Rob Zombie Just Shut Down Trolls Hating On Girl Group Babymetal

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Don’t question Babymetal’s power to rock. 

Babymetal is a badass teen Japanese girl group made up of trio Suzuka Nakamoto as “Su-metal,” Yui Mizuno as “Yuimetal” and Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal.” Their music is influenced by pop and heavy metal, and their last album went gold. (But, seriously, if you haven’t seen any of Babymetal’s music videos, look them up right now because these girls go hard.) The band recently met heavy metal legend Rob Zombie at the Carolina Rebellion music festival, where they were performing.

On Monday, Rob Zombie shared a photo of the encounter on his Facebook page. 

 

Of course, because this is the internet, shortly after Zombie posted the photo, misogynist trolls began to question how hardcore the Babymetal girls actually are. Rob Zombie had no time for the doubters, and shut it down, as BuzzFeed first reported.

“They roll harder than you,” Zombie responded to one dude who felt to the need to comment about how “awful” and “lame” Babymetal is. Boom. 

 

Commenters then began offering their respect to Babymetal, who released their debut album in 2014 and a follow-up this year, as part of the metalhead community. 

“There are people who say ‘true metalheads will never hear Babymetal’ now we see all the big guys in the Metal scene show their respect to Babymetal,” one person wrote on Babymetal’s photo with Rob Zombie. “It’s awesome keep on rockin’ girls, cause all the haters are no metalheads. ‘Cause in my opinion metal stands for friendship and tolerance.”

 

Rock on, ladies. 

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The Untold Story Behind The Force Awakens Best Easter Egg

Spoilers for The Force Awakens followtread lightly. (Do we still have to do this? Sigh.)

There are countless callbacks to the original trilogy in The Force Awakens, from trash-compactor jokes to AT-ATs. But one easter egg for eagle-eyed fans, which only appears in three shots, took an entire year to produce. After Han Solo and Chewbacca meetFinn, Rey, and BB-8 aboard the Millennium Falcon, Finn leans over a familiar tabletopand a holographic board game, known asDejarik, comes to life. Its the same one Chewbacca and R2-D2 played against each other in the original 1977 film. And just asthe Star Warssequence was animated by special-effects legends Phil Tippett and Jon Berg, this one was created by Tippett Studio utilizing classic stop-motion animation.

Like pretty much everything from the original trilogy, the creatures from the game have been so mythologized that theyve been given extensive backstories, despite only appearing in one scene: right after the Millennium Falcon escapes a group of Stormtroopers in Mos Eisley. All of the holochess puppets actually now have official Wookiepedia names, says Niketa Roman, Tippetts PR Specialist. But Phil calls bullshit on that. He used to call them, like, the worm-looking one and the green bobbly one.

It all started with Abrams approaching Phil Tippett with an idea for a quick gag for Dejariks reappearance. The cool thing, says Tippett VFX supervisor Chris Morley, was that JJ wanted to create it in that stop-motion fashion.

Fortunately, the team was already putting in after-hours time working onMad God,a stop-motion movie that Tippett had first begun back in 1990. If we hadnt been doing that stuff when this came across our desks, Dubeau says, we probably wouldve punted on thisor insisted on doing it digitally.

Tracking Down The Past

In order to recreate the holochess sequence as accurately as possible, the staff at Tippett first had to track down the original figures from 1977. Four figuresthe only ones that originally movedwere housed in the Lucasfilm archives, a gift to George Lucas after the movie’s shootwrapped. But since most of those figures were constructed with Sculpey clay, they werent exactly built to last. They were in really bad shape, says art director Mark Dubeau. Some of them were crushed, frozen in action poses, a lot of the detail had been eradicated.

Two other figures had been purchased at auction by Peter Jacksonwhich makes sense, given his affection for creature effects, both practical and digitaland were being housed at Weta in New Zealand. That was perfect because at the time Weta had a much more robust system for scanning, says Roman: They were able to give us real 3D scans, compared to the photogrammetry for the other puppets.

The other two proved impossible to find. Roman tried to track them down, but apparently they had beengiven to Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz, who passed them to his children;ultimatelythey were sold at a private auction to a non-disclosed buyer. I hit a dead end, Romansays.

Ultimately,the Tippett team was able to use photogrammetry, Weta’s3D scans, and original production photos to reconstruct all eight of the creatures. Once modeled, the designs were sent out for approval from the Star Wars production team, and then 3D-printed; those resin models were usedto make molds so the creatures could be created from silicone, with metal armatures for articulated movement.

