The Upshot
  • Bay Bridge Lightning Strike (Photo: Phil McGrew/Flickr)

    Phil McGrew (Flickr)

    The San Francisco Bay Area has been buffeted by bad weather lately, and as a rare thunder storm rumbled through, photographer Phil McGrew thought to set up his camera and snapped rare sight: Eight bolts of lightning hitting the Bay Bridge.

    The San Francisco currency trader, who took up photography two years ago, set up his camera from his office in San Francisco, and set the lens to a long exposure. He wrote on Flickr, "This shot has been on my list since moving to San Francisco. Unfortunately, I've only seen lightning 3 times in the 2 years I've lived here. Tonight, I got lightning in 3 seperate 20 second exposures. This is a single exposure."

    The photo shows each of the four towers of the bridge that connects the East Bay with San Francisco lit up with lightning against the murky sky and rain-spattered window.

    McGrew told the Daily Mail: "You can count the strikes, the Bay Bridge has four distinct towers and you can see the lightning hitting each tower."


    Read More »from Rare Bay Bridge lightning strike captured on camera
  • cop-upshot

    It may have only been a routine traffic stop on an ordinary day near Hanoibut Nguyen Manh Phan wouldn't let his man get away, as this article written in Vietnamese describes.

    Second Lt. Phan was directing vehicles in front of a hospital in Ba Vi district outside Hanoi on Monday when he asked a 39-seat passenger coach to stop for inspection.

    The driver refused to show his paperwork and drove off. Phan leaped onto the front as the bus reached a top speed of about 30 mph, said an officer speaking on condition of anonymity, citing official policy.

    A YouTube video shows Phan standing on the front bumper of the bus, clutching the windshield wiper, as oncoming traffic whizzes by.

    Police and residents gave chase. The driver, Phung Hong Phuong, pulled over after covering more than a half mile. Phuong later told police he fled because he was afraid of being fined for being on the wrong side of the road.

    A Ba Vi district official was quoted as saying that an angry mob tried to beat Phuong up

    Read More »from Bus driver flees with cop hanging on to his windshield wipers
  • UPDATE: [9:20pm ET]: This story will be updated as events unfold.

    • U.S. officials say they believe the launch failed.
    • U.N. Security Council is meeting Friday to discuss a response.
    • This is the third failed attempt at an orbital launch since 1998.

    Defying international pressure, North Korea launched a long-range missile Friday morning. However, U.S. officials say they believe the attempted launch failed before the missile was able to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

    U.S. officials confirm that a North Korean long-range missile appears to have broken apart midair after launch. Officials say they believe the missile fell apart within the Earth's atmosphere before crashing into the sea.

    "Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

    "The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea.  However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors," Carney said.

    Japan's Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka has backed U.S. reports that the launch failed. "We have confirmed that a certain flying object has been launched and fell after flying for just over a minute," Tanaka said.

    South Korea's Defense Ministry first reported the launch, which is seen as defying international warnings and widely viewed as a provocation from the rogue state.

    The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday to discuss a response to the North's attempted launch.

    South Korea Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters in a nationally televised news conference that the rocket was fired at 7:39 a.m, local time Friday. "We suspect the North Korean missile has fallen as it divided into pieces minutes after liftoff."

    Read More »from North Korea launches long-range missile; launch fails


(1,983 Stories)
  • Doctor Who "Time Heist" Review: Time Bandits
    Doctor Who "Time Heist" Review: Time Bandits

