Stan Lee sang to me GRRM hugged me My 10 craziest ComicCon

first_img The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises This created a massive problem for Comic-Con’s security team and fire marshals. An enormous crowd of people that should have been moving like normal was now standing completely still, and all the exits were being blocked by fans trying to get through this terrifying wall of human flesh.The photo op only lasted a few minutes before security broke it up. So even though many of us snapped a few photos, it was impossible to get the full shot of all the Leias at once. Now if you want to get photos of massive meet-ups between Marvel superheroes, Star Wars Stormtroopers and everything in between, Comic-Con makes it a rule to have these cosplayer photo ops happen outside the building. 7.  A fan gets stabbed in the eyeNot everything at Comic-Con is fun. When lines grow longer and the celebrity panels are harder to gain entrance to, fans can find themselves in dangerous situations. In 2010, I spent a lot of time in Hall H, covering panels for StarWars.com and other geeky news outlets. I took quite a few breaks to leave the giant room, unlike the more hardcore fans who refused to leave their seats.Fans who decided to stay the full day inside the room found themselves in the middle of a crime scene when one fan stabbed another fan in the eye with a pen over a seat. This room seats over 6,000 people, and usually there are twice that many people waiting in line to get in. So tensions run high. The attacked man recovered, but the pen stabber was arrested for assault. In true Comic-Con fashion, the next day a few cosplayers decided to dress up as a fan stabbed in the eye. There’s no such thing as “too soon” where Comic-Con gallows humor is concerned. 8. Getting a hug from George R.R. Martin2012georgerrGeorge R.R. Martin gives the best hugs. Bonnie Burton/CNET Game of Thrones first aired on HBO in 2011, and author George R.R. Martin was just starting to become a household name back in 2012. I was attending a private party held by Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady at Comic-Con that year and was delighted to learn Martin would be there. I loved Martin’s books long before the TV series came out, but I was also such a diehard fan that I ended up writing a scathing letter to the editor of The New York Times when a TV critic accused Game of Thrones of having romance so women would tune in. When Martin’s publicist found out I was at the party, he came over and said Martin wanted to thank me for writing that letter — which was pretty amazing considering I didn’t have the courage to say hello on my own. Martin told me he appreciated me standing up for female fans of the show and gave me an Iron Islands copper coin featuring the image of Balon Greyjoy. I also got one heck of a hug. 9. Bringing down the house in Geek Girls panels2011ohyousexygeekpanelHere I am sitting next to geek girl goddess Adrianne Curry dressed as Leeloo from The Fifth Element on one of the many geek girl panels at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Female fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and so many other properties are constantly having to prove their geekdom. In 2012, women at Comic-Con were routinely accused of being “Fake Geek Girls” and, in response, Comic-Con featured quite a few panels focusing on female fandom to remind the guys we weren’t going anywhere. I was honored to be on a few of these panels alongside female actors, writers, directors, comic book creators and celebs. In one of my favorite memories, I sat next to America’s Next Top Model winner and avid cosplayer Adrianne Curry, who was dressed as Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element. Curry talked at length about her love and knowledge of all things Star Wars, video games and sci-fi in general. It was refreshing to see a woman, who also happened to be a reality TV star, stand up to harassment and wave her geek pride flag for all to see. Back then, geek girls were treated like a novelty instead of the norm. So these kinds of panels were a great way to remind everyone that female fans knew their stuff. We weren’t showing off our fandom to impress the guys, we were celebrating our geeky obsessions as equals.  10. Jane Wiedlin and Milo Ventimiglia become honorary StormtroopersThis Is Us actor Milo VentimigliaThis Is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia gets inducted into the 501st Legion at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET When you see celebs geek out over the same things you do, there’s a sense of solidarity that can’t be matched. At Comic-Con, it’s fun to see A-list actors freak out over the latest Star Wars Lego set, or get tongue-tied around their favorite comic book artist. 2009janeEnlarge ImageGo-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin proudly holds up her 501st Legion plaque.  Bonnie Burton/CNET Over the years at Comic-Con, I helped the official Star Wars Stormtrooper cosplayer group the 501st Legion with a few honorary inductions for celebrities. These are always meant to be a surprise for the celebrity nominated by the group, and can be tricky to pull off at Comic-Con.Usually, celebrities are ambushed at Comic-Con by a group of Stormtroopers who present them with a 501st Legion plaque and badge. It’s a huge honor for any Star Wars fan, and the celebrity in question is always delightfully shocked by the impromptu ceremony. In 2009, I was at Comic-Con to help present Go-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin and This is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia with their honorary inductions into the 501st Legion. The ceremonies took place on different days during the convention but still managed to surprise Wiedlin and Ventimiglia, who were both gobsmacked.While not everyone can be honored by Stormtroopers, it’s a fun reminder that even the celebs you admire the most love geeky movies or TV shows as much as you do.  