Tag Archives: forever

Earth’s ‘Minimoon’ Is About to Leave Us Forever

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Late last summer, Earth picked up a new moon. No, you didn’t just miss seeing it in the night sky — this was a so-called “minimoon.” Earth’s gravity occasionally snags passing space rocks, holding them in irregular orbits before they fly off. With the object known as 2020 SO, it was more of a homecoming. Scientists confirmed 2020 SO was actually a discarded rocket booster from the 1960s, but it’s not here to stay. According to astronomers, Earth’s latest artificial satellite is about to become a former satellite as it prepares to zip off into the inky blackness of space. 

Calling it a minimoon might seem a bit misleading, but the accepted definition doesn’t require the object to be naturally occurring. 2020 SO made its first close pass of Earth in December, just a day before NASA confirmed it was indeed the long-lost Centaur rocket. After whipping around Earth, 2020 SO took a long elliptical track out past the moon’s orbit, and it’s now on its way back for one final look at home before it’s gone for good. 

Scientists knew something was up with 2020 SO as soon as it appeared in telescopes last September. The object’s orbital inclination was almost identical to Earth’s, and it was moving much more slowly than the average near-Earth asteroid. Early on, observers were speculating that 2020 SO was actually a Centaur rocket booster from the 1966 launch of Surveyor 2, a robotic moon lander that sadly crashed into the lunar surface due to a faulty engine. The estimated size of 2020 SO was also a match for the Centaur booster at 21 to 46 feet long (6.4 and 14 meters). The Centaur-D booster was 41.6 feet tall (12.68 meters). 

The Centaur rocket during the 1966 Surveyor 1 launch. The Surveyor 2 used the same model rocket, which eventually became 2020 SO.

While studying 2020 SO, NASA found that it made several previous approaches to Earth. It came close in 1966 (shortly after it was launched) and again in 1971. This helped the agency nail down the object’s identity. 

Astronomers say 2020 SO should pass within 140,000 miles (220,000 kilometers) on February 2nd. This will be much farther away than the last orbit, about half-way between Earth and the moon. After this pass, 2020 SO will pick up enough energy from the gravitational slingshot to escape Earth’s gravity. It will then be bound only to the sun’s gravity, and is, therefore, very unlikely to ever grace us with its presence again. So long, 2020 SO.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Save Files Will Break Forever If You Collect Too Many Items

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Gamers around the world spend eight years waiting for CD Projekt Red to release Cyberpunk 2077. CDPR is coming off a massive success with The Witcher 3, and the Cyberpunk trailers made the game look incredible. No game could live up to all that hype, but Cyberpunk 2077 is still underperforming in its current state. Gamers have griped loudly about the bugs and performance issues, and there’s a new issue to note today: if you collect too many in-game items, your save file will break forever

CDPR marketed Cyberpunk 2077 as an RPG, but many players have noted that it plays more like an action game with some role-playing elements. One of those elements is the plethora of loot you collect. You can disassemble most items to get crafting materials, which is the only way to obtain some of the game’s best gear. The problem, however, is that each item in your inventory makes the save file a bit bigger. CDPR set an 8MB size limit for save files, and when you exceed that, the file just stops working. 

Like the event horizon of a black hole, CDPR support says there’s no way to restore a save file that crosses the 8MB limit. While a future patch “might” raise the file size cap (I would hope “definitely” is more accurate), that won’t fix your save files. The developers suggest going back to an earlier save that wasn’t over the limit and clearing out your inventory. Yes, it’s not a very good solution. 

Cyberpunk has some great visuals, but the bugs are out of hand.

Threads on the GOG forums and Reddit have confirmed this is a concern for the PC version of the game, and some claim to have seen the same issue with the console versions. Although, console performance is so bad right now that I’d assume fewer gamers have been able to collect enough items to break their games. Some also suggest this was fixed with the v1.05 patch that started rolling out on consoles recently. The PC version is still waiting on this update, which could explain why almost everyone reporting save issues is playing on PC. 

While most players won’t encounter the glitch, it’s not that hard to break your save files. I’ve done just a little crafting after about 15 hours in Cyberpunk, and my save files are coming up on 4MB. You may get a little warning if your save file is near the breaking point — some players say their game takes much longer to load if the save is near the file size limit. You can check on your files sizes in C:\Users\[username]\Saved Games\CD Projekt Red\Cyberpunk 2077.

