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DIY Robot Kits Make Learning Fun (But Don’t Tell Your Kids That)

MY NERDY NEPHEW grew up on Legos and all the fun (and foot pain) they bring. Now 14, he’s developed an interest in making things that do something. Enter robot kits, with machined aluminum parts, gears, circuits, sensors and intricate programming languages. These kits aren’t just fun, they sate a curiosity for complex engineering better than any Erector Set.

Today’s best schools push STEM—Science, Tech, Engineering and Math—as a basis for understanding careers of tomorrow. Makeblock, a China-based creator of robot kits,…

Sylvester Stallone Rocks A Bow And Arrow In New Rambo 5 Set Photo

In Rambo V: Last Blood, we will see the iconic soldier go to war one final time. And as this is the last blood, you can bet that a fair bit of it will be spilled before the credits roll as John Rambo uses all weapons within reach to defeat his enemies. Based on a new set photo shared by Sylvester Stallone, it looks like one of those weapons will be the character’s trademark bow and arrow. Check it out:

We should all be so lucky to strike such an imposing and badass figure at 72 years old. It’s great to know that Rambo will get his bow back for Rambo V: Last Blood. Rambo is deadlier with a bow and arrow than most people are with a gun. That’s good news for audiences and bad news for the cartel that he will be going against in this movie.

As if the image wasn’t badass enough on its own, in his Instagram post, Sylvester Stallone also includes an awesome Rambo quote that’s presumably from the film itself. In it, in classically intimidating Rambo fashion, he lets the killers know what real death looks like and that its reach is long, just like the range of his arrows. The whole thing has a very Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, “Hell’s coming with me” vibe that gets your adrenaline pumping.

Rambo won’t only be rocking his classic compound bow in Last Blood either. Sylvester Stallone has also teased that the character will again be wielding an incredibly large and lethal survival knife called the ‘Heartstopper.’ Which is an awesome name, and he’ll no doubt stop a few hearts with it, but upon just hearing the name, I’m telling mine to be still.

The Rambo we see in this film will have a different look as a bit of a cowboy, retired from countless wars, but it’s clear that with his bow and knife at the ready, this will be the Rambo we know and love. I expect the action in Rambo V to play like a greatest hits of violence for the character as he goes on one last tour of blood.

It looks like this will be the end too, because after he wrapped principal photography, Sylvester Stallone shared a heartfelt message with his fans about the property. He’s also said that he’s done playing Rocky after Creed II, so the actor seems to be bringing his most iconic characters to satisfying conclusions.

Rambo V: Last Blood is expected to see John Rambo living on a ranch in Arizona when a friend’s granddaughter goes missing in Mexico. This leads to him going up against a deadly Mexican cartel.

Rambo V: Last Blood is set to arrive in 2019. That’s just one of many sequels and huge properties coming once the calendar turns. Check all of them out in our 2019 release schedule.

Apparently We Have Steven Spielberg To Thank For The Bumblebee Movie

Although Michael Bay’s Transformers films have always been towering, worldwide box office successes, it’s been clear for quite some time that the franchise could do with a little less flame bursting and a lot more heart. The upcoming spinoff Bumblebee, about the origins of the lovable yellow Autobot, hopes to do just that as the film tells a heartwarming tale about the bond between a teenaged girl and the robot.

Sounds a bit like E.T. doesn’t it? That comparison would be spot on, because as Bumblebee director Travis Knight recently stated, the plot for the spinoff had a lot to do with one legendary filmmaker’s input. Here’s what Knight said:

That’s right, Steven Spielberg pulled from one of his greatest films for the latest Transformers film, and the franchise will likely be better for it. Spielberg is an executive producer on Bumblebee and it looks like he took the opportunity for audiences to see a touching storyline throwback, as Travis Knight revealed to Yahoo Movies.

The spinoff is set in the ’80s as a nod to when the popular toy first hit shelves, but also pays tribute to the 1982 classic. Travis Knight said when they decided on the era for Bumblebee, he decided he wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the films that meant a lot to him as a kid of the time, and much of Spielberg’s work is threaded into that time.

