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A 3-D (three-dimensional) film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. Derived from stereoscopic photography, a regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspectives (or computer-generated imagery generates the two perspectives in post-production), and special projection hardware and/or eyewear are used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film. 3-D films are not limited to feature film theatrical releases; television broadcasts and direct-to-video films have also incorporated similar methods, primarily for marketing purposes. 3-D films have existed in some form since the 1950s, but had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and '90s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3-D films became more and more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of 3-D presentations of Avatar in December 2009 and January 2010. Stereoscopic motion pictures can be produced through a variety of different methods. Over the years the popularity of systems being widely employed in movie theaters has waxed and waned. Though anaglyph was sometimes used prior to 1948, during the early "Golden Era" of 3-D cinematography of the 1950s the polarization system was used for every single feature length movie in the United states, and all but one short film. In the 21st century, polarization 3-D systems have continued to dominate the scene, though during the 60s and 70s some classic films which were converted to anaglyph for theaters not equipped for polarization, and were even shown in 3-D on TV. In the years following the mid 80s, some movies were made with short segments in anaglyph 3D. The following are some of the technical details and methodologies employed in some of the more notable 3-D movie systems that have been developed. In the case of RealD a circularly polarizing liquid crystal filter which can switch polarity 144 times per second is placed in front of the projector lens. Only one projector is needed, as the left and right eye images are displayed alternately. Sony features a new system called RealD XLS, which shows both circular polarized images simultaneously: a single 4K projector (4096×2160 resolution) displays both 2K images (2048×858 resolution) on top of each other at the same time, a special lens attachment polarizes and projects the images. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



James Riddle Hoffa was an American trade unionist. Hoffa served as the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1958–1971, despite being incarcerated during the latter four years of his tenure. Hoffa, who had been convicted of jury tampering and attempted bribery in 1964, was imprisoned in 1967 after exhausting the appeal process. However, he did not officially resign the Teamsters' presidency until 1971. This was part of a pardon agreement with U.S. president Richard Nixon, in order to facilitate Hoffa's release from prison. Hoffa was last seen in 1975 outside a suburban Detroit restaurant called the Machus Red Fox. The Teamsters organized truckers and firefighters first throughout the Midwest, and then nationwide across the United States. The union skillfully used "quickie strikes", secondary boycotts, and other means of leveraging union strength at one company, then moved to organize workers, and then win contract demands at other companies. This process, which took several years from the early 1930s, eventually brought the Teamsters to a position of being one of the most powerful unions in the United States. Hoffa played a major role in the growth of the Teamsters union. Hoffa took over the presidency of the Teamsters in 1957, when his predecessor, Dave Beck, was convicted on bribery charges and imprisoned.[citation needed] Hoffa worked to expand the union, and, in 1964, succeeded in bringing virtually all over-the-road truck drivers in North America under a single national master-freight agreement. Hoffa then tried to bring the airline workers and other transport employees into the union. Hoffa was planning to sue to invalidate that non-participation restriction, in order to reassert his power over the Teamsters when he disappeared at, or sometime after, 2:45 pm on July 30, 1975 from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He had been due to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony Giacolone from Detroit and Anthony Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City. Provenzano was also a union leader with the Teamsters in New Jersey, who had earlier been quite close to Hoffa. In 1993, authors William Hoffman and Lake Headley released the book Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia's Most Notorious Hitman, written with the cooperation of former mobster Donald Frankos, who was also known as "Tony the Greek." Frankos claimed that, during one of those furloughs, he took part in the murder of Hoffa, as part of a hit team consisting of himself, Irish mobster John Sullivan, and James Coonan, the notorious boss of the Westies. In July 2003, convicted killer Richard Powell told authorities that a briefcase containing a syringe used to subdue Hoffa was buried at a house in Hampton Township, Michigan. The FBI searched the backyard of a home formerly frequented by Frank Sheeran, who was a World War II veteran, Mafia hit man, truck driver, Teamsters official, and close friend of Hoffa's. Nothing significant was found. In Philip Carlo's book The Ice Man, written about (and with the cooperation of) convicted contract killer Richard Kuklinski, Kuklinski claimed that he played a large part in the disappearance of Hoffa. He said that he and three other men met Hoffa for lunch at the Machus Red Fox and, when Hoffa got into their van, Kuklinski knocked him out and then put a knife in his head. On May 17, 2006, acting on a tip, the FBI searched a farm in Milford Township, Michigan, for Hoffa's remains. Nothing was found. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The Enforcement Droid Series 209, or ED-209, is a fictional robot in the RoboCop franchise. The ED-209 serves as a heavily-armed obstacle and foil for the series' titular character, as well as a source of comic relief due to its lack of intelligence and tendency to malfunction. The ED-209 was designed by Craig Davies, who also built the full size models, and animated by Phil Tippett, a veteran stop-motion animator. Davies and Tippett would go on to collaborate on many more projects. As one of the setpieces of the movie, the ED-209’s look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of director Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot's movements himself. Director Paul Verhoeven made it clear very early on that ED-209 should not look “cute.” He wanted the robot to look hard and mean. For this reason, various common robot features were left out. There are no eyes on the ED-209, for instance, since Craig Davies believed they conveyed too much emotion as well as being clichéd. According to RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier, the ED-209 robot was designed to resemble a bipedal Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter. The rear-facing knee joints make ED-209 a so-called chicken walker. Craig Hayes (then Davies) also incorporated his ideas about modern 1980s American design, especially car design, into the robot. He envisioned futuristic designers making the robot look good in order to make it marketable before they made it work well, “just like an American car.” The crew commentary audio track on the Criterion Collection DVD release confirms the obvious commentary on ridiculous corporate design policies, with such features as an obviously over-designed hydraulic system, over-attention paid to cosmetics and the placement of obviously vulnerable features such as the radiator grill on the very front of the robot. ED-209 is primarily featured in the first film, where it appears three times. The 209 series was an attempt to create a series of law enforcement robots, the brain child of the movie’s main villain, OCP Senior President Dick Jones. During a demonstration of the ED-209's offensive capabilities to the OCP board, it malfunctions and brutally kills an OCP executive, Kinney - even though he had complied with the robot’s orders to “surrender” and put down his gun, ED-209 appears incapable of recognising this fact. (Why this demonstration model is loaded with live ammunition on this occasion is unexplained, and could simply be a plot device). Because of this disastrous malfunction, the RoboCop program is given the green light. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Faviidae so called due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles an animal brain. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; this makes them important coral reef builders like other stony corals in the order Scleractinia. Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs in all the world's oceans. They are part of the phylum Cnidaria, in a class called Anthozoa or "sea flowers." The life span of the largest brain corals is 200 years. Colonies can grow as large as 6 or more feet (1.8 m) high. Brain corals extend their tentacles to catch food at night. During the day, the brain corals use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface. The surface is hard and offers good protection against fish or hurricanes. Branching corals, such as staghorn corals, grow more rapidly, but those are more vulnerable to storm damage. Like other genera of corals, brain corals feed on small drifting animals and also receive nutrients provided by the algae which live within their tissues. The behavior of one of the most common genera, Favia, is semi-aggressive; it will sting other corals with its extended sweeper tentacles during the night. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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