Taika Waititi peppered ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ with Indigenous Australian and New Zealand references


“That spaceship, that’s painted with the Aboriginal flag colours. No one else knows that but us.”

Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok was filmed in Australia’s Gold Coast, and stars locals Chris Hemsworth and Cate Blanchett, but that’s not what makes it a particularly Aussie film.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Goldblum improvises all the answers to the meaning behind ‘Ragnarok’ in the latest Thor movie

Talking to the Australian government’s film and television development agency, Screen Australia, the New Zealand director revealed that he’s dropped a bunch of easter eggs in the film for people from Australia and New Zealand — with a particularly Indigenous focus. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Australia, New Zealand, Thor, and Thor Ragnarok

Hellish California wildfires inspire haunting web comic


Image: Brian fies

Brian Fies lost everything when his house was consumed by the California wildfires: family heirlooms, photos, ornaments made by his children.

He’s taken the painful tragedy and turned it into a gut-wrenching web comic with details that capture the hellish experience.

SEE ALSO: California wildfire victims returning to their destroyed homes is absolutely heart-wrenching

His account of losing his house to flames last Monday is relatable, telling, and haunting. One of the comic’s panels lists what he gathered from his house with only 15 minutes’ warning, another shows what he bought to survive once he realized he was homeless.  Read more…

More about California Wildfires, Web Comic, Culture, Comic Culture, and Climate Environment

Radio host discovers she got paid less than her male co-host. So he took a pay cut.


Take note, men.

Comedians Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek are both hosts on KIIS FM, a radio station in Sydney, Australia. They do the same job, ribbing off each other as you do on an afternoon show, but Langbroek was getting paid significantly less than her male counterpart.

SEE ALSO: Women face pay inequality and have no path for advancement at Google, lawsuit claims

“I found out last year that you get paid 40 per cent more than I do for doing this show,” she said on air back on International Women’s Day in March. 

Hughes was aghast at the revelation, and said he felt “terrible.” Up until that point, the pair had never discussed how much they get paid. Read more…

More about Business, Media, Australia, Radio, and Gender Pay Gap

Typhoon Lan will be Earth’s next megastorm, with effects rippling across the Pacific


It’s 2017, which means a week cannot go by without a megastorm potentially devastating some part of the planet. As Hurricane Ophelia fades from headlines, now all sharp weather eyes are turning to Typhoon Lan in the western Pacific Ocean. 

The storm is currently churning to the east of the Philippines, slowly moving over some of the warmest waters on Earth. Computer models show that warm water, plus low atmospheric wind shear and other favorable conditions may allow the storm to rapidly intensify during the next 48 hours, potentially bringing Typhoon Lan to Category 4 or 5 super typhoon status by the end of the week.  Read more…

More about Climate, Science, Extreme Weather, Pacific Ocean, and Jet Stream

These new little Tasmanian devil joeys are as clingy as human babies


Not just a Looney Tune, Tasmanian devils are some of Australia’s most unique little creatures, at risk of extinction from disease and dwindling in numbers.

But there’s adorably good news afoot.

Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed the arrival of not one but two litters of Tasmanian devil joeys, the first with three joeys and the second with four.

SEE ALSO: These baby meerkats are here to steal your jaded, jaded heart

First-time mums Lana and Pooki have done bloody great work bringing seven little devils into the world. Lana’s (two male, one female) arrived on March 19 and are currently exploring outside the den, while Pooki’s only showed up on June 19 and are yet to emerge from the pouch. Read more…

More about Australia, Animals, Conservation, Baby Animals, and Zoo

Here are some of the most stunning nature photographs of 2017


Another year, another super impressive bunch of photos from the Wildlife Photography Awards.

The winners of the competition, which will go on display at London’s Natural History Museum later this the month, were announced on Wednesday.

The 15 photos below are all winners of their respective categories. Some are dark, some are amusing, and they’re all incredibly visually arresting in their own way …

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, Grand Title Winner

A black rhino bull is seen dead, poached for its horns less than 24 hours earlier at Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. Black rhino are the most endangered rhino, with less than 3000 left in the wild today Read more…

More about Photography, Wildlife, Gorilla, Whales, and Rhinoceros

Obsessively checking social media during a crisis might harm your mental health


Survivors of three recent disasters — the northern California fires, the Las Vegas mass shooting, and Hurricane Maria — used social media and texting as lifelines to connect with loved ones, seek aid, and search for the latest developments. 

A new study, however, suggests that people who get updates during a major crisis from unofficial channels like random social media accounts are most exposed to conflicting information and experience the most psychological distress. 

SEE ALSO: Kate Middleton explains in simple terms what mental health means in candid video

The study, published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, surveyed 3,890 students whose campus was locked down after a shooter fired on people. Since it’s difficult, if not impossible, to begin a scientific study during a life-threatening disaster or crisis, the researchers asked students about their experience a week after the incident and analyzed five hours of Twitter data about the shooting. (Details about what happened were anonymized at the university’s request.)  Read more…

More about Twitter, Science, Social Good, Mental Health, and Social Media

These photos from Claire and Jamie’s ‘Outlander’ reunion are everything we’ve been waiting for


The wait is almost over — on Oct. 22, Outlander‘s Claire and Jamie Fraser will reunite after 20 years (a.k.a. five episodes) apart, and the anticipation is killing us.

Starz has already debuted a photo and teaser trailer for the reunion (emphasis on the tease), but we’d all like to see a little more, right? 

SEE ALSO: ‘Outlander’ episode 5 finally gives us the moment we’ve been waiting for…
with a twist

Five new images from the extended episode 6 (or, as we’re calling it, the “sextended sexisode”), titled “A. Malcolm,” have been released ahead of the main event. 

We’re not sure that our screens can handle the pure, unadulterated longing that’s radiating from our starcrossed couple now that they’ve finally found their way back together. Read more…

More about Outlander, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Outlander Season 3, and Claire Fraser

If you own a Ford pickup truck, it probably just got recalled


Ford has issued a recall of approximately 1.3 million of its vehicles. 

The recall concerns pickup trucks, specifically the full-sized F-150 and the heavy-duty Super Duty vehicles. 

SEE ALSO: A futurist and innovations expert explains what is and isn’t real about AI in movies

Ford announced today that the recalled models lack a shield to protect their side doors’ latches from water. This is a problem because water can severely damage a door’s latch or actuation cable, the cable that facilitates the opening and closing of the door. 

If a cable or latch is damaged by water or freezes, it can stop the door from being able to open or close. This could literally trap you in your car.  Read more…

More about Ford, Tech, Transportation, and Consumer Tech

Trump’s tweets just might forever prevent his ‘Muslim travel ban’


Perhaps no politician is as compelled to cram his foot into his own mouth as President Donald Trump. 

Two judges recently issued temporary blocks of the White House’s third attempt to ban travel from several majority-Muslim nations, and one cited Trump’s tweets as part of the reason the ban should not go forward.

SEE ALSO: How Trump’s four hours in Puerto Rico revealed his Achilles’ heel

Had it proceeded apace, the ban would have gone into effect Wednesday, when it would have prevented many citizens of majority-Muslim Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen from coming to the United States. It will still effect citizens of North Korea and Venezuela, both of which were mentioned in the ban but unaffected by the rulings of Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii and Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland.  Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Tech, and Politics