The action-flick will center on Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson, who finds an old yellow Volkswagon bug in a junkyard and rescues it, unaware that it’s the Autobot Bumblebee. When the Transformer reveals himself to Charlie, the two form an unlikely friendly bond as Bumblebee becomes targeted by government agents, including John Cena as Agent Burns, and Decepticons as well.

Early reactions to Bumblebee have been overwhelmingly positive as critics have gushed about how they think it’s the best Transformers film ever — noting the blend of heart, solid performances, fun action sequences and ’80s era influence.

The flick will mark the first of the franchise to not be directed by Michael Bay and seems to tone down the action sequences and have quite a different feel than the films based on the Hasbro toys that started in 2007 when Bumblebee met Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky.

Steven Spielberg has actually served as executive producer on all five Transformers films, but the new director Travis Knight definitely brings something different to the table as he typically works with Laika Studios in the animation department. 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings, a stop-motion animation Japanese epic about family was his directorial debut.

Taylor Swift Reacts To Maggie Rogers’s ‘Tim McGraw’ Cover: ‘Heavenly’

“When you think Tim McGraw…” you probably think of Taylor Swift‘s starry-eyed 2006 debut single. But now you’ll also be able to think of the song’s latest rendition, which comes courtesy of indie-pop whiz Maggie Rogers.

The 24-year-old released her cover of the Swift classic on Wednesday (December 12) as part of her Spotify Singles release. It’s a warm interpretation that picks up the tempo a bit and replaces the original’s twangy flavor with radiant synths; all without losing an ounce of its magic.

On Instagram, Rogers wrote, “This song is classic songwriting at its finest and has meant so much to me for the last 10 years. I hope you love it as much as I do.”

Looks like her wish came true, because Swift herself gave the cover her stamp of approval, sharing it on her Instagram Story and calling it “heavenly.”

Overall, it’s been a solid year for nostalgic Swifties eager to revisit the mid-aughts. Swift treated fans to at least one deep cut at every one of her Reputation Tour shows this fall, including, of course, a live version of “Tim McGraw” that she performed alongside the real Tim McGraw (a glow-up if I’ve ever heard of one!).

As for Rogers, her Spotify Singles session also included a hushed, stripped-down take on her recent most single, “Light On.” That song is one of a dozen tracks that will be included on her major label debut, Heard It in a Past Life, due out on January 18. Maybe her new fan Taylor Swift will even pick up a copy!

The Best Winter Travel Deals Move Overseas

The holidays will have a foreign accent and deep discounts for many this year. International travel is booming over Christmas and New Year’s, driven by favorable currency exchange rates and plentiful airline service.

Travel companies say trips to domestic destinations are down this year for Christmas and New Year’s. But they’re seeing strong increases in international bookings, both by Americans heading abroad and foreigners heading to the U.S. New York may not be as crowded as in years past, but London and Rome will be.

Nancy Pelosi’s Red Coat Was Such a Moment, It’s Coming Back to Stores in 2019

On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the White House to discuss a proposed wall on the southern border and whether Trump would, in fact, shut down the government if he doesn’t get the cash he wants for it.

The conversation, which was televised, quickly turned heated and ultimately ended without a compromise—but with the President accepting and owning the possibility of government shutdown. The Democrats took that as a win. And as soon as images of Pelosi emerging from the West Wing started making the rounds, Twitter was abuzz at the sight of the Speaker-designate’s power look: the sunglasses, the smirk, the impossibly fabulous rust-colored coat. The memes soon followed.

Trump Border Wall, Washington, USA - 11 Dec 2018

PHOTO: Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Someone started a parody account. Director Barry Jenkins wanted to know where to cop. The Boston Globe characterized it as “Big Coat Energy.” The New York Times hypothesized about why, exactly, we were all collectively obsessed with it. Once again, outerwear was the talk of Washington.

The Times was also one of the first to correctly identify the maker of the coat: Max Mara. This wasn’t fresh-off-the-runway, just-hit-stores Max Mara, though—Pelosi’s burnt-red style dates back to 2013. In order to authentically get the House Minority look, you’d have to dig deep into the resale market, scouring the eBay’s, Tradesy’s, and TheRealReal’s of the world to buy the Glamis coat.

