Monster invasions, bionic men, and the future of cool cars in this week’s Staff Picks

Monster invasions, bionic men, and the future of cool cars in this week's Staff Picks

amir IliafarAmir Iliaifar: I’ve seen the future of Lexus, and it is glorious

There are the cars you drive and then there are the cars you dream of driving. The Lexus LF-CC concept is the latter. First debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in September, and on display this week at the LA Auto Show, this sleek and sexy design study not only signifies the future of automotive design, it gives a gorgeous glimpse of where Lexus, as a brand, is heading. 

Like all concept cars, there isn’t much in the way of details. We know the LF-CC, which unofficially stands for Lexus Future – Concept Coupe, will likely sit on the existing GS’ platform and utilize some sort of hybrid engine. Autocar recently quoted an unnamed Lexus source confirming the concept’s push to production sometime in 2015, but when I spoke to Lexus representatives nothing had been announced nor confirmed. Nevertheless, the force is strong with this one, and something tells me of all the concepts Lexus have shown lately, this is the one with the greatest potential to roll out on showfloors. For now, let’s all drool over the pics and check out the video below.

ryan flemingRyan Fleming: Attack of the Kaiju!

We covered this earlier in the week, but it deserves a little bit of extra love. If you disagree, we can’t be friends anymore. The clip shown here is a viral video for the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film, Pacific Rim. If you don’t follow movie news, specifically news about genre films, then you may not have heard much about this movie — yet.

At Comic Con earlier this year, fans were treated to a trailer that apparently made sweet love to the eyeballs of everyone in attendance. Reports from the screening had some people declaring a 2013 Best Picture Oscar, while others demanded sequels be put into production, and even more simply wept. So, of course, in its infinite wisdom, Hollywood decided to withhold the trailer for five months/ 

While we are left to wait until the trailer debuts with The Hobbit, the filmmakers have decided to get a jump on things with a series of viral promotions, including this clip of San Francisco taking it on the chin from an angry Kaiju (Japanese colloquialism for “giant monster who stars in a movie”).

Del Toro is no different from the millions of movie fans who grew up on Godzilla-style monster movies, unless you consider his prodigious filmmaking talents and the $200 million major studios have given him to kick around and rejuvenate this particular genre of film. Whether he does or not remains to be seen, but one thing is sure: millions of boys who dream of building giant mechs to combat massive beasts are going to rejoice. And I may or may not be one of them.

caleb denisonCaleb Denison: The 21st century’s own bionic man

When I was a kid, lunch boxes were made of metal, came with thermoses, and featured graphics based on the hot television shows of the time. I’m talking about The A-Team, Knight Rider and Airwolf – you know, quality TV shows. One of my favorites from that era, and the star of my personal lunchbox: The Six Million Dollar Man.

For those not familiar, the show featured Lee Majors playing the role of a crippled astronaut who was rebuilt and made “better than before” using nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants. He was the bionic man, and he was a bad-ass. Since then, I’ve longed to see this late 1970’s vision of high-functioning bionic limb replacements become reality. And now it has.

Check out this video of Nigel, the recipient of a prototype bionic arm made by Bebionic. The arm uses sensors which translate small muscle movement above Nigel’s elbow into startlingly accurate and nimble bionic hand movement. The man can type, crack open eggs, and perhaps most importantly, crack open a frosty beer.

andrew coutsAndrew Couts: Crack the soul-crushing boredom

After spending day-in and day-out online, browsing the Web has become a bit too predictable for my taste, even boring. I inevitably land on the same dozen websites, reading the same stories, looking at the same pictures. It’s high time for something new – something completely out of left field. Which is why I’ve become addicted to The Useless Web, a simple website that takes you to random websites that have literally no purpose whatsoever. Like this terrifying wiggly thing, or this awesome other thing. The variety, as far as I can tell, is endless. So if you truly get bored clicking through your regular list of websites, head over to The Useless Web for some good ol’ fashioned time-wasting.

Useless Web
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.