Survival tips from Adam Savage, Jim Lee and more insiders Comic-Con is nearly 50: A glimpse of pop culture at its start First-time cosplay is terrifying, complicated and exhilarating Game of Thrones writers Benioff and Weiss pull out of panel Post a comment 62 Photos TV and Movies Comics Tags 3:00 Now playing: Watch this: The last time I attended one of Savage’s Comic-Con parties, it was in a packed nightclub where all his past cosplay costumes were on display. I was in a VIP area surrounded by fans and a few celebrities like director Guillermo del Toro. Savage’s parties are a good way to see your favorite geeky celebs in one place, if you can get in. Pro tip: If you really want to see celebs in party mode, hang around outside the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday nights for the Entertainment Weekly party. It’s usually the hottest ticket for celebs who want to let loose without the paparazzi harassing them. The year I attended the party, I sat at one of the outdoor fire pits next to The X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Sherlock co-creator and actor Mark Gatiss. 6. Slave Leia photoshoot brings Comic-Con to a standstill209leiasThis is only a small section of the large gathering of Slave Leia cosplayers at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Every year, at the Lucasfilm area on the convention floor, cosplayers will gather to take an epic group shot. Usually it’s Stormtroopers or all the Jedi Masters posing en masse for fans to snap photos. But in 2009, there seemed to be a record number of Slave Leia cosplayers. Not just women but men donning the sexy costume made famous by Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi. Almost 100 Slave Leias gathered to pose with a giant Jabba the Hutt statue proudly standing inside the Lucasfilm area. When that many Slave Leia cosplayers show up in one small area for a photo op, you can imagine how many fans refused to budge. Not only were no fans moving, more of them were rushing to the spot to see if they could get the best angle for a photo.  The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises Share your voice It’s not San Diego Comic-Con unless you’re surrounded by Star Wars cosplayers. Bonnie Burton/CNET I’ve been attending San Diego Comic-Con for over 20 years — as an author, Lucasfilm employee and hard-core comics and pop culture fan — and every year seems crazier than the last. Sadly, I’m not attending this year’s event, so I’m feeling a little nostalgic recalling some of the wackiest things that have happened to me at the convention. Ready? Here we go… 1. Stan Lee and Mark Hamill singing me Happy Birthdaystanleebonnie.jpgStan Lee on one of the many comic book convention panels promoting his World of Heroes YouTube channel. Bonnie Burton/CNET My birthday falls in July, so I’ve often spent it at SDCC. One time, a waiter dressed like Batman brought me a birthday cake, and another time I used a lightsaber replica to hit a pinata shaped like Darth Vader on a friend’s houseboat. But one of my favorite birthday memories from Comic-Con involves Star Wars actor Mark Hamill and the late, great Marvel superhero comics creator Stan Lee.In 2012, Lee was briefly my boss when I created and hosted a web series called Geek DIY for his YouTube network World of Heroes.During our World of Heroes press tour, I was on a Comic-Con panel in one of the biggest convention rooms, Hall H, with Lee, Mark Hamill and a few others who had shows on Lee’s network. I was anxious about talking in front of a room full of comic book fans and thrilled to be breathing the same air as Lee and Hamill.As fate would have it, it was my 40th birthday that day, and when I told Lee he gave me a huge hug and urged me not to be nervous. We took the stage and sat down. Then Lee winked at me and told the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to me. Both Lee and Hamill led the audience in a very special happy birthday sing-a-long, which still can’t be beat as one of my best SDCC memories ever. 2. Meeting the real Loki by accident At Comic-Con, it’s not uncommon to see cosplayers looking like such dead ringers for Tony Stark, Wonder Woman, Shazam or Thor you do a double-take and think they’re the very characters you’ve seen on screen. In 2013, I found myself enthralled with a cosplayer dressed as Loki. Everyone was just starting to catch Avengers fever with Marvel superhero movies like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Thor: The Dark World was about to come out, and fans were buzzing with excitement at Comic-Con. I was in the secret labyrinth of hallways inside the San Diego Convention Center trying my best to get to a panel. Sometimes, if you know the right security people, they’ll let you take a shortcut through these halls, which are often used by celebrities avoiding crowded hallways full of fans jostling for autographs or coveted selfies. As I was rushing behind the stage, I almost ran right into an impressive cosplayer dressed as Loki — the Asgardian god of mischief and adopted half-brother of Thor. The cosplayer not only had the perfect Loki costume, he could have been the twin of Tom Hiddleston, who portrayed him in the movies. He even had the actor’s British accent down perfectly.I said, “Wow, your Loki cosplay is killer!”He responded, “Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say.” Then he walked off toward Hall H with a few people around him, hurrying him away.  