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Encyclopedia Britannica ends print edition

Encyclopedia Britannica ends print edition

The company is ending publication of its famous multivolume reference set after 244 years.

The end of serendipity, as we know it. Leafing through the world’s knowledge, alphabetically, will become am obsolete tradition. The oldest English-language general encyclopedia — according to, of course, the Encyclopædia Britannica — will abandon foolscap once and for all.

“For 244 years, the thick volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica have stood on the shelves of homes, libraries, and businesses everywhere, a source of enlightenment as well as comfort to their owners and users around the world,” reports its blog. “Today we’ve announced that we will discontinue the 32-volume printed edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica when our current inventory is gone.” That inventory includes 4,000 in its warehouse — about 8,000 sets have been sold at $1,395 a pop. (Seven million sets have been published in its storied history.)

Digital afterlife

While the move is acknowledged as “momentous,” the blog also points out that the Britannica already has a digital presence. Also, those weighty printed sets (the New York Times measures the 32-volume set at 129 pounds) only account for less than 1 percent of the company’s sales.

Then again, a Britannica Online subscription costs $70 a year or $1.99 per month for its app. (In honor of its print dissolution, the online service is free for one week.) That hasn’t been an easy sell in the days of search engines and Wikipedia. Still, the company plans to polish up its digital offerings and even add “social connections,” according to CNN Money.

What distinguishes Britannica from its Wiki-counterparts has been its expertise: Contributors have included the likes of Sigmund Freud and Marie Curie to Bill Clinton and Tony Hawk. What Wiki might lack in quality, it atones for in quantity: The Guardian reports that Wikipedia English brims with 3.9 million articles, while Britannica has 120,000.

Perhaps one thing that Britannica lovers can find smug solace: Five hours after news hit about its print end, its Wikipedia entry had not updated. “The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still in print.” The point under “Competition,” however, still stands: “Although the Britannica is now available both in multimedia form and over the Internet, its preeminence is being challenged by other online encyclopaedias, such as Wikipedia.

Britannica staff plan to acknowledge the moment with a cake — shaped like encyclopedias, of course. Here’s a glimpse into its hallowed halls, and their look into the future.

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Tom Cruise Set for We Mortals Are

Tom Cruise Set for We Mortals Are

Variety is reporting that director Doug Liman has gotten actor Tom Cruise for the lead role in We Mortals Are, formerly know as “All You Need Is Kill”.

Based on the graphic novel, the original story is in the vein of Groundhog Day, with a twist: A soldier in a war against aliens finds himself reliving his last day over and over after being killed. Through the training and battles he experiences in these time loops, he becomes a better soldier.

While a deal with the studio isn’t officially signed, Cruise has been weighing this role for some time after continued talks with director Doug Liman.

Sources say Warner Bros.’ Jeffrey Robinov always wanted a big star, though the script called for a younger actor like Ryan Gosling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The studio has already had the script rewritten to make the character fit Tom Cruise’s age.

Dante Harper penned the script with Joby Harold doing the rewrite. Sources said Tom Cruise liked the script so much that Liman traveled to Pittsburgh, where the actor was shooting Paramount and Skydance’s One Shot, to meet with the actor about the role.

Though sources close to the studio were a little worried that Cruise may be passive about doing back-to-back sci-fi pics, sources close to Cruise added that his biggest reason for taking the role is Liman’s persistence in their talks that both films would be completely different.

Insiders go on to add that Horizons will be his next film he shoots, which will go sometime in March. There are some scheduling issues that need to be worked out but given that Horizons is so far along in the casting process and We Mortals Are still fairly early in the development and pre-production stage, both sides should find a way to work those issues out.

We Mortals Are comes to theaters in 2013 and stars Tom Cruise. The film is directed by Doug Liman.

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Lindsey Vonn begins divorce proceedings with her husband

Lindsey Vonn begins divorce proceedings with her husband

The gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn reveals she’s splitting from her husband of four years.

