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Fun facts

How has Elon Musk made himself indispensable?

The killer question - January 18, 2017

Elon Musk unveils Solar Roof and Powerwall:

Elon Musk’s ability to invent technology that changes the world is common knowledge: his Hyperloop train, electric cars and Tesla batteries, and the SpaceX rocket ships, and more recently, his Solar Roofs that make every home energy-sufficient. Photovoltaic tiles capture energy and send it to super-batteries designed by Tesla.

Not only is he providing post-carbon solutions to energy supply challenges, he’s created a virtuous circle business model. In a nutshell, by using solar panels by SolarCity (solar energy specialist for homeowners, acquired by Tesla in June 2016) and Powerwall technology (home batteries from a Tesla and SolarCity partnership), Elon Musk has created a new industry.

Elon Musk and his firms control every step of the process, from R&D prototype design to market. His clients are individuals, companies, even countries. So how do you make a business out of tackling humanity’s most daunting challenge: global warming? He ensures economic viability for every project. For example, by developing reusable booster rockets for SpaceX and marketing them to NASA, Musk is financing part of his wildest scheme – the colonization of Mars. He’s even dreaming of offering tourists expeditions to the Red Planet. Galactic getaways!

Interplanetary transport via SpaceX:

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Shine at parties: A young crusader out to save our oceans

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Luc Besson’s upcoming film features 8,000 species of extraterrestrials

Shine at parties! - January 11, 2017

No doubt about it – everything about the film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is king-sized. With its A-Team cast (Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Clive Owen), colossal budget – a record-setter for French film (197 million euros), it’s clear Luc Besson wants to create a European rival to Star Wars. Slated for release in 2017, this movie features the incredibly detailed work of Luc Besson’s artistic teams. They came up with 8,000 different species of space creatures based on the cult comic Valérian et Laureline, by Pierre Christin et Jean-Claude Mézières, artists George Lucas is particularly fond of.

Nothing beats a trailer to whet your appetite for this galactic blockbuster, so here’s a glimpse of these cosmic critters. Fingers crossed that they will be human friendly 😉

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A picture says it all: Robot film stars

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How do extraterrestrials communicate with us humans?

The killer question - January 11, 2017

It all hinges on a detail: language. When the UFOs start landing and aliens come marching out, I don’t think “ET, phone home” is going to cut it. How will we communicate with them, welcome them, and invite them to Starbucks for a cup of java?

That’s the question posed in the film Arrival by Denis Villeneuve in which a translator tries to establish communication with life forms from outer space. Believe it or not, there’s a branch of science called SETI that’s devoted to comprehending and communicating with extraterrestrials. Some specialists in the field are studying non-verbal means of communication like gestural, touch- and smell-based, and even pheromones (insects’ means of communication).

But we here at Orange Pop are really hoping that extra-terrestrial emojis can do trick.

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First contact with aliens in Arrival movie? © www.sonypicturespresse.fr

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How do you film a surfer in the tube?

The killer question - January 04, 2017

Payloads are still limited, but some ingenious surfers have come up with an idea: drone-towed surfboards. Hawaiian director Eric Sterman managed to get a drone to tow a surfer… and even to have a hovering drone film the whole thing.

Already known ‘round the world for his incredible drone-shot videos, notably footage of the mega pipes called Banzaï Pipeline, (Hawaii), the director has demonstrated the enormous cinemagraphic possibilities of this new technology.

Not only did he develop his own drone app (tells surfers where to catch that perfect wave, even surf without waves), he was one of the first to move the point of view from the beach to the water. His video expresses the water’s enormous power and beauty. As if we weren’t already green with envy for those flyin’ Hawaiians!

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How much did the year’s highest-paid YouTuber pocket?

The killer question - December 28, 2016

Topping the rankings for highest YouTube earners goes to gamer PewDiePie, less well known by his real name, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (we get why he needs a Web name:P). He hauled in a tidy $15 million in 2016 alone, thanks in large part to his 50,500,000 subscribers! You may well be one of them.

The Swede is far ahead of his closest rivals: American vlogger Roman Atwood who raked in nearly $8 million and Canadian YouTuber Lilly Singh and her “little ones” with 7.5 million. Click here for the rest.

