Deepwater Horizon oil spill linked to newborn and fetal dolphin deaths

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have linked an “unusual mortality event” involving bottlenose dolphins along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In a recent study published in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, the researchers determined that fetal and newborn dolphins in the spill area were more likely to have died in utero or shortly after birth than dolphins outside the area.

From February 2010 to December 2013, the scientists evaluated 69 perinatal dolphins found stranded in areas heavily affected by the spill and compared them to 26 bottlenose dolphins unaffected by the spill, Motherboard reports. The dolphins stranded in the spill zone were much…

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Author: Lizzie Plaugic

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Why Captain America Star Chris Evans Initially Turned Down the Role

Marvel’s films are so well cast that it’s hard to imagine any other actors playing them, but Captain America star Chris Evans has revealed that he initially turned the role down.

In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote Captain America: Civil War, Evans explained that the daunting multi-film contract he was asked to sign was a “scary” proposition.

“I was scared,” he admitted. “At first it was some nine-picture contract, and there are parts of me that have a little bit of social anxiety with this industry and doing movies one at a time, if all the sudden you decide you don’t want to do them anymore, you’re afforded the opportunity to take a step back and recalibrate.

“When you have a giant contract, if all the sudden you’re not responding well, too bad, you’ve got to suit up again, and that was scary.

“[But] it kept coming back my way. I said no a few times, and it kept coming back, and I talked to a few people in my life, family, and friends, and it just started to kind of make sense that I was saying no out of fear, really, and you can’t do anything out of fear.”

Evans has previously spoken about his desire to quit acting and focus on directing. In 2014 he told Variety: “If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.”

Captain America: Civil War hits cinemas on May 6, 2016. Two new clips from the film have been released this week–the first reveals the villainous Crossbones, while the latest shows Ant-Man joining Cap’s team.

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Author: Dan Auty

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Why artificial intelligence is more important than ever and how it will change our lives

For nearly 60 episodes, one question has persisted through What’s Tech: what is happening in the ending of Steven Spielberg’s 2001 sci-fi film A.I. Artificial Intelligence? To settle the question once and for all, I invited my friend and artificial intelligence expert, Sam Byford, to appear on the show.

Sadly, as you will hear me learn, Sam Byford is in expert in actual artificial intelligence, not the film Artificial Intelligence. Truth is, he’s never even seen the film. But that’s okay. This is still one of my favorite episodes of What’s Tech, as Byford shares what it was like to attend the recent match-up of human Go champion Lee Se-dol and artificial intelligence AlphaGo.

As for the ending of A.I., I’m sure we’ll have an answer in…

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Author: Chris Plante

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Fast & Furious Actor Scott Eastwood Writes Moving Tribute to Paul Walker

Scott Eastwood, who was recently cast in 2017’s Fast & Furious 8, has written a moving tribute to Paul Walker, the star of the action series who died in a car crash in 2013.

On Instagram, Eastwood–the son of legendary actor/director Clint Eastwood–said Walker was “an older brother to me.” He went on to say he hopes to make the late actor proud with his role in the upcoming film.

“Paul was a close friend of mine,” Eastwood said. “We surfed together, traveled together, and he was a huge role model and influencing figure in my life when I was younger. He still is. He was an older brother to me. For me to be able to add to the F&F story, Paul’s story, and the FAST family is like a dream come true.”

“Paul, I am going to make you proud.”

Also in his post, Eastwood talked more generally about landing the part in the movie. He also teased that his unannounced character will be something of a protege to Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody supporting character from Furious 7.

“It’s hard to put into words how excited I am for the next Fast & Furious,” he said. “To me, the series is so much more than just a franchise. It’s a legacy. These great actors who have been in it together for so long have become a family. I absolutely can’t wait to join it.

“Now I can’t say too much, but I get to play a new character who operates under Kurt Russell in the movie, which is incredible, because Kurt was a total childhood hero of mine growing up. Very much looking forward to learning a thing or two from such an original and cool guy.”

Furious 8 is just the latest high-profile project for Eastwood, as he’ll also be seen in this summer’s Suicide Squad and Oliver Stone’s Snowden in September. Eastwood also has a role in Ben Affleck’s 2017 crime movie Live By Night.

In other Furious 8 casting news, Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Charlize Theron will play the movie’s main villain.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that there would be at least two more films in the Furious franchise, with parts 9 and 10 due in 2019 and 2021.

Star and producer Vin Diesel’s plan for more movies was revealed last year, when he stated: “I promised the studio I would deliver one last trilogy to end the saga.” The actor has also hinted that additional spinoff movies could be made, focusing on some of the individual characters from the action series.

Fast & Furious 8 opens on April 14, 2017. It will be the first entry in the series without Walker.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Users of Chinese ride-share giant Didi Kuaidi can now seamlessly hail a Lyft in the US

Last year, Lyft teamed up with a trio of Asian ride-hail apps — China’s Didi Kuaidi, India’s Ola, and Southeast Asia’s Grab — to better compete against Uber. Now we’re starting to see the fruits of that partnership. This week, Didi users traveling in the US can use their app to hail a Lyft car. It will take a few more weeks for Grab passengers to do the same and for Lyft customers to be able to call for a Didi or Grab taxi in those companies’ respective countries.

Lyft says the seamlessness of its integration with Didi is its key feature: Chinese travelers in the US won’t need to download a new app to call for a ride, nor will they need to worry about currency exchanges or language barriers. Thanks to application program interface (API)…

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Author: Andrew J . Hawkins

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Total War: Warhammer Free DLC and More Revealed

Like past entries in the Total War series, this year’s Total War: Warhammer will add free content after launch, developer The Creative Assembly announced today. This new content, which is separate from Warhammer’s Part II and Part III sequels, includes new units, Lords, items, and races, among other things.