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Forever 21 Sale: Take Up to 40% Off with Memorial Day Markdowns

Forever 21 Sale: Take Up to 40% Off with Memorial Day Markdowns | Entertainment Tonight

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Gold-medal photo forever captured Crosby’s golden moment

VANCOUVER — A picture can capture a moment, tell a story.

The photograph of Sidney Crosby celebrating after scoring the winning goal for Canada in overtime against the United States in the gold-medal game at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics captures one of the most memorable moments in Canadian sports history. It tells a story of triumph, jubilation and national pride.

“The most important thing about any photo is, when someone looks at it, do you know what the photo is about,” said Andrew Podnieks a Canadian author and hockey historian. “You don’t need a date, you maybe don’t even know people in the photo, but when you see the photo, do you know what that means.”

Looking at Crosby, his bare fists clinched, eyes flashing, his mouth set in a shriek of joy, most Canadians understand what the photo represents.

WATCH | The golden goal:

Canada’s men’s hockey team won a nail-biter over the United States on the final day of the 2010 Olympic Games, with Sidney Crosby scoring the game winning goal in overtime. Canada won the game 3-2. 0:44

For John Furlong, head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the picture symbolizes the culmination of a Games that united the country.

“That picture, that moment, represents … it all coming together,” Furlong said. “It was almost like natural justice. It was the belief that when you give life everything you have, and you do everything you can to succeed, then 99 times out of a 100 you get the rewards.

“I think the country earned it. Canadians felt like they got a stick on that puck and they were on the ice, out there living it.”

Paul Chiasson, a veteran photographer with The Canadian Press, photographed Crosby’s celebration. The image was splashed across the country and earned him a National Newspaper Award for sports photography.

Zach Parise’s game-tying goal with 24.2 seconds remaining set the scene for Crosby’s dramatics. (Getty Images)

The irony is the gold-medal match was the only hockey game Chiasson photographed during the Games. Prior to that he was shooting figure skating and short-track speed skating.

Canada led 2-0 at one point of the final, only to have the Zach Parise tie the game for the U.S. with 24.2 seconds remaining. In overtime, from his shooting position, Chiasson concentrated on the U.S. net.

“In overtime … any kind of generic action is kind of meaningless, what you want is the winning goal, so you concentrate a lot on the net,” said Chiasson, who shot the picture with a Canon camera and 300 mm lens.

On the scoring play, Crosby yelled for linemate Jarome Iginla to feed him the puck, which he quickly fired past U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller.

“I just followed Crosby,” Chiasson said. “He was on the left-hand side of the goaltender, then wrapped around behind the net and started celebrating.”

You see it happen, but you don’t really know what the picture is going to be.– Paul Chiasson, Canadian Press photographer

Chiasson kept shooting pictures as the Canadian players streamed off the bench and later during the medal presentation. His camera was tethered to the computer of a photo editor, so he wasn’t sure what the images looked like.

“You see it happen, but you don’t really know what the picture is going to be,” he said. “All you know is it’s the winning goal and you just keep shooting.”

Podnieks said in other famous hockey celebration pictures, like Paul Henderson’s winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series, or Mario Lemieux scoring in the third and final game of the 1987 Canada Cup, the player is instantly mobbed by his teammates.

What makes the Crosby picture unique is he’s by himself.

“For me there’s actually, I wouldn’t say humour, but there is an oddness and awkwardness to this,” he said. “You have this incredible moment where he throws off his gloves and throws his stick in the air, then he’s waiting.

“It took in photography terms a really long time for his teammates to come in with the celebration. That’s what I think makes this different.”

Chiasson’s photo of Crosby joins the likes of Ray Lussier’s shot of Bobby Orr celebrating his Stanley Cup overtime winner in 1970. (Ray Lussier/Associated Press)

There are many famous photos of winning goals. Besides Henderson and Lemieux there’s Bill Barilko scoring in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs the 1951 Stanley Cup. There’s the shot of Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring in overtime to win the Stanley Cup in 1970.

Podnieks, who has written more than 45 books about hockey and also has contributed research for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, still ranks the photo of Henderson’s goal as the top picture in Canadian hockey history.