Lindsey Vonn, an Olympic gold medalist and one of the top American skiers of all time, confirmed Sunday night that she has started divorce proceedings with her husband and chief adviser, Thomas Vonn.

The couple grew to fame at last year’s Vancouver Olympics, when Vonn won a gold medal and excitedly embraced her husband at the bottom of the slope. He has been at her side through her three World Cup titles, often wearing a radio to communicate with his wife at the top of the hill.

They married September 29, 2007. Lindsey’s relationship with Thomas caused a rift with her father, due to the nine-year age difference between the couple and because Thomas replaced her dad as a coach and mentor. Alan Kildow wasn’t invited to his daughter’s wedding and the two remain estranged.

“This is an extremely difficult time in my personal life and I hope the media and my fans can respect my need for privacy on this matter,” Vonn wrote in a statement.

In defense of a media that almost certainly won’t respect Vonn’s need for privacy on this matter, Lindsey and Thomas made their relationship a story at every opportunity. They posed for cute pictures, she gave countless interviews about his influence, he mugged for television time so much that his friends called him by his initials “TV.”

The couple embraced the fact that he was a sort of Svengali figure in her life and played it up for the press. The ending of a marriage is nothing to take lightly. But when you invite the spotlight during the good times, you have to put up with its glare during the rough ones.

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Lindsay Lohan: Community Service or Jail?

Lindsay Lohan: Community Service or Jail?

Lindsay Lohan, it seems, can’t stay out of trouble. At her probation hearing on Wednesday she received a sentence of 30 days in jail for probation violation. Lindsay (pictured here with her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley) was also told she must complete her community service requirement or risk landing in jail for an additional 270 days. Wonder if the judge will get through to her this time.

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Iron Man 3 confirmed for North Carolina shoot

Iron Man 3 confirmed for North Carolina shoot

It was confirmed that the superhero sequel will be shot at Willmington, North Carolina’s EUE / Screen Gems studio. Here’s what EUE / Screen Gems owner Chris Cooney had to say about Iron Man 3 shooting at his facility.

“We aggressively pursued this piece of business. This film is a game changer-not only for our studios, but for the entire state of North Carolina. It feels great to bring this project to Wilmington, a place where we’ve invested emotionally and financially since 1996. Today, our vision becomes reality.”

The production also considered locations in Michigan and New Mexico before settling on EUE/Screen Gems. North Carolina’s 25% film incentives and the studio’s 150,000 square-foot facility were the primary reasons for the move. Marvel Studios filmed both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 in its Manhattan Beach, California facility.

Iron Man 3 is said to move into the Screen Gems studio in early 2012, although it isn’t known when shooting may begin. Our report from September indicated production will start in June 2012, but that has not been confirmed.

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Tourists surprised by Big Ben’s tilting

Tourists surprised by Big Ben's tilting

The British landmark’s lean is now extreme enough to be seen with the naked eye.

Big Ben British history is leaning to the point that the inclination can now be clocked with the naked eye, according to a report commissioned by London Underground and the Department Parliamentary Estates.

The 96 meter high clock tower of the Houses of Parliament – known colloquially as Big Ben, the name of the great bell it houses – is sinking unevenly into the ground, causing it to lean towards the north West.

“The slope is now less visible, you can see where you stand on Parliament Square and look east, toward the river I heard there are tourists to take photographs by saying “I do not think it is quite vertical” -.. And they are absolutely right, “Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College, London, John Burland, told the Sunday Telegraph.

The level of the slope has accelerated since 2003, increasing to 0.9 mm per year, compared to long-term average of 0.65 mm per year, the report found.

These levels are not considered hazardous. “If she started a greater acceleration, we would have to try to do something but I do not think we should do something for a few years,” says Burland.

Years of underground development have helped tip the clock tower, the report said. This includes the construction of a parking garage in the 70s and an extension of the Jubilee line to London, as well as changes in field conditions.