Then the team used two Canon setups with different lenses, fitted to a grid system;using Dragonframe software, they were able to see just how the creatures would appear in the actual shots taken during production on The Force Awakens. Their goal was to pick up precisely where the Dejarik game left off in A New Hope:R2-D2s game pieceliftingand slammingChewbaccas, a creaturethe animators referred to as Hunk. After analyzing the 1977 sequence, the teamdeterminedhow to placethe creatures in the exact same positions they were at the end of the original scene. In The Force Awakens, the game continues;once Finn turns on the table, as Dubeau says, Hunk gets back up and exacts his revenge on the guy who threw him down.

Appreciating The Future

Since Tippett was working on other projects throughout, it took about a year to complete the short sequence needed for the easter egg in The Force Awakens. (In contrast, it tookTippett and Berg only two weeks to sculpt and shoot the original sequence for A New Hope.) What we were doing was essentially digital archaeology to match it up to the original, says Dubeau, ticking off theprocess’s various steps. To animate just one second of footage takes almost a whole day, says Morley, especially when you have eight characters.

But the results are undeniably entertaininganother reminder that the spirit of the original Star Wars continues on with the new Disney trilogy. While Phil Tippett remains a practical-effect purist, though, someelements of the holochess reconstructionmight just worm their way into future projects. He hates computers, he thinks theyve destroyed film completely, says Roman. But by the time it was over, he was like, Wow, what else can 3D-printing do?

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Van Dammes Daughter Is A Huge Badass And Also Kinda A 10

Jean-Claude Van Damme was a huge action star in the 80s and 90s, as well as a damn good looking dude. Thats important to point out, seeing as his daughter is now surfacing in the media and she too is damn good looking!

The muscles from Brussels actor actually has three kids with spouse Gladys Portugues. Apparently all the kids are talented and good looking, but Bianca Van Varenberg is definitely standing out as being the most similar, both in looks and skills, as her old man, Van Damme. She is heavy into fitness and health, while excelling in martial arts. And she is incredibly good looking as youll see.

Shes 25 and her flexibility is mirroring that of her father, as she can do the famous Jean-Claude splits! Heres what Bianca has to say about combining both beauty and athletics:

I want to show little girls and little boys that you can be physical and feminine. That you can cross your legs at the dinner table and then kick ass in a nice, feminine way. Kind of like how my father brought martial arts to the mainstream for my generation I want to continue that legacy.

She actually did not show much interest as a child as far as martial arts went. Her parents naturally steered her in that direction, but it didnt click. At first that is. Then came a time when a role was needed in a scene that her father was shooting for a film. The martial arts and acting bug bit hard at that point!

She has since been acting and practicing martial arts with her dad and has now been in six of his films. Heres what she says about training and hanging with her famous dad:

Well go to the gym and kick and stuff.

Just a typical father and daughter day out!

They are both very much into martial arts training, and they challenge one another to excel.

Ill agree to meet up with him and then Ill be like, Ugh, why am I here? Im a perfectionist and so is he, so hell always give me little critiques on my form, she says. Hell be all like, Look how high my kick is! And Im like, Dad, you cant be serious Im obviously better than you!’

Wow, she looks incredible!

Heres a video showing the power of female martial arts training as a woman is being robbed in China and defends herself.

With her looks and her athletics, we should be seeing more of Bianca on screen, hopefully following in her fathers footsteps. She would make for a strong female action hero who isnt just a pretty face, but can back it up with high level skills that she learned from the master himself!

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Christian Girl Is Burned to Death by ISISBut Her Final 2 Words Will Be Remembered Forever

ISIS militants torched their house while her daughter was in the shower but just before she died, she left one powerful message behind.

Living in a nation that is privileged with religious freedom, it is often easy for us to forget what it’s like to be brutally persecuted for our faith.When we think of martyrs, our minds readily reflect on biblicalfigures like James or John the Baptist, but the truth is that it’s still happening today.

In America, we’re often shielded from the terror that ISIS inflicts on Jesus followers, but the Middle East is no stranger to Christian persecution, as one young girl’s account of sacrifice clearly shows.

While acts of religious terrorism by radical Muslims are tragically becoming more common, her story in particular is gaining widespread attention because of her final power-packed words.

According to a report by the Catholic News Agency, one Christian mother from Mosul answered her door to a group of ISIS militants who said she must flee or pay a jizya tax, a penalty imposed by many Islamic states on their non-Muslim subjects. She only requested a few seconds to retrieve the payment, but they refused to give her the time. Instead, they immediately torched the woman’s house while her daughter was in the shower and burned her alive.