“It’s simply not possible to beat that, the political context of that series,” he said. “To me, that will always be the No. 1 goal.”

The shot of Crosby wasn’t Chiasson’s first famous Olympic goal. He also took the picture of Peter Forsberg beating Canadian goaltender Corey Hirsch in the shootout when Sweden won the gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

In Vancouver, several other photographers had similar pictures of Crosby, but Chiasson’s seemed to resonate.

“For some reason mine got a lot of play,” he said.

It was long after the medal ceremony that Chiasson finally got a look at the picture that would have a place in Canadian history.

“You’re pretty happy,” he said about the photo. “It’s more the event to me anyway.

“It’s what we do. You know, you feel really great having done it and having made the picture. You don’t want to miss it.”

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Putin’s political gambit suggests plan to rule Russia forever

Russians awoke this morning to a new prime minister and much confusion about a new constitutional process that appears designed to entrench Vladimir Putin’s status at the top of Russia’s political pyramid for the rest of his life.

“His goal is to remain the number-one, most important decision maker in Russia, to keep Russia stable, to keep the elites loyal and to keep the public acquiescent to the Kremlin’s policies,” said Maria Lipman, an independent political analyst affiliated with Moscow’s Carnegie Centre.  

Wednesday was an unprecedented day of political surprises in Moscow, as Putin unveiled his proposals to change Russia’s constitution, thereby allowing him several avenues to extend his 20-year reign indefinitely.

Then, a few hours later, the second most powerful man in the country, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, resigned, taking the entire Russian cabinet with him.   

In the final act last night, Putin appointed a little known bureaucrat, tax commissioner Mikhail Mishustin, as the new PM,  a position that confirmed by Russia’s parliament today. Western reporters have noted that Mishustin was so obscure, he didn’t even have his own Wikipedia entry before yesterday’s surprise appointment. 

‘Striking’ measures

The question of what Putin will do after his presidential term expires in 2024 has loomed over the country since he won re-election in 2018.

Putin nominated little-known bureaucrat Mikhail Mishustin for the post of prime minister. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

He is currently barred under the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term, but rather than changing that specific clause, Putin put forward a series of dramatic overhauls that could eventually change the very nature of how power is wielded in the country.

The measures are “striking,” said Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King’s College in London. “This is a risk-averse system that likes to avoid sudden moves.”

Putin is more than simply the president — it often seems that no other political figure in Russia matters.   

Virtually every significant political appointment or decision flows through his Kremlin office. And once a year, he holds a nationwide phone-in show where Russians call and plead with him to fix their problems, from medical care to potholes on their street.

As part of his proposed package of constitutional reforms, Putin is suggesting to devolve some presidential powers to other branches of the government, notably the Duma, or parliament, as well as a fairly obscure institution known as the State Council.

Lipman said it appears Putin is taking the first steps to ensuring that when he leaves the presidency, he has a new position to move into — and that whoever succeeds him will have his wings clipped.  

In 2024, “someone else will be president of Russia, and that person will not be … as powerful,” said Lipman.

No peaceful retirement

Precisely what job Putin has in mind for himself is unclear although liberal-leaning critics believe whatever it is, Putin will ensure he maintains some control of either the police or judiciary.

Strongmen rarely get peaceful retirements, said Abbas Gallyanov, a Moscow-based political consultant. “With so many powerful people hating [Putin], he cannot rule out that revenge will come.”

Once a Kremlin speech writer, Gallyanov said he became disillusioned with Putin once he put Russia on a path toward authoritarianism.

This electronic screen, installed on the facade of a hotel, shows an image of Putin and a quote from his state of the union address on Jan. 15. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

“He made so many enemies inside and outside of Russia, he wouldn’t feel secure. So he needs political power to protect himself.” 

Kazakhstan’s long-time ruler, Nursultan Nazarbayev, opted for a similar arrangement when he stepped down from the presidency in 2018. He appointed a successor but moved into a new position on the country’s security council, a job that he can keep until he dies and helps him to maintain control of the security services.

While it was expected that Putin would eventually give some indication of his post-2024 plans, Medvedev’s resignation caught the country by surprise.

