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TOP HORROR MOVIE FRANCHISES
1. Alien – The Alien franchise, with a total of 6 films, is the highest-grossing horror movie franchise ever made. Featuring the battles of a ship commander versus an extraterrestrial lifeform referred to as the Xenomorph. Alien: Covenant is set to be released in 2017.
2. Saw – At 2nd place, Saw has a complicated story arc whereby a villain subjects his victims to horrifying puzzles. Saw: Legacy, the 8th in the series, is currently in production.
3. Jaws – Based on a shark attack, the natural horror series features 4 films. It’s 3rd on our list. Other than the original directed by Steven Spielberg, the remaining films were highly criticized. It was nominated for 4 Oscars and won 3, Spielberg was furious he wasn’t nominated for Best Director.
4. Paranormal Activity – The 4th in a series of 5 films were made for low production costs and used found footage format first employed by Blair Witch.
5. Friday the 13th – Jason Voorhees drowns at Camp Crystal Lake since the camp counselors were “too busy”. The best-selling film of the series (12 in total) is the crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Vs. Jason.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street – The quintessential monster Freddy Krueger, a killer haunting the dreams of children on an otherwise quiet street, spawned 9 in total. Coming in 6th, the most successful is coincidentally the same as Friday the 13th, Freddy Vs. Jason.
7. Scream – Credited with resurgence of the slasher horror flick, Scream successfully uses the conventions of the horror genre. It holds the number 7th spot/ 5 films. Hidden by the mask of Ghostface, murderers chase their victims. It drew negative attention for excessive gore from the film raters.
8. The Conjuring – This one comes in 8thwith 2 films in the series (or 3 if you count Annabelle … possibly 4 if you count The Nun). Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren help homeowners haunted by demon spirits rid the house of these unwanted guests.
9. Halloween – Horror icon Michael Myers murders his sister but escapes the hospital, killing the townsfolk of Haddonfield, Illinois. Halloween is at the number 9 spot with 10 films to date. A greatly anticipated version (still in early stages) is being developed by John Carpenter.
10. The Exorcist – Lavished with Academy Award acclaim (nominated for 10/ won 2), The Exorcist (number 10, 5 films) is based on a bestselling book about the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl, exorcised by two priests.
DO ALIENS EXIST? – We still don’t have an answer to these fascinating questions. Are humans alone in the cosmos?
1. Aliens on Jupiter? – Europa (Jupiter’s moon) has an ocean under its ice crust. NASA spotted plumes of water vapor erupting from the surface. Water. What better place to look for aliens?
2. Water on Mars? – The red planet was covered with water in the ancient past. It’s been photographed and traversed by rovers but we don’t know if it once supported life.
3. Alien signals? – Most strange light pulses are explained easily. But some might be generated by extraterrestrials. Borra and Trottier published a paper entitled “Signals probably from Extraterrestrial Intelligence” detailing the discovery of 234 such signals.
4. Alien megastructure? – Science has hypothesized the blinking Tabby’s Star was being blocked by a Dyson Sphere–or a swarm of megastructures–something like aliens would build.
5. Hitching a ride? – Early Earth was very hot. Some scientists think it would have been easier for life to evolve on a milder arid planet. Did asteroids jettisoned from Mars–carrying microbial life–crash land on Earth? Sounds crazy. But pieces of Mars have been found on Earth and there are almost certainly pieces of Earth on Mars.
6. Wow signal? – In 1977, a telescope found a powerful blast of radio waves, that lasted 72 seconds. Despite numerous attempts, the signal has never been observed again.
7. Another Earth? – In addition to Proxima B, the recent discovery of GJ 1132 B reveals a world with a thick water/ methane atmosphere. Most discovered exoplanets are gas giants, hotter and larger than Jupiter. With the first glimpse of alien air, astronomy enters a new frontier, in the examination of small Earth-like worlds.
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EVOLUTION OF SOUND – The first recorded music technology was the phonograph which worked by rotating engraved wax cylinders. It ran on a hand crank system and didn’t need electricity, pulling faint music through a needle into the horn. The next generation was a hand cranked Victrola which played flat records that could be printed and mass produced. Broadcast radio and the Electrola were next, run on electrical power, each coming onto the market around the same time. Music volume was amplified. Vinyl records and transistors improved electric record players as did the LP (long playing) album format. The compact audio cassette tape could also store data in early microcomputers. It was wound between two miniature spools, held inside a protective plastic shell and once flipped, it played the other side. For the first time music was portable. Options included a boombox, Walkman and car audio systems played through a console to listen while driving. The digital compact disk (CD) succeeded the analog gramophone because it didn’t have background noise. And of course it was smaller. Then, the hard drive rendered other physical storage mediums obsolete. While the MP3 file loses some of the sound richness–of the vinyl record or CD audio–right now it’s the prevailing 21stcentury format. The iPod and iTunes gave consumers anywhere access on portable devices, a user friendly experience and the bonus of affordability. With the popularity of Netflix and YouTube, streaming media (Pandora, Prime, Spotify) now eliminates the need for physical media altogether. What will be the next step in the evolution of sound?