The young girl died in the arms of her mother, but the final two words she spoke just before she passed have resonated with the world.

“Forgive them,” she said as she took her last breaths.

I don’t know this young girl. She remained unnamed amidst the many brutal victims that were remembered in a New York City conference on Christian persecution. But she is certainly a hero of the faith whose final act of forgiveness captured the grace of Jesus Christ in a way that shook me to the core. I often struggle to forgive a harsh word or a wrongdoing by a friend, but how can I hold bitterness in my heart when she forgave her enemy while immersed in flames? What kind of love that must be.

May the humble, Christ-like character of this child be a reminder to us all of what it truly means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

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Lost Mayan City Discovered By Teenager May Not Be A City After All

Scientists are once again officially not dumber than school kids, now that it has been suggested that the supposed lost Mayan city discovered by a Canadian teenager probably isnt a city at all.

In what had seemed like the most sensational Mayan-based news story since the world failed to end in 2012, media outlets (including us) had been purring about 15-year-old William Gadoury, who seemed to have cracked an ancient mystery that had eluded his full-grown peers, by noticing that Mayan cities were constructed in alignment with stellar constellations.

Using satellite imagery provided by the Canadian Space Agency, he was then able to pinpoint what many experts claimed was a large man-made structure, deep in the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. Some began to suggest that the square-shaped object was the base of an enormous Mayan pyramid, and in the initial excitement the story went global.

However, an archaeologist from the University of California, San Diego, named Geoffrey E. Braswell soon got in touch with Gizmodo and the Washington Post to explain that he has in fact visited the site, and can confirm that there are no ancient pyramids anywhere to be seen. Instead, he claims that the two rectangular features identified as pyramids are small fields filled with weeds, adding that the fields may be fallow or may be active marijuana fields, which are common in the area.

So it seems that Gadoury may actually have just exposed the hidden operations of illegal drugmanufacturers rather than a historical relic. Regardless of what the fields are being used for, though, several other researchers have come out in agreement with Braswell that the features on the satellite images are indeed pyramidless plots of land.

Anthropologist Thomas Garrison, who is an expert in remote sensing, told Gizmodo that the rectilinear nature of the feature and the secondary vegetation growing back within it are clear signs of a relic milpa, a type of cropping field common throughout Mexico and Central America. This is obvious to anyone that has spent any time at all in the Maya lowlands, he says.

Just as when people prematurely jumped on the 2012-apocalypse bandwagon, it seems that once again weve let our imaginations run away with us when it comes to the Mayans. Sadly, some researchers are now even tearing apart Gadoury’s idea that the pre-Columbian culture built its cities in line with celestial bodies, suggesting that Mayan settlements are just so numerous throughout the Yucatan that finding a pattern like this is inevitable once you look for it.

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Meet the People of a Soviet Country That Doesnt Exist

Transnistria is a thin strip of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine. It is home to more than 500,000 people and has a parliamentary government, a standing army, and its own currency. It has all the trappings of an independent nation—but isn’t.

Oh sure, it declared independence from Moldova in 1990 and fought a war two years later. And it’s got a constitution and a flag and even a coat of arms. But you won’t find it on many maps, and not a single member of the United Nations recognizes its existence.

But the people of Transnistria do not care. They cling tenaciously to aclaim of statehood and theirlove for all things Russian.

Its quite tragic, really, says Justin Barton, a British photographer who visited the countr…. er, autonomous territorial unit last year for his series TheTransnistrian Patriot. There are a lot of people who are very patriotic, but there are also a lot of other people just caught in the situation. And theyre amazingly isolated,” he says.

It all started in 1990, when Moldova broke away from the Soviet Union. Transnistria was home to many Russians and Russian speakers who felt political and cultural isolation in the new republic. They declared independence, hoping to establish a socialist republic and remain part of the Soviet Union. A war ensued, which ended in a ceasefire nearly two years later. The Soviet Union had crumbled by then, and the conflict never fully resolved even though Moldova granted Transnistria a measure of autonomy.

To all outward appearances, Transnistria is a sovereign state, albeit one that skews Soviet. Its flag includes the hammer and sickle and often flies alongside Russian flags. The Transnistrian ruble bears the images of Russian figures like the Gen. Alexander Suvorov and Catherine the Great. An enormous statue of Lenin guards the entrance to the Supreme Soviet, its parliament building. Pictures of Stalin and Putin are almost as ubiquitous as those of Transnistrian president Yevgeny Shevchuk.

