SAN FRANCISCO--Disney spent the last couple of decades making mermaids into friendly, lovely creatures bursting with curiosity and love (see "The Little Mermaid" and "Splash"). It took about a year's work from the visual-effects pros at Industrial Light and Magic to return the fair ladies of the sea to their classical, bloodthirsty ways.
To show off the effects studio's work on the billion-dollar-grossing "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" as it arrives on Blu-ray next month, ILM's Ben Snow (visual-effects supervisor) and Aaron McBride (art director) sat down with reporters at George Lucas' Presidio compound here earlier this month to discuss the challenges of creating mermaids beautiful enough to lure Johnny Depp to water and ferocious enough to devour him.
"Classically, mermaids were beautiful but deadly creatures," Snow said. "We were excited to bring them back to that tradition. But the challenge was developing creative concepts that preserved their beauty while making them scary again." … Read more
Thanks to the popular XDA Forums, we now have a pretty good idea of what HTC is planning for new Google Android handsets in 2010. Among them are new designs that differ from the company's standard touch-screen candy bar models that we've seen this year.
The images scanned from a brochure indicate that the Taiwanese manufacturer is grouping its handsets into targeted demographic categories. While the Legend appears to be a descendant of the Hero and Droid Eris, the Salsa brings a BlackBerry feel to Android with its four-row portrait QWERTY design. Both phones fall into HTC's … Read more
The DeepX watch from Quiksilver might be your best asset in the water this summer. The sporty timepiece also includes an advanced database of 2,000 popular surf spots around the world with tide information calculated by a professional oceanographer to determine the precise latitude and longitude of the coastline.
Developed and tested by some of the hardest surf riders around, the DeepX tide can also beam information on your local coast through radio frequencies built right into the watch. Quiksilver also claims its calculations are more accurate than most tide charts because it calculates information specifically for every spot, … Read more
Tuvalu is one of several Pacific island nations closely watching predictions about rising ocean levels. It's 700 miles north of Fiji. Residents there say the months of highest tides are already worse and wetter than historically. Homes and precious farm land have been lost. Well water is becoming salty. The CIA summary on Tuvalu states it succinctly. "Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table."