The Movies Are Not Dead

Once upon a time, films would open, close, appear on video, then vanish. Now with dozens of television channels to fill and rentals going postal, some films never go away.

For all its themes of inspiration and triumph, "The Shawshank Redemption" was a rather uninspiring and un-triumphant film when it was first released in 1994. Though critically well received, it did terribly at the box office, taking only $18m in America against a budget of $35m. Though nominated for several awards, it won none. This prison drama, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, looked as if it would slide quietly into obscurity, like so many movies. But it didn’t. Through word-of-mouth recommendations it gathered momentum after it left the box office.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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