The Web is all abuzz over him at year’s end as rumors of his channel’s demise flourished. The resulting media coverage sent his subscription numbers soaring past 50 million in record time… earning him even more dough! Guess you can be a super gamer and a crack businessman. May give your mom pause next time she tells you to drop the console and go out and play.;)

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Why are family photos such a kitsch-fest?

The killer question - December 21, 2016

One Xmas tradition there’s no getting around is the family photo, and they tend to veer towards high kitsch. The site Awkward Family Photos is all about this thigh-slapping genre.

The site has become a Web fav in no time. It poses the simple question: what is it about Xmas photos that makes them so hilariously kitsch? Families want to save the moment and often pull out all the stops. It’s tough sometimes to strike a natural pose in your Xmas sweater, but hey, it’s for the family so you swallow your pride,” explains Mike Bender – creator of the site Awkward Family Photos – at Rue 89.

It’s actually this combo of awkwardness and over-the-top décor that makes them so campy. One thing’s for sure: the international success of Awkward Family Photos goes to show that stilted family photos are a global thing.

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You see? Your family’s pics could be worse.;) © awkwardfamilyphotos.com

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So, can you do kitsch AND cool, at the same time?

The killer question - December 14, 2016

Can kitsch be cool? You bet! Witness English football powerhouse Arsenal, its colorful coach Arsène Wenger and stars Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud. Then there’s Virgin boss Richard Branson, singer Cheryl Cole, designers Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, top models Kate Moss and Dree Hemingway… What do they all have in common? They all wore or designed Xmas sweaters for Christmas Jumper Day, a charity event inaugurated in 2012 by the NGO Save The Children.

This year CJD takes place on Friday 16 December. Wear the kitschiest Christmas sweater you got and make a £2 minimum donation to Save the Children, an NGO that cares for kids in developing countries. It’s pure kitsch, good fun and great for kids, so join the movement here.

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The Gunners are wearing red-nosed reindeer for Christmas Jumper Day © Presse Association

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Infographic: 8 teachers who’ve become cult figures

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How to get your kids to memorize the Periodic Table?

The killer question - December 07, 2016

Generations of high schoolers have gone bonkers trying to memorize that ★% Periodic Table! Well, American mom Karyn Tripp came up with a great method for committing all those pesky elements and their symbols to memory. What’s her secret? She took two of them, glued them together, and got her kids to play Battleship with the Periodic Table as the sea grid. Have fun and learn all the known elements of the universe!

Yet another triumph for the kids-play-kids-learn school of thought. Wish she’d thought of it while I was in high school.

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Uranium. You sank my battleship! © teachbesideme.com

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With nothing more than a simple flashlight and a camera, become an urban light painter!

Shine at parties! - November 30, 2016

Don’t know what to do with those long winter nights? This urban light painter may just provide a little inspiration.

A little bored? Insomnia? Want to Win Friends and Influence People? There’s a new genre of art that may be just the thing for you – light painting. The artistic process consists of using a light source (flashlight, laser, even a lighter) to draw shapes and patterns, then capturing them with a photograph. The moving light appears against the fixed background of urban decor. While the equipment you use is pretty basic, the effects can be prodigious. Witness the technical prowess and unbelievable creativity of Jadikan, a French artist who focused international attention on light painting, turning it into a bona-fide genre of street art. It was born of his twin passions, art and urbex – the exploration of vacant lots, buildings, and places that are generally off-limits.

The result is intriguing photographs of the enchanting hidden face of cities you thought you knew. Warning: discretion recommended and flash photography forbidden!

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The story: Digital is also transforming artworks

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Can you really surf in the city?

The killer question - November 23, 2016

“If Indiana Jones were a she”, that’s how admirers of young Hawaiian surfer Alison Teal describe her. She has an unquenchable thirst for adventure and exploration. In October, she set herself a fresh challenge: go surfing in the heart of Paris. After a tour of the capital, she got down to business, i.e. surfing the cold waters of the River Seine.

And she didn’t stop there, either, descending 150 meters below the cobblestones into the famed (and spooky) catacombs for a little subterranean surfing. A headlamp and a surfboard – now that’s a creative way to visit Paris’s creepiest monument!

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