The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 After my panel, I found out Hiddleston had stormed the Hall H stage dressed like Loki as a surprise for fans. It was during Marvel’s panel to promote Thor: The Dark World.Turns out I didn’t compliment a random Loki cosplayer. I complimented Hiddleston himself! Loki probably would have found that amusing.3. Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew saying hi to my Chewbacca puppetwookieepuppetmainActor Peter Mayhew poses with my Chewbacca sock puppet from my Star Wars Craft Book. Bonnie Burton When I worked at Lucasfilm as a senior editor for StarWars.com, I always felt honored when my path crossed with that of late Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew. Whenever he visited Lucasfilm headquarters or attended one of the many comic book conventions I went to, Mayhew always said hello and gave me one of his famous Wookiee hugs.When I was doing the first book signing for my Star Wars Craft Book at SDCC in 2011, I was super nervous about meeting fans as an author. Mayhew stopped by to say hello and pose for a photo holding my Chewbacca sock puppet. His visit to my signing gave me the much needed confidence boost I needed to chat with fellow fans who wanted my signature.4. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith movie title revealIn 2004, I was backstage when Lucasfilm made a big announcement — the name of its next Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. Back then internet spoilers weren’t a thing; and social media hadn’t taken over our lives. So it was still a big deal when a movie name — especially for something as big as Star Wars — was revealed.Back in 2004, Saturdays at Comic-Con were called “Star Wars Saturdays” and everyone in Hall H expected surprises. Fans in Hall H that day were treated to video montages of behind-the-scenes moments during filming with actors Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Finally, after the last montage video, the movie’s title was revealed to the world and the crowd went wild. Over 6,000 fans screamed the name of the movie over and over. Originally published July 18, 9:09 a.m. PT.  Now playing: Watch this: Comic-Con When the house lights came up, the panel’s host wore a black T-shirt with the movie’s new title in red. The second he said the limited-edition T-shirt was on sale at the Star Wars store on the show floor, people jumped from their chairs and ran for the doors to get theirs. I ended up volunteering at the store to make sure the excited mob of Star Wars fans didn’t trample anyone in the process. It was both terrifying and thrilling.5. Partying with Adam SavageadamIf you ever party with Adam Savage make sure you get a selfie. Bonnie Burton/CNET These days, celebrity-infested parties are common, but in the mid-2000s it was pretty rare to see TV and movie stars mingle with fans at SDCC social functions. One of my favorite parties was thrown annually by MythBusters co-host Adam Savage. I had worked with Savage when he was at ILM and I was at Lucasfilm. We became fast friends, and when he became a MythBusters megastar, he would invite his pals to his hotel room for a small, friendly gathering over the years. At these private parties, I would meet fellow geeks, but also the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Star Trek actors, beloved voice actors, prominent scientists and popular comedians. But soon his intimate gatherings started to get bigger and he couldn’t accommodate all the guests in his hotel room. He moved his party to a slightly bigger hotel room, then later to a conference room, then to a restaurant and eventually a nightclub.  More Comic-Con 2019 3:00 0 DC Comics Wonder Woman Stan Lee Mark Hamill Marvel Batman Thor Captain America Doctor Who Star Trek Star Wars Iron Man The Avengerslast_img read more

India UK sign business deals worth 14 billion big energy project for

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in the UK has seen $14 billion worth of business deals inked by enterprises of both sides, including a $4.4-billion investment by Britain’s OPG Power Ventures to add 4,200 MW capacity of new electricity generation in Tamil Nadu over the next few years.Among the two-dozen pacts and investment commitments acknowledged by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and David Cameron was one by Merlin Entertainment to open the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum in New Delhi by early-2017 and another by Vodafone to invest $1.4 billion to support the Government of India’s “Digital India” and “Make in India” initiatives.This apart, the largest Solar power generator in Europe, Lightsource, said it was investing a little over $3 billion in India to design, install and manage around 3 GW of solar power infrastructure in India over the next five years in partnerships with Indian companies, led by Srei Infrastructure.”Prime Ministers Cameron and Modi noted the deep and fruitful business relationship between the UK and India and welcomed the 9.2 billion pounds ($14 billion) of commercial deals between the UK and India announced during the visit,” said a joint statement issued by the two sides after the official talks.Other major deals announced late on Thursday included:1. Standard Life, Bupa and Aviva to invest a combined total of $365 million in their Indian joint ventures.2. Pact between Britain’s cloudBuy for facilitating $5,3 billion worth of transactions using an online marketplace.3. British