Russian state TV, which often echoes the Kremlin’s narratives and messaging, was surprisingly silent on his fate and how it should be interpreted.

Medvedev told Russian media that he was resigning to give Putin leeway to make the changes he felt are needed. There was no explanation about why his departure was necessary to do that.

Medvedev slid into the president’s job in 2008, when Putin left after two terms. Once Putin decided he wanted the position back in 2012, he appointed Medvedev as prime minister and there has been speculation that Medvedev might move back into the job once Putin leaves.

As Russia’s economy has stagnated and issues such as pension reforms have taken a bite out of people’s real incomes, it was Medvedev — not Putin — who bore the brunt of the backlash. Opinion polls routinely rank Medvedev as one of the country’s most unpopular politicians.

“Medvedev’s role in Russian politics ever since he was president has been to be the guy who gets screwed,” said Greene. “It’s his job and he does it well.” 

Greater plan?

This is why Greene believes Medvedev’s resignation is part of a larger Putin plan that will ultimately end with Medvedev returning to a key role.

“I wouldn’t expect a radical change overnight. People who are in power will continue to hold power.”

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, right, resigned his post on Wednesday. (Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Pool via Reuters)

There have been signs that the uncertainty over Putin’s long-term plans were beginning to cause friction within the cliques that sit atop Russia’s power structure and dominate its major bureaucracies and industries.

The government’s response to last summer’s street protests over election rigging in the country’s capital appeared especially dysfunctional.

After thousands of protesters took to the streets in Moscow, authorities initially took a hands-off approach. But then security services quickly changed tack, making hundreds of arrests, with some protesters getting multi-year jail sentences. Then, the government did an about-face, as protesters were released and many had their sentences commuted or dismissed altogether.   

At the time, commentators suggested the response was indicative of different cabals within the government trying to assert their influence and jockey for future positions in a post-Putin Russia.

“At the moment, [Putin’s] focus seems to be on dealing with challenges he has with the elite,” said Greene.

A stagnant economy and declining incomes have put the Kremlin on the defensive. Even in Russia’s system of “managed democracy,” where opposition parties are restricted and state television dominates the political discussion, Greene said it is essential for Putin’s future to remain personally popular. 

“He has to keep the system legitimate by keeping people happy and maintaining his popularity, given that the rest of the political elite are not popular. And he has to maintain the trust of the elite so that he protects their interest and keeps enough money flowing around to keep everyone happy.”

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Zendaya Thanks ‘Euphoria’ Fans for Receiving Show With an Open Heart on Finale Night: ‘I’m Forever Grateful’

Zendaya Thanks ‘Euphoria’ Fans for Receiving Show With an Open Heart on Finale Night: ‘I’m Forever Grateful’ | Entertainment Tonight

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Opportunity Sent Back One Final Stunning Mars Panorama Before Going Offline Forever

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The Opportunity rover has gone to a better place — Mars. Then about 15 years after reaching Mars, it shut down for good in the midst of a planet-wide dust storm. Before the plucky little rover passed on, it beamed back one final gift to the people of Earth: an awe-inspiring panorama of Perseverance Valley.

Opportunity headed into Perseverance Valley near the end of its run on Mars. The rover was only supposed to last a few months on the red planet, but it rolled into Perseverance Valley more than 4,000 Martian days later. NASA wanted to explore the western rim of Endeavour crater, but Opportunity didn’t complete that mission.

The massive dust storm engulfed the rover in June of 2019, blocking light from its solar panels. NASA got just one ping from the robot after placing it into power conservation mode. All future attempts to contact Opportunity were met with silence. Just prior to the dust storm, Opportunity began snapping photos of what would become its final resting place. The panorama above consists of 354 individual frames captured between May 13 and June 10.

Dead center in the panorama is the path Opportunity took as it entered Perseverance Valley. To the right, you can see some rover tracks and a small hill on the edge of the crater rim. On the left, the panorama caught some tabular rock formations.

NASA has a zoomable version of the full image (above, and click the full-screen icon in the top right) if you want to get a better look at the details. The images come from three different filters on the rover’s Pancam unit: 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). You might notice a few frames in the bottom left are monochrome. That’s because the rover didn’t have enough time to capture green and violet views of that area before the dust storm blotted out the sun.