The slope leading to the formation of cracks in walls and ceilings of some parts of the House of Commons, including the wing of the Minister.

The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, is the site of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The construction of the large clock tower was completed in 1858.

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Kirstie Alley opens up on love life

Kirstie Alley opens up on love life

After losing 100 pounds, the actress reveals how her weight gain affected her relationships.

Kirstie Alley is back on the market, and searching for a worthy suitor. “What I’m looking for is to be madly, deeply in love,” Alley tells People magazine. “For the first time in my life, I know exactly what I want in a man. I want someone who has my back, who is courageous and brave.”

The ever-blunt, newly svelte actress, who’s openly discussed her long dry spells — her last documented relationship was with her second husband, Parker Stevenson, and that ended in 1997 — adds: “I didn’t like the way I looked, and I didn’t want to have fat sex.”

Since adopting a healthier lifestyle and working a sweat on “Dancing With the Stars,” Alley has shed a whopping 100 pounds. It is hard to believe that she’s 60 years old!

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Isla Fisher is in talks to join Now You See Me

Isla Fisher is in talks to join Now You See Me

Isla Fisher is in talks to join the cast of Summit Entertainment’s magician heist story, Now You See Me.

The actress would play Henley, a master technician who builds contraptions to aid in the illusion of the heists. Amanda Seyfried was eyed for the role but her deal never expired.

Mark Ruffalo is starring as the leader of a team of FBI agents who are investigating the Four Horsemen, a squad of the world’s greatest illusionists who pull off a series of daring bank heists during their performances, then shower the profits on their audience. Jesse Eisenberg will play the arrogant leader of the Four Horsemen, alongside Morgan Freeman and Mélanie Laurent who co-star as ex-magician and a federal agent.

Now You See Me comes to theaters in 2012 and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mélanie Laurent, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Seyfried, Morgan Freeman. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier.

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Anna Kendrick is in talks for Pitch Perfect

Anna Kendrick is in talks for Pitch Perfect

Anna Kendrick is in talks to star in Pitch Perfect, a romantic comedy set in the world of collegiate a cappella groups.

Rebel Wilson is already cast in the project, which revolves around a goth-like and rebellious student (Anna Kendrick), unhappy to be at a school at which her father is a professor, who discovers her voice and becomes the secret weapon for the school’s female a cappella group.

The film will be directed by Jason Moore and is based on a book written by GQ magazine’s Mickey Rapkin. The romantic comedy is shooting this fall in New Orleans.

Pitch Perfect comes to theaters in 2012 and stars Rebel Wilson. The film is directed by Jason Moore.

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Apollo 18 mission still being denied by NASA!

Apollo 18 mission still being denied by NASA!

Apollo 18 movie which The Weinstein Company has been touting as a “found footage” thriller, which consists of “actual footage” from a mysterious moon mission that never ‘officially’ took place, although many conspiracy theorists believe it did.

NASA has now taken its official stance, insisting Apollo 18 is a work of fiction. Here’s what NASA spokesperson Bert Ulrich had to say below.

“Apollo 18 is not a documentary. The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that. We were minimally involved with this picture. We never even saw a rough cut. The idea of portraying the Apollo 18 mission as authentic is simply a marketing ploy. Perhaps a bit of a Blair Witch Project strategy to generate hype.”

However, Bert Ulrich does believe that NASA’s exposure in projects like Apollo 18 are beneficial for the agency, even if fictional. “It’s a wonderful way to reach the public through these huge media means like feature films and television shows, and it can inspire people in an interesting way, and it also can instruct people about what space exploration is all about.”

Apollo 18 was released September 2nd, 2011 and stars Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen. The film is directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego.

Apollo 18

Directed by: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen
Screenplay by: Brian Miller, Cory Goodman
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: September 2nd, 2011

Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.

Everything you want to know about Apollo 18 Movie

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