 


Natalia Yefremova, seller of Transnistrian patriotic items in Tiraspol. Justin Barton

In return, Russia provides free gas and supplements residents’ pensions. It also provides more than 1,000 troops, to the consternationof those in Ukraine. Still, Russia has not formally recognized the breakaway state, and does not appear inclined to. Nor does Moldova. This does not bode well.Despite Transnistria declaring its own independence, it will not achieve it, unless Moldova decides to recognize itan unlikely scenario, saysThomas de Waal, a British journalist and an expert on Eastern Europe. “The most likely future is either more of the samean unrecognized status and shadowy semi-statehood, or a confederation agreement with Moldova.

Barton became interested in Transnistria in 2014 while working in Ukraine. He heard thatTransnistria was producing new plastic currency with colorful coins in different shapes. His interest piqued, Barton read all he could about the topic and decided to visit Transnistria and photograph its residents. It required a month of pleading with the Transnistrian KGB, which runs security, before Barton was cleared to photograph top officials. It helped that his wife is Russian and he had an especially well-connected fixer.

He spent a little more than two weeks there over the course of two trips.Many of the people Barton photographed were intensely patriotic, though he couldn’t always parse their political views. In Tiraspol, he found Natalia Yefremova and her small trinket shop. It sells busts of Stalin and busts of Putin, and it wasn’t clear whether she favored communist or capitalist Russia. Barton also photographed Igor Nebeygolova, a colonel in the KGB and commander of the Cossack regiment in Tiraspol. A huge flag from Russia’s imperial era adorned the wall of his office, along with Soviet and Transnistrian flags. “His loyalties seemed deeply split,” Barton says. “Everything he had was a symbol of one thing or another.”

Barton photographed some20 people in all. He used a Nikon D810 and favored wider shots that emphasize the environment as much as the person. “You can find out a great deal about a place and, in particular, a mental space [that way],” he says.

It’s impossible to escape the sense of melancholy that pervades the series. It isn’t easy being stateless, and not everyone is optimistic about Transnistria’s future. Anastasia Spatar, who is 23 and has never traveled beyond Transnistria, showed great sadness when Barton asked her to think about her homeland. “[She said] she might burst into tears,” he says.

Barton found the experience as surreal as the country that isn’t. He recalls a conversation he had with a local of Transnistria he met while exploring Tiraspol. “Welcome to nowhere,” he told Barton.

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Russias New Missile Means the Nuclear Arms Race Is Back On

Team Putin is talking up fearsome new hardware that could accelerate a nuclear contest not seen since the Cold War.”>

Russia has a new nuclear missileone that Zvezda, a Russian government-owned TV network, claimed can wipe out an area the size of Texas or France.

Actually, no, a single SS-30 rocket with a standard payload of 12 independent warheads, most certainly could not destroy Texas or France. Not immediately. And not by itself.

Each of the SS-30s multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle warheads, or MIRVs, could devastate a single city. But Texas alone has no fewer than 35 cities of 100,000 people or more.

 

Which is not to say the instantaneous destruction of a dozen cities and the deaths of millions of people in a single U.S. state wouldnt mean the end of the world as we know it.

Nobody nukes just Texas. And if Russia is disintegrating Texan cities, that means Russia is also blasting cities all over the United States and allied countrieswhile America and its allies nuke Russia right back.

Moscows arsenal of roughly 7,000 atomic weapons1,800 of which are on high alertand America’s own, slightly smaller arsenalagain, only 1,800 of which are ready to fire at any given timeplus the approximately 1,000 warheads that the rest of the world’s nuclear powers possess are, together, more than adequate to kill every human being on Earth as well as most other forms of life.

One new Russian rocket doesnt significantly alter that terrible calculus.

But that doesnt mean you shouldnt be alarmed. The SS-30 is only the latest manifestation of a worrying trend. After decades of steady disarmament, the United States and Russia are pouring tens of billions of dollars into building new and more capable nuclear weaponry that experts agree neither country needs, nor can afford.

The SS-30 by itself is just slightly more destructive than older Russian missiles. Its what the new weapon represents thats frightening. The post-Cold War nuclear holiday is over. And apocalyptic weaponry such as Russias new SS-30 are back at work making the world a very, very scary place.

Moscow approved development of the SS-30 in 2009 as a replacement for the Cold War-vintage SS-18. Seven years later, the first rockets are reportedly ready for testing. The Kremlin wants the new missiles to be ready for possible wartime use as early as 2018.

Details about the new weapon are hard to come by. Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news website, described the SS-30 as a two-stage rocket with a mass of 100 tons and a range of 6,200 miles. Launching from underground silos in sparsely-populated eastern Russia, SS-30s could fly over the North Pole and rain down their dozen MIRVs on cities and military bases all over North America.