    Doctor Who S08E05: "Time Heist" Maybe it's because "Time Heist" had the unfortunate task of following last week's surprisingly well done time-travel episode "Listen," but it left a lot to be desired. There wasn't anything particularly awful about watching the Doctor, Clara, and their two compatriots rob the most well-protected bank in the universe, but it didn't have that spark, nor did it inspire me with hope for the rest of the season. In fact, it was fairly predictable from start to finish, which might also be why I didn't feel particularly moved by it. Joining Steven Moffat as a writer this week was Steve Thompson, who penned the Matt Smith adventures "Curse of the Black Spot" and "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS". He's also responsible for a handful of Sherlock episodes as well, which is why I expected a bit more from this episode. As a standalone outing, "Time Heist" was perfectly fine and moved along fairly swiftly while hitting all the necessary beats. But it was a fairly typical rescue mission episode masquerading as a caper, which is where it lost some of its steam. In the end it was revealed that the Doctor wasn't robbing a bank so much as rescuing the last two remaining creatures of a particular species through a set of carefully planned, perfectly timed steps, with the final and most important one coinciding with a solar storm that took down the bank's defenses. It felt a bit like last season's "Hide" in that regard, and while I rather enjoyed that particular outing for the creep factor, this one felt a bit tired. The time-travel here was less complicated but also more clunky than in "Listen," and I found it to be fairly obvious early on that the Architect was the Doctor. From the memory worms, to the suspiciously placed briefcases with clues and bombs and more—it all felt very Doctor-y. Plus, once you realized that the Doctor and Clara's special skills for robbing a bank were just that they were the Doctor and Clara, it became clear who had orchestrated the entire thing. Like I said, there's nothing inherently wrong with the episode as far as one-and-dones go, but I was hoping we'd get more development on the overarching mystery of the season this week. We're five episodes in to Season 8 and the only real continuity present in the episode was Danny's 30-second scene prior to the opening credits. At least "Into the Dalek" and "Robot of Sherwood" felt connected (if a bit awkwardly so) to the mystery of Missy and her secret garden. Before I'd realized (about a few seconds before it was revealed—I must be slipping in my old age) that Saibra and Psi didn't die, I thought we might once again see how people who die in the Doctor's presence are sent to Missy's weird version of purgatory, or whatever it may be. But alas, it was not meant to be. Instead, we were introduced to two characters played by Keeley Hawes. As a clone of Madame Karabraxos, Ms. Delphox was responsible for running the bank and using the Teller's ability to detect guilt in order to melt the minds of people with criminal intent. Prior to the beginning of the season, the Ms. Delphox character was described as being the ultimate villain, but that feels a bit overstated now, doesn't it? In some area of my brain I know that what she did to the Teller might be considered ruthless, and I'm not saying locking up one's mate in order to secure its cooperation isn't offensive and morally wrong, but the episode didn't make me feel anything either. I was looking forward to Hawes' performance here, but she wasn't given the best material. Psi, the human/computer hybrid hacker, and Saibra, with her ability to replicate DNA by touch, were interesting additions to the overall Doctor Who gallery of episodic companions, though, which might be what truly saved this episode from feeling too formulaic or boring for me. Psi and Clara formed a bond fairly quickly once she realized that he voluntarily deleted the memories of his family and friends to keep them safe prior to being interrogated in prison. His life is a lonely one, and it's not terribly surprising that Clara would take a liking to someone so selfless. She's risked her life to save and protect the Doctor countless times now as the Impossible Girl. But I do think their insta-bond, one that allowed Psi to seemingly sacrifice himself because Clara had friends and family and he had no one, rang a bit hollow given that there wasn't much time to truly develop a relationship of any kind. How is it possible that an episode with proper pacing still felt a bit rushed? Let's just blame time travel. NOTES – "I was hoping for minimalism. I think I came out with magician." – There was a lot of talk about having different faces this episode as it concerned Saibra, but also the Doctor (Madame Karabraxos and her clones, too, albeit in a different way). He's had a lot of them over the years, and I liked the mention of Tom Baker's scarf and Matt Smith's bowtie when the Teller scanned the Doctor's brain. I think we all know that Capaldi's Doctor will be remembered for his eyebrows, so it's rather nice that the series also finds time to point them out. thekaitling:list:doctor-who-what-did-you-think-of-time-heist/

  • 700-Year Embrace: Skeleton Couple Still Holding Hands
    700-Year Embrace: Skeleton Couple Still Holding Hands

    Archeologists found the happy couple holding hands in an earthen grave during an excavation of a "lost" chapel in Leicestershire, England, researchers reported Thursday (Sept. 18). "We have seen similar skeletons before from Leicester where a couple has been buried together in a single grave," Vicki Score, University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) project manager, said in a statement. There is a perfectly good church in Hallaton," Score said. For example, the site may have served as a place of pilgrimage in Hallaton, a village in east Leicestershire, during the 14th century, the researchers said.

  • More Ukrainian soldiers killed, Poroshenko defends peace plan

    By Natalia Zinets and Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine reported more deaths among its troops and separatists on Sunday despite a ceasefire, but President Petro Poroshenko defended his peace plan, saying a military solution was no option and Western support could have been at risk. The Kiev military accused separatists and Russian troops of violating the Sept. 5 ceasefire in eastern Ukraine by continuing to shoot at government forces. Kiev would not go ahead with setting up a proposed buffer zone until the violations stopped. ...

  • SpaceX Falcon rocket blasts off from Florida
    SpaceX Falcon rocket blasts off from Florida

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday to deliver a cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA. The 208-foot (63-meter) tall booster, built and launched by privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, bolted off its seaside launch pad at 1:52 a.m. EDT/0552 GMT, slicing the night-time sky with a bright plume of light as it headed into orbit. ...

  • Pope says religion can't justify violence
    Pope says religion can't justify violence

    Tirana (AFP) - Pope Francis warned during a visit to Albania on Sunday that religion can never be used to justify violence, making apparent reference to the bloodshed wreaked by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

  • Forty migrants missing after raft sinks near Libya: Italy coast guard

    ROME (Reuters) - Forty migrants were missing after the raft that carried them sank around 30 miles (48.28 kilometers)from eastern Libya, an Italian coast guard official said on Sunday. Italian authorities sent boats to the scene and 55 people have been rescued, but survivors said there were around 95 people in total on the raft, the official said. The sinking will likely add to a death toll from such incidents in the waters between Italy and North Africa which the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said last week had risen to nearly 3,000 since the beginning of this year. ...

  • About 60,000 Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey from Islamic State advance

    By Daren Butler SURUC Turkey (Reuters) - About 60,000 Syrian Kurds fled into Turkey in the space of 24 hours, a deputy prime minister said on Saturday, as Islamic State militants seized dozens of villages close to the border. Turkey opened a stretch of the frontier on Friday after Kurdish civilians fled their homes, fearing an imminent attack on the border town of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani. A Kurdish commander on the ground said Islamic State had advanced to within 15 km (9 miles) of the town. ...

  • Moscow marchers condemn Kremlin role in Ukraine war
    Moscow marchers condemn Kremlin role in Ukraine war

    Moscow (AFP) - Thousands of Russians on Sunday marched through Moscow to protest against the Kremlin's involvement in the Ukraine crisis, in the country's first major anti-war rally since fighting erupted in April.

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