technology company Intelligent Energy’s $1.8 billion contract to provide clean energy for 27,400 telecoms towers of GTL.4. Holland and Barrett International pact with Apollo to open 1,000 stores in India over the next five years.5. Kloudpad Mobility Research’s investment in South India to make next generation smart watches, wearables and tablets.6. TVS to open an advanced logistics facility at Barnsley, a town in South Yorkshire.7. London Stock Exchange and Yes Bank pact for collaborations on bond and equity issuance, with focus on green infrastructure.8. HDFC’s proposal for rupee-denominated bonds overseas up to $750 million under new Indian central bank guidelines.9. Wipro’s commitment to increases its investment in Britain.As per the joint statement, the two prime ministers also announced three UK-India city partnerships with Indore, Pune and Amaravati to support India’s ambitious urban development goals through technical assistance, expertise sharing and business engagement.They also launched a new Thames-Ganga partnership for healthy river systems.last_img read more

Researchers discover promising hydrogen storage material

first_img Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — If hydrogen is to ever to serve as an onboard energy carrier for the transportation industry, a material will be needed that can store large amounts of hydrogen at ambient temperature and pressure. So far, researchers have not found any material that can meet these requirements. But in a new study, a team from China and the US has taken a significant step toward this goal by identifying a material that can store hydrogen with a density as high as 4.6 wt. % (i.e., the hydrogen accounts for 4.6% of the total weight of the storage material), enabling it to meet the target of 4.3 wt. % set by the US department of Energy for 2010. More information: Kun Lü, et al. “Sc-phthalocyanine sheet: Promising material for hydrogen storage.” Applied Physics Letters 99, 163104 (2011). DOI:10.1063/1.3653465 Explore further Citation: Researchers discover promising hydrogen storage material (2011, November 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-hydrogen-storage-material.html Full to the brim with hydrogen: Porous form of magnesium borohydride can store hydrogen The researchers, led by Qiang Sun from Peking University in Beijing, China, and Virginia Commonwealth University in the Richmond, Virginia, US, have published their study in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.“Hydrogen storage is a big challenge for the hydrogen economy,” Sun told PhysOrg.com. “Currently the research is behind schedule, but with the advancement of materials design and synthesis, reaching the target for future transportation applications [is becoming] more and more promising.”As the researchers explained, the greatest difficulty in finding a sufficient hydrogen storage material for onboard storage systems lies in meeting multiple requirements with a single material. For example, in previous studies researchers have found that light metal hydrides can store hydrogen with a gravimetric density of 20 wt. %, but the material is not reversible, meaning it cannot be reused. Also, the hydrogen desorbs only at very high temperatures. In contrast, other materials such as carbon nanotubes and metal or covalent organic frameworks can store hydrogen reversibly, but the hydrogen adsorbs only at very low temperatures. The difference is due to bonding: in light metal hydrides, hydrogen is held in much stronger bonds than in the second group of materials. The researchers explain that, ideally, hydrogen should be bound with an intermediate binding energy.“If the bonding is too strong, hydrogen can only be released at high temperature, while if the bonding is too weak, the storage is unstable at room temperature,” Sun explained. “So we require an intermediate bonding energy.”In the current study, the researchers used modeling and simulations to investigate the performance of hydrogen storage in metal-containing porous sheets, which can be synthesized using the techniques previously proposed by two other groups (M. Abel, et al., and A. Sperl, et al.). In those techniques, porous sheets were made of blue-green dye units called phthalocyanines (Pc) with regularly spaced iron (Fe) atoms or other metal atoms. Due to their high dispersion, these metal sites in the porous substrates provide the possible adsorption sites for hydrogen molecules.“Transition metal atoms easily aggregate to form clusters,” Sun said. But materials in which metal atoms can be prevented from coalescing are scarce.The researchers systematically investigated 10 Pc-based porous sheets with transition metal atoms from scandium (Sc) through zinc (Zn), and found that porous Pc sheets with Sc atoms could store up to 4.6 wt. % hydrogen. In addition to the Sc atoms’ regular distribution in the Pc sheet, Sc has two other attractive features. First, it is lighter than other transition elements, allowing the overall storage material to be relatively light. Second, Sc atoms have a large size, so that they stick out and can capture more hydrogen molecules.By theoretically demonstrating that this Sc-Pc porous sheet can be used to create a hydrogen storage material with attractive properties, the researchers hope that the results will stimulate further analysis and experimental tests of the promising material. At a temperature of 298 K and pressure of 100 bar, the new hydrogen material can store hydrogen at a density of 4.6 wt. %. The inset shows the geometry of a Sc-Pc sheet. Image credit: Kun Lü, et al. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more