Donald Trump meets with US House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Washington DC, USA - 11 Dec 2018

PHOTO: REX/Shutterstock

Except that late Wednesday afternoon, the Italian fashion house sent out a press release that not only confirmed the origins of Pelosi’s coat but also announced that Max Mara would be reinstating the Glamis into its outerwear collection in 2019. “In a variety of colorways,” no less! A spokesperson for the brand confirmed to Glamour that the decision to bring it back was inspired by Pelosi.

Ian Griffiths, the creative director of Max Mara, issued a statement on the Pelosi sighting too: “You develop an emotional relationship with a coat like nothing else in your wardrobe. I can imagine why Ms. Pelosi chose to wear it for this important moment, and I’m honored.”

Donald Trump meets with US House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Washington DC, USA - 11 Dec 2018

PHOTO: REX/Shutterstock

Her influence!

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Designer Holiday Gift Ideas: Chanel, Gucci, Dior and More

A wise woman once said “I want all my clothes designer and I want someone else to buy ’em.” Unfortunately for most of us peasants, we aren’t pop icons like Kim Petras and cannot buy ourselves designer nor can we buy designer gifts for anyone else. Luckily even the most high-end of designers sell things that are somewhat affordable. They may not be the items that come to mind right away but they’re just as nice as anything else they sell and make great fancy gifts without the super fancy price tag.

See below for all the most affordable gifts from our favorite designers that you can get for your friend who wants someone else to buy ’em.

Terminator 6: What We Know So Far

The Terminator first said “I’ll be back” in 1984. He was right, several times over, but I can’t say I expected him to still be back 35 years later. Turns out, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and franchise co-creator James Cameron are all returning for Terminator 6, a direct sequel to their Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Here’s everything we know so far to get you up-to-speed on the 2019 film.

What Is The Terminator 6 Release Date?

Terminator 6 is being directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and it’s currently scheduled to open in theaters on November 1, 2019. That’s a slight change from its previous Nov. 22, 2019 release date. The Wonder Woman sequel was going to open on Nov. 1, but moved to June 2020. At this point, Terminator 6 is poised to compete against the Charlie’s Angels reboot on the first day of November. The following week in November currently holds releases for Sonic the Hedgehog and Midway. Studios love to shift titles around, but that’s the lineup for now.

What Is The Terminator 6 Rating?

As the sun now stands, Terminator 6 doesn’t have a rating from the MPAA. However, Deadline said the Terminator movie would likely be Rated R. That makes sense, since it’s an extension of the first two movies in the franchise, and they were both Rated R. Two of the next three films in the franchise were rated PG-13, but this film is pretending those movies don’t exist. Plus, director Tim Miller came to this fresh from Deadpool, which was also Rated R. He has a streak going. None of that guarantees that Terminator 6 will be Rated R — they may try for a PG-13 rating to reach a wider audience and make more money — but right now Rated R seems like the logical bet.

What Is The Full Title Of Terminator 6?

Terminator 6 has yet to reveal its official title. However, it sounds like the working title used during filming was Terminator 6: Phoenix. The Terminator Fans uncovered some posts from one of the supporting cast members, and the actor referred to the film as Terminator 6: Phoenix. There was thought, at one point, that that might be the official title. But, as the site acknowledged, it could’ve also been the working title — the way Project Angel was Terminator Salvation‘s working title, and Vista was Terminator Genisys‘ working title. Bloody Disgusting later said they confirmed Phoenix to be the working title, not the official title. It would’ve been a fine title from here, but X-Men: Dark Phoenix is opening in theaters earlier in the year, so maybe they don’t want to double the Phoenix fun.

What Is The Plot Of Terminator 6?

Paramount has yet to release an official synopsis for Terminator 6. However, James Cameron — who directed the first two films and produced this one — told THR the 2019 Terminator film is meant to continue the story from Terminator 1 and Terminator 2:

And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse. This was really driven more by [director Tim Miller] than anybody, surprisingly, because I came in pretty agnostic about where we took it. The only thing I insisted on was that we somehow revamp it and reinvent it for the 21st century.

Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 are returning from the first two films. They will be joined by new stars, including Natalia Reyes as Dani and Mackenzie Davis as Grace. Both actresses appeared with Linda Hamilton in the first official cast photo (see above), confirming the lead characters. Gabriel Luna was also cast as a new Terminator.

Sarah Connor – Linda Hamilton

Sarah Connor is back! We met her in The Terminator as the future mother of John Connor (played by Eddie Furlong in T2), eventual leader of the Resistance in the war against Skynet. But she’s so much more than that. Sarah began as something of a typical damsel in distress in the 1984 film, but when she returned in 1991’s classic T2, soft Sarah transformed into a muscled machine of her own. She became an action hero icon. As an adolescent when T2 came out, Sarah Connor was my hero.

Linda Hamilton was married to her Terminator director, James Cameron, and they share a daughter. He’s the one who approached her about returning to this role, as he told THR:

So I called her up, and I said: ‘Look, we could rest on our laurels. It’s ours to lose, in a sense. We created this thing several decades ago. But, here’s what can be really cool. You can come back and show everybody how it’s done.’ Because in my mind, it hasn’t been done a whole lot since the way she did it back in ’91. […] There are certainly plenty of 50-, 60-, 70-something guys out there that just keep cranking along doing action movies and killing bad guys left and right. But there isn’t an example of that for women, and I think there should be.

Director Tim Miller added his excitement to see the now 62-year-old Linda Hamilton return to Sarah Connor:

As strong a character as she was, as meaningful as she was to gender and to action stars everywhere, I think it’s going to make a huge fucking statement to have her be the really seasoned warrior that she’s become.

Linda Hamilton’s return as Sarah Connor is already being compared to Jamie Lee Curtis returning for the 2018 Halloween. That Halloween return resulted in a major win at the box office, and we’ll have to see if that’s the case again for Terminator 6.

T-800 – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger, now 71, is returning to his T-800 role for this film. He shared a reunion photo with Linda Hamilton during filming, showing that his character definitely gets banged up. Last year, James Cameron talked to The Arnold Fans about the T-800, and teased some potentially interesting directions. The site had asked if Cameron had ever considered having Schwarzenegger play a human character serving as the basis for the T-800. Here’s Cameron’s response:

Yeah, you got to ask yourself, ‘Why did they make these characters look and sound like Arnold?’ There has to be a reason. So yeah, it has flashed through my mind that there has to have been a prototype. There has to have been a guy who’s DNA was harvested from — that they grew the organic outer layer that they grew the Terminator from…and that presumably was a real person at some point. […] I’ve asked myself these questions but it’s never been resolved…so stay tuned! We’re talking pretty seriously now about doing some new Terminator films or possibly a trilogy and you’ll just have to see what surfaces in those.

It’s clear James Cameron was already thinking ahead, not just for Terminator 6, but potentially down the line for more Terminator films after this one.

Dani Ramos – Natalia Reyes

Colombian actress Natalia Reyes will play Dani Ramos, one of the new leading roles. The first photo from Terminator 6 showed Dani next to Sarah Connor and fellow newcomer Grace. Apparently Dani works at “Arius Motors,” since that’s the logo on her mechanic shirt. TerminatorFans posted a casting notice for this character a while back, with Dani described as an independent woman in her early 20s from Mexico City; she was brought up in a working-class neighborhood, and is more street-smart than book smart. She’s a strong believer in family and always manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest circumstances.

There’s speculation that Dani may anchor the Terminator franchise from here, if they do end up making more films, with Terminator 6 giving satisfying (hopefully) closure to Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in their OG roles. This appears to be Natalia Reyes’ first American role, and it’s quite a debut!

