interview. And it’s not just about people of slighter stature. Today’s bulky spacesuits have a terrible track record of causing shoulder injuries  for astronauts of various sizes. Newman’s team has made an enormous breakthrough in recent months, she said, by incorporating active materials — specifically nickel-titanium shape-memory alloys. Newman’s longtime goal has been to design a suit with the pressure of 30 percent of the atmosphere, or 29.7 kilopascals. “We can get to 20 percent with shrink wrap,” she said. The ability to pressurize close to the skin comes from mathematical calculations about how tension lines can be laid out on the suit that do not become overextended and break when a person moves. As an added benefit, sensors can be safely placed on the lines. Newman calls this “elegant math.” Recent tests with active materials — which cinch up when you apply electricity — have proven to be more than effective, Newman said. Her team expects to soon publish papers on the latest research. “We’re now beyond what we need, 50 to 60 kilopascals,” Newman said.

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Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone Topline Stellar Marrakech Fest Opening

November 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

MARRAKECH — Traditionally known for its thick French accent, Marrakech’s glamorous opening night, held on Friday at the Congress Palace, had a definite Hollywood flavor with Sharon Stone getting a career tribute, as well as jury president Martin Scorsese and fellow members Marion Cotillard and Patricia Clarkson, among others international guests. “It’s good to be... Read more

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Directors on Their Teams: Denis Villeneuve Talks ‘Prisoners’

November 26, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve said “Prisoners,” his Hollywood directing debut, made him very positive about the future: “It gave me a lot of hope about movies. I found people who were there to make cinema, to make movies, and not just to make business.” In a conversation with Variety, Villeneuve praised the film’s writer, stars and... Read more

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Golden Globes Voters Bring Home the Bacon

November 23, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. threw a swanky soiree Thursday to celebrate the anointment of Sosie Bacon as Miss Golden Globes, with a high-energy crowd that include Steve Coogan, Colin Farrell and Mark Wahlberg. HFPA prexy Theo Kingma welcomed the guests at the Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, where Malin Akerman, Julie Delpy, Pharrell... Read more

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‘All Showbiz Mourns JFK’: How Variety Covered the Aftermath of Assassination

November 22, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Fifty years ago, Variety, in its own unique way, put a price tag on what the marathon television news coverage and abrupt shuttering of film, TV and legit productions cost showbiz in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination: $40 million. But bottom-line considerations were superfluous to the shock in Hollywood on Nov. 22, 1963,... Read more

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Men in Black Suits II: Apple-Samsung Retrial Suffers From Sequel’s Curse

November 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The original Apple-Samsung trial had it all — a gripping plot, stellar cast and lots of intrigue. Unfortunately, like all too many sequels, the current retrial feels like just a rehash of something that was admittedly a pretty good show the first time. Where the initial trial brought revelations including new sales figures , early iPhone prototypes and juicy insights into how Apple designs its products , no such new ground is being traversed this time around. And, while the last trial was about dueling perspectives on innovation, this one is just about money. The first jury already decided which Samsung products infringed on which Apple products. But the judge concluded that the original jury erred in how it calculated a portion of the more than $1 billion in damages it awarded. Apple says Samsung owes it an additional $379 million in damages for the products at issue, while Samsung says $52 million is a proper figure. From a cinematic point of view, the best thing one can say about this installment is that it is short. Each side is allowed only eight hours of witnesses, compared to the 25 hours both parties had during the original trial. Testimony is due to wrap up today, with closing arguments expected Tuesday. Perhaps the biggest star in the retrial, Apple marketing head Phil Schiller, took the stand late last week, beginning his testimony Thursday and wrapping up on Friday morning. But most of what he said dealt with the kinds of details surrounding the iPhone launch that he shared the last time he was on the stand . On the bench is the always entertaining Lucy Koh, the same federal judge who presided over the first case. Koh, a rising star, is known for her sharp wit and strict adherence to the clock. She famously suggested during the first trial that one of Apple’s lawyers was smoking crack if he thought he had time to call as many witnesses as he proposed. The supporting cast is also familiar, including many of the same lawyers, expert witnesses, etc. Like any big Hollywood production, though, there were at least enough good moments to make for a decent trailer. Some of the best drama came before the trial itself, during jury selection. Judge Koh dismissed 11 prospective jurors found chatting about the case

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‘Run,’ ‘Catfish,’ ‘Time’ Top Baja

November 17, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

BAJA FEST, LOS CABOS – “Sarah Prefers To Run,” “Amazing Catfish” and “The Beginning of Time” topped awards at the 2nd Baja Festival which, supported by Hollywood, Canada and Mexican industries alike, looks to have taken a significant step towards becoming a significant boutique meet-mart for business between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada alike. Beating... Read more

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‘Out of the Furnace’s’ Scott Cooper Compares Cast to ‘Driving a Maserati’ at AFI Fest

November 10, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Despite “Out of the Furnace” being one of the most dark, intense movies of this awards season, the mood was jovial November 9 at its AFI Festival premiere at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Director Scott Cooper laughed and hugged it out with stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Tom Bower and Forest Whitaker on the red... Read more

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