Literature provides shelter. That’s why we need it | Arundhati Roy

In a world that is hardening, literature can offer an indestructible place of refuge writes Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things I am truly honored to have been invited by PEN America to deliver this years Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. What better time than this to think together about a place for literature, at this moment when an era that we think we understand at least vaguely, if not well is coming to a close. As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up, and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and …

Explore John Wicks house in new Fortnite map

FortniteWick, the deadly assassin played by Keanu Reevesin the movie franchise, previously appeared in season 3 as a skin only available through that seasons battle pass. It now looks like Wicks house (which, last I remember, was burnt down in ) has appeared in the maps desert region. Fortnite Though Wicks in-game house doesnt overlook an ocean, it has the exact same new-age architecture as the house seen in the films. Even better, theres a damaged car that looks an awful lot like a Ford Mustang Mach 1 that Wick pursued in and eventually reclaimed in . No adorable dog, though. Fortnite FortniteAccording to FortTory, the challenge will be called Wicks Bounty, and there will be six objectives to finish …

A Bizarre Form of Water May Exist All Over the Universe

Recently at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Brighton, New York, one of the world’s most powerful lasers blasted a droplet of water, creating a shock wave that raised the water’s pressure to millions of atmospheres and its temperature to thousands of degrees. X-rays that beamed through the droplet in the same fraction of a second offered humanity’s first glimpse of water under those extreme conditions. The X-rays revealed that the water inside the shock wave didn’t become a superheated liquid or gas. Paradoxically—but just as physicists squinting at screens in an adjacent room had expected—the atoms froze solid, forming crystalline ice. “You hear the shot,” said Marius Millot of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and “right away you …

What’s the best compact camera for travelling?

Dave wants a point-and-shoot camera, but should he just buy a top-end smartphone instead? Im looking for a compact travel camera. I presently have a Canon S100 and realise it is old and out of date. In its price range to maybe double its value ($1,000 Canadian or 570), what would you recommend for a simple but good point-and-shoot that also takes top-quality video? On the other hand, Canon S100 was announced in November 2011, and it was one of the best digital compacts of its day. Enthusiasts liked its ability to shoot RAW images, its full manual controls and its 5x zoom lens. It also offered HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, in-camera GPS, auto-focus tracking with face detection, and …

‘I see any dinosaur, I buy it’: at home with the embattled owner of the Flintstone house

Florence Fangs colorful home is a landmark for many in Californias Bay Area. But the town of Hillsborough is suing her, declaring the property a public nuisance When Florence Fang purchased a new house in Hillsborough, Details around the yard of the Flintstone house property in Hillsborough. Photographs by Cayce Clifford, The Guardian Fred and Dino are indeed here now, as are Wilma, Barney and Betty Rubble, giant letters reading Yabba dabba do, a backyard posse of 15-ft tall metal dinosaurs, and a second, larger Fred. Theres also an astronaut, a moon rover, a spaceship and the Great Gazoo (thats the name of the alien who crashed to earth during the final season of the classic 1960s cartoon). I wanted …

Beauty in ruins: the wonder of abandoned buildings a photo essay

From a derelict Sydney power station to an elegantly decaying Japanese hotel, Brett Patman shares a selection of his Lost Collective images It was like hell on earth; everything coated in red dust and rust. The noise was immense, with steam and chemicals belching from all over at one point I walked into a cloud of ammonia without a respirator. It was a massive nickel refinery and I was there to help shut it down. Id started my career as an apprentice fitter and turner in a hot and dirty workshop in the north Queensland city of Townsville. It was such a shit job every day was stinking hot and we were working on heavy machinery smeared with grease, chemicals …

Revealed: new evidence of China’s mission to raze the mosques of Xinjiang

Guardian and Bellingcat investigation finds more than two dozen Islamic religious sites partly or completely demolished since 2016 Around this time of the year, the edge of the Taklamakan desert in far western China should be overflowing with people. For decades, every spring thousands of Uighur Muslims would converge on the Imam Asim shrine, a group of buildings and fences surrounding a small mud tomb believed to contain the remains of a holy warrior from the eighth century. Pilgrims from across the Hotan oasis would come seeking healing, fertility, and absolution, trekking through the sand in the footsteps of those ahead of them. It was one of the largest shrine festivals in the region. People left offerings and tied pieces …

This robotic roommate wants to help lonely young people keep in touch with their friends

Image: vicky leta / mashable I lost all my friends nine years ago.  It was my own fault. I hooked up with a friend’s boyfriend and instantly regretted it. I betrayed a friend I really cared about and nothing I could say or do would erase what I’d done. When our entire friendship group eventually found out, one by one, friends began dropping like flies. Some sent messages to tell me they knew what I’d done, and others simply faded away. This moment is, to date, the most shameful of my life.  Nearly a decade later, I still have an unconquerable urge to know how these former friends of mine are doing. So, I look them up on Google, Facebook, …

Royal Ballet: Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern review monsters and melancholy