Grace – Mackenzie Davis

Mackenzie Davis has another new leading role for the Terminator franchise, playing a character named Grace. The first photo from Terminator 6 — with Sarah Connor, Dani Ramos, and Grace — showed markings on Grace’s body. She’s expected to be some kind of soldier/assassin, and it’s possible she’s from the future, but that’s still speculation at this point. Fans will know Mackenzie Davis from AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and her roles in the films Blade Runner 2049 and The Martian. Black Mirror fans will also remember her from the Emmy-winning episode, “San Junipero.”

Mackenzie Davis is one of the more high profile additions to the franchise, and certainly no stranger to sci-fi. She was also reportedly director Tim Miller’s “top choice for a while” before her casting was officially announced.

Terminator – Gabriel Luna

Actor Gabriel Luna played Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and now he’ll play the new Terminator. A few months ago, original Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted a photo in the gym, mentoring and “machine training” Luna. So, we know Luna got ripped for the intense role, but no further details have been shared. We can guess he’ll be a villain, like in Terminator 1, unless they decide to do another twist on that story, like Terminator 2.

Dani’s brother – Diego Boneta

Singer-actor Diego Boneta has been cast as Dani Ramos’ brother. At this point, that’s all we know about him, but we already know that Dani is very family oriented, so we should expect her brother to be a key part of the story. Boneta starred in the film Rock of Ages, but is arguably best known for his many TV roles on shows like Scream Queens, 90210, Pretty Little Liars, and Jane The Virgin. He also has the lead role in the TV series Luis Miguel, and several more roles in his native Mexico.

Will John Connor Return In Terminator 6?

There will surely be plenty of supporting characters, but will we see John Connor again? It doesn’t sound like Edward Furlong is returning, but a photo was posted that suggests young John Connor may be back in some fashion. The photo, which you can see at Bloody-Disgusting was marked “Edward Furlong’s (Jude Collie) and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (Brett Azar) CGI stand-ins in Terminator (2019). Young John Connor and the T-800 are back.”

The photo shows both actors flexing together for the camera. Based on this, it sounds like we might get a CGI version of John Connor, as well as some CGI to keep the T-800’s body in shape. Bloody Disgusting said Jude Collie is alleged to be playing young John Connor, but since the photo called both Collie and Brett Azar CGI stand-ins, the site speculated that we might see younger Edward Furlong’s T2 face used in the film.

Will There Be A Terminator 7?

The Terminator franchise has nothing official on the books other than Terminator 6. But, somehow it always manages to come back. Based on James Cameron’s comments, it sounds like this is hoped to be the start of a new trilogy. Then again, we’ve heard that before. There was hope that Terminator Salvation would be the start of a new trilogy, and hope that Terminator Genisys would start a new trilogy. Obviously, that did not pan out. Here’s what James Cameron said in July 2017 about new plans for the future of the franchise:

The question is — has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films. … So I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise, and the rights in the U.S. market revert to me under U.S. copyright law in a year and a half. So he and I are talking about what we can do. Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it.

Some fans think this next film needs to end the franchise, but the box office will most likely be the deciding vote. We’ll see how fans feel once Terminator 6 (or whatever it is finally called) is released along with the many other films of 2019.

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Is Once Upon a Deadpool Better Than Deadpool 2?

Its main audience seems to be for the Deadpool fan, as The Princess Bride framing and the new jokes feel geared distinctly to the generation who can already buy a ticket to an R-rated film. However, a younger audience does enjoy it — when you see it, the roaring laughter came from both kids and adults alike. It also didn’t feel like something that would be awkward to enjoy with an under 17 audience and it didn’t spoil the fun of Deadpool 2 either by sanitizing him or stripping him of its personality. If anything, it has more personality and meta humor when Fred Savage comes along for the ride, unwillingly anyway.

‘Ansel Adams in Our Time’ Review: Reconsidering a Mountainous Career

Boston

To express admiration for Ansel Adams (1902-1984) in art journals of avant-garde opinion has for many years been totally uncool. Even before the 1970s, younger landscape photographers, resentful of the gigantic shadow he cast, were less apt to emulate the tonal virtuosity of his black-and-white prints than to make pictures that mocked his Edenic views of the American West and stentorian visual rhetoric.

The…