“For Total War: Warhammer, you can expect a selection of content covering more of the iconic good stuff you’ll see in the main game,” the developer said in a blog post. “From new units offering new tactical potential in battle, to new magic lores to augment certain races’ spell-casting arsenal.

“Perhaps most importantly for long-term replayability, you can also expect to see the occasional new Legendary Lord who will shake up a race’s strategic potential in interesting new ways. Last but not least, towards the end of the year we will add a new playable race to the game, including new Legendary Lords, magic items, quest chains, and units,” it added.

The image above showcases the post-launch content coming to Warhammer after launch.

In terms of paid content, The Creative Assembly said it plans to sell Lord Packs, Race Packs, and Campaign Packs. Pricing was not announced, and the developer stressed that all plans are subject to change.

With that caveat out of the way, below are the full details on Warhammer’s paid DLC, as written by the developer.

Lord Packs

Themed on a specific rivalry or conflict from the Warhammer Lore, Lord Packs contain brand new Legendary Lords and supporting units and characters for existing playable races. They typically include:

  • 2 new playable Legendary Lords with their own narrative quest chains, campaign bonuses, and quest items.
  • 2 new Lords to serve as generals.
  • A new unique Unit.
  • New elite Units of Renown (elite versions of existing units, featuring upgraded stats, armor, or an “unusual ability”; more details can be found here).

Race Packs

Race Packs introduce a new playable Race to the game, either as a first appearance, or adding a full Unit roster, Heroes, Lords and playable Legendary Lords to non-playable existing races in the core game. They might typically include:

  • A new playable Race added to the Grand Campaign and Multiplayer game.
  • New Legendary Lords with their own narrative quest chains, campaign bonuses and quest items.
  • New Lords to serve as generals.
  • New Race-specific Heroes (where applicable).
  • New magic items and mounts.
  • Race-specific unique Units.
  • Race-specific building, technology and skill trees.

Campaign Packs

A supercharged version of a Race Pack, Campaign Packs not only contain a brand new Race for use in the Grand Campaign and Multiplayer, but also add a new Challenge Campaign to the game. Themed on an epic event from the Warhammer Lore, these self-contained Campaigns will present a distinct and challenging scenario. Contents might typically include:

A new Challenge Campaign featuring the Pack’s new Race; a self-contained mini-campaign, with a set of escalating victory conditions to suit both new and very experienced veteran players alike.

  • Adds a new playable Race to the Grand Campaign and Multiplayer game.
  • New Legendary Lords with their own narrative quest chains, campaign bonuses, and quest items.
  • New Race-specific Heroes.
  • New Lords to serve as generals.
  • New magic items and mounts.
  • New Race-specific, unique Units.
  • New Race-specific building, technology, and skill trees.

Publisher Sega previously said Warhammer will deliver “hundreds of hours” of gameplay and, as stated earlier, two additional expansions will follow. Warhammer is the first in a three-part trilogy that will include two standalone further installments, as well as DLC packs like the ones announced today.

Warhammer was previously expected to launch in April, but is now due out for PC on May 24. For more on Warhammer, check out GameSpot’s hands-on preview and interview with The Creative Assembly.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Check in on Cersei, Sansa, and Daenerys with three new Game of Thrones clips

If you’re hungry for more Game of Thrones after watching yesterday’s flashy new trailer (which we fixed for you), you’re in luck. Three short new clips have trickled onto the internet through fan site Watchers on the Wall, each focusing on one of the show’s leading ladies: Cersei, Sansa, and Daenerys. (Consider this your spoiler warning — if you haven’t watched season five, go away!) Cersei and Sansa’s scenes are cut from the sixth season’s premiere, and Daenerys’ clip comes from the season’s third episode.

None of the clips offer much in the way of substantive plot developments, but they shed a little light on each character’s mental and physical state as we enter uncharted terrain. (We’re off book, remember?) Cersei is grieving for…

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Author: Jamieson Cox

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Gears of War 4: Cliff Bleszinski Reacts to First Trailer

Cliff Bleszinski, an industry veteran known best for his work designing the Gears of War series at Epic Games before moving on, has spoken out to react to the first trailer for Gears of War 4. Across a series of tweets, Bleszinski praised the video’s title “Tomorrow,” as well as its tone.

“This made me misty,” Bleszinski said. “Even calling it ‘tomorrow’ as in ‘we have a tomorrow’–that’s what JD is to Marcus. Oh man.”

In another tweet about the video directed to the Gears of War Twitter account, Bleszinski wrote, “SQUEE good job ::applauds::.” Executive producer Rod Fergusson responded, thanking Bleszinski for his support and saying he is proud of the team at The Coalition working on the game.

Bleszinski replied to this, saying he’s eager to play the game.

“Can’t wait to play it. From the trailer looks like another homecoming and more daddy issues,” he wrote.

If you missed Gears of War 4’s new trailer, which aired during Fear the Walking Dead‘s season two premiere on Sunday evening, you can watch it above.

The Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta starts on April 18 for people who have played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, while all Xbox Live Gold members will get to jump in starting April 25. Check out this post for more on how you can get in.

The Gears of War 4 release date is set for October 11 for Xbox One. A PC version may also be released, but nothing has been confirmed at this stage. In other news, you can see the game’s devastating new Dropshot weapon in action here.

Bleszinski left Epic in 2012. He now runs Boss Key Productions in North Carolina, which is currently working on the R-rated multiplayer shooter LawBreakers.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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