Crystal Pite reinvents the corps de ballet, alongside Christopher Wheeldons classy meditation and a flawed world premiere by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui The world premiere of Medusa is Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis first commission for the Royal Ballet. The Belgian-Moroccan choreographer has made brilliant works in the contemporary sphere, for his own company and others, all while serving as artistic director at Royal Ballet of Flanders, performing himself, and working on feature films, Beyonc videos and much else. Its possible he is spreading himself too thinly, certainly on the evidence of this piece. The beautiful priestess Medusa ( Crystal Pites Flight Pattern, an important work that gets under the skin. It depicts the flight of refugees to the sound of Greckis Symphony …

How to Build, and Keep Building, a Cathedral Like Notre-Dame

The roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral wasn’t just a roof. Sure, it kept the rain out. But what burned away in Paris in April was a technical marvel, the height—literally—of 12th- and 13th-century engineering. “If one imagines the stresses on a large sail of timber and lead rising over 100 feet from the ground, one can only marvel at the ingenuity and skill of these early builders,” as the historian Lynn Courtenay writes in an essay for the Society of Antiquaries of London. The wooden trusses—made of trees cut down in 1160 or so—were specially braced with an extra plate linking them to the walls, and clasps to keep them from sagging across the span. The wood was in tension, helping …

Hacker Lexicon: What Is Application Shielding?

As hackers become increasingly adept at targeting smartphones, app security has become a pressing issue. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in mobile software to spy on users, grab their data, or even steal their money. In response, security companies are increasingly touting a feature called "application shielding," a process that obfuscates an application's binary code, ostensibly making it harder for hackers to reverse-engineer. Application shielding is mainly used to protect intellectual property and cut down on piracy; the techniques modify a service's application code, making it more difficult for someone to tamper with it, or to figure out how to remove digital rights locks and steal media like music or movie files. Over the past few years, though, the term has …

What to Expect at I/O As Google’s Sprawling Dominion Grows

Spring is in the air, the anthuriums are in bloom, and Sundar Pichai is sequestered away somewhere in Mountain View, preparing for another Google I/O. The annual developer conference, which begins the morning of May 7, gives Google three days to demonstrate its vision for the future—and convince the coders in the audience to help build it. Remember, Google isn't just a search giant anymore. It makes hardware and a popular voice assistant. It delivers your email and manages your maps. It runs the most popular mobile phone operating system in the world. It builds self-driving cars and delivery drones. The developer conference is Google's chance to talk about all of this, showing the world just what it can do …

‘Concealed shoes’ index to go online

The shoes hidden in homes to ward off evil Dr Ceri Houlbrook, of the university, said it was important to make the index available online as it shows footwear’s “prominent place in folklore”. Image copyright Dr Ceri Houlbrook Image caption Queen Victoria was captured throwing a shoe after her soldiers as they departed for the Crimean War Work began last year on a £6.7m refurbishment of the museum, which is due to be completed next year The project is being paid for by proceeds of the sale of the Northampton Borough Council-owned Egyptian Sekhemka statue, which was sold for £16m in 2014. Northampton’s history for boot and shoemaking dates back almost 900 years and grew in the middle of the …

Watch Rocket Lab launch its second orbital mission of 2019 late tonight

Update: Delayed and they’ll be trying again 24 hours later, so come back tonight. Fairing of the Falcon-ODE payload. All told, its contents comprise 180 kilograms, or nearly 400 pounds, the heaviest load Electron has yet taken off with. Lift-off is set for 6 PM local time in New Zealand, which corresponds to 11 PM Pacific time here in the U.S. If weather impinges on the opportunity, no worries — this launch window stays open for two weeks. You can watch the whole thing starting a few minutes before 11 at Rocket Lab’s website.

Bioengineers Create Breakthrough Technique For 3D-Printing Blood And Air Networks In Organs

One of the best ways to appreciate the beautiful intricacy of something is to try to replicate it yourself. This is especially so in the quest to bioprint human organs for the hundreds of thousands of people on the waitlist for a lifesaving transplant. Now, bioengineers have taken a valuable step forward with a “breakthrough technique” for printing vascular tissues.  Vascular networks are vital passages for blood, air, lymph, and other nutrient transportation. The architecture of such a system is vast and complex, with independent networks “like the airways and blood vessels of the lung or the bile ducts and blood vessels in the liver” physically and biochemically entangled.  “The liver is especially interesting because it performs a mind-boggling 500 …

Serverless monitoring startup Epsagon expands to cover broader microservices

When Epsagon launched last fall, the Israeli startup had an idea to monitor serverless architectures, specifically AWS Lambda. But the company didn’t want to confine itself to monitoring a narrow class of applications, and today it announced it is now able to monitor a broader set of microservice development approaches. CEO and co-founder Nitzan Shapira says when it launched, the startup wanted to take aim at serverless and Lambda seemed to be the prime tool for doing that. “Our product was basically a tracing, troubleshooting and monitoring tool that was automatically doing all of that for the Lambda ecosystem. And since then, we’ve seen actually a bigger shift [beyond] just Lambda,” he said. That shift was to a broader view …