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The story of a daring 1943 commando raid to stop Germany from getting an atomic bomb

During World War II, the Allies feared that Germany was on the brink of creating an atomic bomb. To prevent this, they launched a dramatic midnight commando raid to destroy a key piece of equipment in the mountains of southern Norway. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll remember Operation Gunnerside, “one of the most daring and important undercover operations of World War II.”

We’ll also learn what to say when you’re invading Britain and puzzle over the life cycle of cicadas.

Show notes

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Source: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/13/the-story-of-a-daring-1943-com.html

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Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Cars, and More Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


The inductees to the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame for 2018 are Nina Simone, The CarsBon Jovi, The Moody Blues, and Dire Straits. One of these, at least, was predictable–Bon Jovi–since they dominated the Rock Hall’s fan ballot by a huge margin earlier this month. Radiohead, one of the other hopefuls, was 12th in that fan…

Source: https://www.spin.com/2017/12/rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-class-of-2018-nina-simone/

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Los Angeles subway work uncovers array of Ice Age fossils

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Watch George’s Lucas’s 1967 student short-film “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB”

Dust is a YouTube channel for short science fiction movies. Today they are showing George’s Lucas’s 1967 student short-film “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB”

“While monitored and pursued, a man races to escape through a futuristic labyrinth. “Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB” by Star Wars creator George Lucas was the student film that helped launch his film career. Dust is proud to present it to you as part of USC Student Week.”

From Wikipedia:

Lucas had had an idea for a long time “based on the concept that we live in the future and that you could make a futuristic film using existing stuff”. Fellow USC students Matthew Robbins and Walter Murch had a similar idea which Robbins developed into a short treatment, but Robbins and Murch lost interest in the idea, whereas Lucas was keen to persist.

One of Lucas’ USC instructors suggested an opportunity for Lucas to make the short film that he had in mind: since the 1940s, the USC film school had had a working arrangement with the US Navy, whereby Navy filmmakers attended USC for additional study. Teaching the class was not popular amongst USC staff, as the Navy filmmakers often had rigid, preconceived ideas about filmmaking, and sometimes misbehaved in class. But the Navy paid for unlimited color film, and lab processing costs, for their students. Lucas offered to teach the class, and was allowed the opportunity.

The Navy men formed the crew of the film, and some appeared in the cast. Because of the Navy connection, Lucas was able to access filming locations which would not otherwise have been available to him: the USC computer center, a parking lot at UCLA, the Los Angeles International Airport, and the Van Nuys Airport. Much of the filming was done at night, with some at weekends.

The film was completed in 12 weeks, with Lucas editing it on the Moviola at the home of Verna Fields, where he was working during the day editing United States Information Agency films under Fields’ supervision.

Image of George Lucas on the set of “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB” provided by Dust

Source: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/11/watch-georges-lucass-1967.html

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Tasmanian tiger genome offers clues to its extinction

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Isaac Newton Left A Secret Drawing Of A Windmill In His Childhood Home 350 Years Ago