What you’re looking at is the final resting place of Opportunity. It’s gone but not forgotten. NASA’s Curiosity rover built on the success of Opportunity, and it survived the dust storm thanks to its radio-thermal power source. NASA’s next Mars rover (currently just known as Mars 2020) will use a similar design with new instruments geared toward searching for signs of life on the red planet. We can only hope it will be as successful as Opportunity.

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'You will live forever in the hearts of all Canadians': Maple Leafs honour Gord Downie at ACC

The Toronto Maple Leafs mourned Canadian rock icon Gord Downie with a moment of silence before the puck dropped at Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Tragically Hip’s frontman, whose death from brain cancer was announced Wednesday by the band, was a passionate hockey fan and player. 

References to Canada’s national pastime were woven into many of his lyrics. 

Leafs coach, players remember Downie

“Gord Downie personified what it means to be Canadian, composing the soundtrack for our country,” said Air Canada Centre announcer Mike Ross during the pregame ceremony as the crowd cheered. 

“You will live forever in the hearts of all Canadians and tonight we pay tribute and celebrate all you have done for our country.”

Some of the Hip’s most memorable songs were played in the Leafs and Red Wings’ locker rooms. 

Earlier, the Leafs acknowledged Downie’s death by tweeting, “To the man who told the stories of a game, a people and a country.” 

The tweet was accompanied by a photo of the Hip performing at one of their three sold-out shows at the Air Canada Centre last August during their nationwide farewell tour — Man Machine Poem

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock called the news “tragic” during a news conference. 

“You got to live each and everyday because you don’t know what’s going to happen in your life, to your family, to yourself and you want to enjoy the moments,” he said.  

Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly remembered Downie as “something special.”

“We have a lot of fans in this room, all over Toronto, all over Canada, all over the world and losing him is tough,” Rielly said. 

Hockey fan, player

Downie spent his early years on the ice. 

His godfather was future Boston Bruins coach and general manager Harry Sinden, and Downie enjoyed the national pastime as both a die-hard Bruins fan and a goalie who took his B-level team to a provincial championship.

Fifty Mission Cap and Leafs

Downie’s handwritten lyrics from the Hip’s 1992 hit song Fifty Mission Cap are enshrined in the Leafs’ players lounge. 

“Bill Barilko disappeared that summer. He was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored won the Leafs the Cup. They didn’t win another till 1962, the year he was discovered,” Downie sang. 


The Pro Set hockey card that inspired ‘Fifty Mission Cap,’ showing Bill Barilko scoring the Cup-winning goal. (Pro Set)

The song tells the story of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 1951 Stanley Cup victory, and an unlikely hero in defenceman Bill Barilko, who died in a plane crash just a few months after he scored the winning overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens. He went missing while flying back from a fishing trip in Quebec. 

The song was released the year Barilko’s number was formally hoisted to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre by the hockey club.

Barilko’s banner was lowered in honour of Downie Wednesday night. 

Rolling Stones came 2nd to Hip at ACC

A new poster commemorating all 13 shows the Hip played at the Air Canada Centre since it first opened in February 1999, enshrines Downie’s legacy.

Toronto business tycoon and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) co-owner Larry Tanenbaum told CBC Toronto the Canadiana poet is the only one deserving of this honour. 

“He was a guy who connected with everybody, just one-on-one, of 20,000 people in the arena there,” he said. 

“We wanted him to open up this building. The Rolling Stones actually came second to Gord.”

Veteran usher for MLSE Don McLellan says he will “never forget” the Hip’s first show at the arena. 

“It was very special,” he said. “I was so nervous. It was my first one here, but it went off great. The sound was terrific.”

And McLellan worked the next 12 Hip shows and saw Fifty Mission Cap emerge as an anthem at Leafs games. 

“You hear that all the time here,” he said. “They play it at every game and they’re going to keep playing it I imagine.”    

Canadian hockey community reeling from loss

Downie touched Canada’s hockey community. 

Former Leaf Doug Gilmour, who like Downie is a native of Kingston, Ont.,  also tweeted his condolences to the Downie family.

“Heartbroken today,” Gilmour said. “Few Canadians touched this country like Gord Downie. Thank you for everything you gave us. My deepest condolences.”

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