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Paleontologists announced a rare discovery in the gold fields of Klondike, the far north of Canada, by finding the mummified remains of an almost complete woolly mammoth burial.

Paleontologist Grant Zazola said in a statement that the animal was “a remarkable and one of the most surprising Ice Age mummified animals ever discovered in the world.”

Zazula is excited to learn more soon about this mammoth cub, which is likely a female named “non cho ga”, meaning “small giant animal” in the Aboriginal language, with intact skin and hair.
The remains were found by digging up permafrost south of Dawson in Yukon Territory, on the border with the US state of Alaska.

It is likely that this animal died more than 30,000 years ago, when woolly mammoths, wild horses, cave lions and giant bison roamed the region.
This is the first semi-complete mummified mammoth found in such a good state of preservation in North America.

A part of the remains of a small mammoth named “Effie” was found in 1948 in a gold mine in Alaska, in addition to another mummified 42,000-year-old in Siberia in 2007, of an animal named “Lyuba” that was the same size as the mammoth whose remains were recently discovered.

The Yukon government said the territory is known worldwide for its Ice Age animal fossils, but “mummified remains with skin and dander” have rarely been discovered.

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A-books versus e-books? Augmented reality could soon bring printed books back to life.

A-books versus e-books? Augmented reality could soon bring printed books back to life.

According to new research, augmented reality could play a significant role in reviving printed books.

The University of Surrey in the United Kingdom has unveiled the third generation (3G) version of its Next Generation Paper (NGP) project, which allows readers to consume information on printed paper and screen simultaneously.

“With so many more options than just paper books, the way we consume literature has changed over time.” Multiple electronic solutions, such as e-readers and smart devices, are currently available, but no hybrid solution that is commercially viable,” said Dr. Radu Sporea, senior lecturer at the Advanced Technology Institute, in a press release.

He added that augmented reality books, or “a-books” could be the future of many book genres, stating that such technology exists to “assist the reader in a deeper understanding of a written topic and get more through digital means without ruining the experience of reading a paper book.”

With no visible wiring, users can trigger digital content through these a-books with a simple gesture like the swipe of a finger or by a turn of a page, which will then prompt information to be displayed on a nearby device.

Augmented reality is an enhanced version of the real physical world that can be achieved using digital visual elements, sounds or other sensory stimuli through technology. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality uses a real-world setting, allowing users to control their presence in the real world and enhance both the virtual and physical world.

“The original research was carried out to enrich travel experiences by creating augmented travel guides. This upgraded 3G model allows for the possibility of using augmented books for different areas such as education,” postgraduate researcher George Bairaktaris was quoted as saying.

“In addition, the new model disturbs the reader less by automatically recognizing the open page and triggering the multimedia content.”

The a-book is a hybrid electronic device that offers users access to up-to-date information and pertinent multimedia content as part of an ordinary interaction with a typical paper book. It maintains the look and feel of a regular, conventional printed book and is simultaneously connected to the internet through an adjunct smart device.

These augmented reality books can be manufactured on a semi-industrial scale thanks to new features like pre-printed conductive paper and power efficiency.

“What started as an augmented book project, evolved further into scalable user interfaces. The techniques and knowledge from the project led us into exploring organic materials and printing techniques to fabricate scalable sensors for interfaces beyond the a-book,” he added.

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Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer, dies at 72

Nicholas Evans, the British journalist turned author whose novel-turned-film The Horse Whisperer broke publishing and movie records, along with the hearts of readers who made the book a bestseller in 20 countries, died on Aug 9 at his home in London. He was 72.

The cause was a heart attack, said his longtime agent, Caradoc King.

In 1993, Evans, at 43, was broke and adrift. He had been working as a journalist and documentary filmmaker, and began casting about for an idea for a novel.

It was perhaps not the most winning formula for worldly success, as he noted in retrospect on his website: “Why would a debut novel from an unknown author have any more chance of getting off the ground than a movie?”

Yet he had found an intriguing subject: the mystical, manly art of horse whispering. His source was a farrier and Evans soon learnt that the vocation of calming horses had a long history stretching back centuries.

Evans sat down and wrote some 150 pages of what would become The Horse Whisperer, a soapy drama about a young girl and her horse who are hit by a truck, and what happens when her hard-driving magazine editor mother finds a horse whisperer in Montana to heal their trauma.

Evans showed his draft to King, who sent the partial manuscript to a number of publishers.

Suddenly, Evans was in the middle of a bidding maelstrom, juggling offers from Hollywood as well as from book publishers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hollywood Pictures and Robert Redford’s film studio, Wildwood Pictures, won the bid, at the time the largest amount ever paid for the rights to a first novel (almost US$6 million (S$8.3 million) in today’s money).

Evans’ North American book advance, of US$3.15 million from Dell Publishing, set another record.

The book, which was published in 1995, was a global bestseller that was translated into 40 languages, though critics slammed it for its melodrama.

The movie, which came out in 1998, was more favorably reviewed and a modest box office success, thanks to Redford’s star power and firm hand as director.

Nicholas Evans was born July 26, 1950, in Worcestershire, in England’s West Midlands. He studied law at Oxford University, graduating with a First, the highest honors. He worked as a journalist for newspapers and television and produced a weekly current affairs show.

He followed The Horse Whisperer with three more novels, all bestsellers.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ film set shooting was accidental but he pulled trigger

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ film set shooting was accidental but he pulled trigger

A post-mortem report ruled that actor Alec Baldwin’s shooting on the film set of ‘Rust’ was accidental, however an FBI report concluded that the actor definitely pulled the trigger.

Baldwin, who was one of the film’s producers, previously said that the gun went off without him pulling the trigger. But the FBI report deduced that the weapon in question could not have been fired without the trigger being pulled

On October 21 last year, the actor accidentally shot and killed Haylna Hutchins, a cinematographer who was on set that day, and injured director Joel Souza.

The findings were also reviewed by the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator.

A further post-mortem report ruled Hutchins’ death as an accident due to the “absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death.”

“Death was caused by a gunshot wound of the chest,” it said. “Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set.”

“Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident.”

Baldwin believed the gun he used on set was not loaded.

The actor has been named in several lawsuits filed in connection with Hutchins’ death, including one by her husband, Matthew.

Two crew members also filed civil lawsuits accusing Baldwin, the producers and others on the production of negligence and lax safety protocols.

The producers have said they are conducting their own internal investigation.

The 64-year-old actor has argued in court papers that an indemnification clause in his contract shields him from personal liability.

 

 

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