Incidentally, Americas own nuclear attack plans more or less mirror Russian’s plans. U.S. rockets would cross the North Pole headed in the opposite direction and deploy their own MIRVs to smash Russian cities and bases.

Those plans havent changed much in 50 years. Nor have the nuclear missiles themselves changed very much. The older SS-18 is actually slightly heavier than the SS-30 and boasts a similar range while carrying 10 MIRVs. One difference between the two missiles is that, being newer, the SS-30 will undoubtedly be easier to maintain.

And then there are the countemeasures. The SS-30 reportedly comes equipped with what Sputnik described as an array of advanced anti-missile countermeasures that, in concept, could distract U.S. defenses and ensure that the warheads strike their targets.

But no countryneither the United States nor anyone elsepossesses a working missile shield able to intercept a heavy, intercontinental ballistic missile traveling at 20 times the speed of sound. Americas costly missile-defense systems, including ship- and land-based interceptors, are designed to knock down relatively slow-flying, medium-range ballistic missiles fired by, say, Iran or North Korea.

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In that sense, the SS-30s offensive advancements are solutions to a problem that doesnt exist. The SS-30 is no more, and no less, capable of ending the world as part of the wider nuclear war.

Whats worrying is that Russia even wants to replace its old SS-18s. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, Washington and Moscow have both cut their nuclear stockpiles by thousands of weapons. And the two government had a chance to eliminate even more weapons and advance U.S. president Barack Obamas stated goal of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and … seeking a world without them.

But Russias military resurrgence under President Vladimir Putin and tensions over Russias war with Georgia in 2008 and the Kremlins annexation of Ukraines Crimea region in 2014not to mention the destabilizing effects of Americas own wars in Iraq and Afghanistanground atomic disarmament efforts to a virtual halt.

As tensions between Russia and the West have grown over the last two years, Kremlin officials have appeared to emphasize Russias nuclear capacity and perhaps even threaten its use, Olga Oliker, an analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, explained in a new report.

Russia began developing new nuclear weapons to replace its existing munitions and maintain its overall atomic arsenal. The SS-30 is just one of the new weapons. Russia is also working on a new submarine-launched nuclear missile and a new sub to carry it, as well as new cruise missiles and upgraded bombers to carry those.

Moscow began work on a new medium-range nuclear missile in possible violation of a 1988 treaty, prompting a formal complaint from Washington. In March 2013, the Kremlin even staged a mock nuclear attack on Sweden.

Unless a new arms reduction agreement is reached in the near future, the shrinking of Russias strategic nuclear arsenal that has characterized the past two decades will likely come to an end, nuclear experts Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Combined with an increased number of military exercises and operations, as well as occasional explicit nuclear threats against other countries, the modernizations contribute to growing concern abroad about Russian intentions, Kristensen and Norris warned.

Actually, Russias intentions are pretty clear. Under Putin, the Kremlin is determined to pause, if not entirely halt, nuclear disarmament. New missiles and other weapons are just the means of executing this policy. The SS-30 will determine in which direction nuclear deterrence in the world will develop, Zvezda claimed.

Sure enough, Obama has suspended further reductions in Americas own atomic arsenal. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is in the early stages of a 10-year, $350 billion program to upgrade land-based nuclear-tipped rockets as well as build new nuclear-capable missile submarines and bombers.

The Obama administration has portrayed this program as a mere safety upgradeand nothing else. The efforts are not providing any new military capabilities, Madelyn Creedon, an deputy administrator with the U.S. Energy Department, said in October. What we are doing is just taking these old systems, replacing their parts and making sure that they can survive.

Critics have challenged the administrations sanguine views of its own nuke programs. Today’s heavy U.S. investment in nuclear modernization seems at odds with the objective of nuclear disarmament, Lu Yin, a researcher at Beijings National Defense University, wrote on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 

All the same, Michael Krepon, a nuclear expert who blogs at Arms Control Wonk, insisted that disarmament will eventually continue. Deeper reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear forces will happen because both face budget crunches, Krepon wrote.

But the United States and Russia shouldnt wait for shrinking budgets to force nuclear cuts, Krepon advised. He recommended the two countries begin negotiating a new arms-reduction deal soon. Nuclear risk-reduction succeeds most when pursued in parallel with treaty obligations.

The SS-30’s imminent deployment, however, is a pretty clear sign that Moscow isnt interested in a new nuke treaty just yet. And that, more than the danger a single missile poses to Texas, is why Russias new nuclear rocket is so scary.

 

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