Shout-out to these people attempting to cross a bridge while disguised as a cardboard bus

Though the Zolotoy Bridge in Vladivostok, Russia has been closed to pedestrians for three years, a group of people attempted to cross the bridge with the help of a not-so-subtle disguise.

Four rule breakers decided to disguise themselves as a cardboard bus in order to get across the bridge. Naturally it didn’t work out as they’d hoped.

While their plan was hilariously thwarted by traffic authority, the group never left the safety of their cardboard bus while being escorted off the road. Better luck next time! Hopefully one day you’ll succeed.

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See what California’s relentless winds do the state’s extreme fires

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It’s the time of year when winds really kick up in California, and firefighters on Tuesday night captured footage of relentless gusts driving a new blaze over the parched terrain. 

Firefighters in San Bernardino County — an arid region east of Los Angeles — spent the night combatting the newly-born Sierra Fire amid potent seasonal winds, known as Santa Anas.

Though this particular fire (147 acres and well-contained), is quite small compared to the expansive Camp and Woolsey fires, it shows how persistent 50 mph gusts can whip fire over the land — land that has been parched by a confluence of dry winds and a long, scorching summer. 

In the video, a bulldozer, which had been clearing vegetation to limit the spread of fire into an adjacent community, can be seen working while the winds blow smoke through the air and stoke brush fires in the background.

Santa Ana winds are notorious for stoking fall fires in California. These dry winds, traveling east from the great U.S. deserts, pick up in the fall and eventually peak in December, Sasha Gershunov, a research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in an interview. 

But typically by mid-November — and certainly December — some rains will wet the dry California vegetation. 

The winds will always blow, but these days they’re increasingly gusting over dried-out terrain. This makes for perfect fire conditions. 

“Now we’re in our traditional fire season, but the fuels are untraditionally dry this late into the season,” said Gershunov.

“This seems to be getting more common as the climate changes,” he added.

Some of the most destructive, deadliest wildfires occur in Southern California, a place not defined by pine forests, but shrubs and grasslands. 

Here, a confluence of Santa Ana winds, development in fire-prone areas, and climate change have boosted the state’s growing wildfire woes.

Overall, the amount of land burned in the United States has more than doubled over the last 30 years, and predictably, these fires have been enhanced by a warming globe.

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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ gets the internet mostly right: Review

“The internet is nothing to laugh at. It’s new and different and we should fear it.”

It’s an odd line to hear in 2018, when everyone from your 4-year-old nephew to your 95-year-old grandmother knows their way around a Facebook page. 

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, though, it’s being said to what might be the last demographic to never have heard of the internet: fictional characters whose video games have never been connected to wifi. And if the version of the internet they encounter doesn’t quite mesh with the reality the rest of us have been living in for 20+ years, Ralph gets enough of it right to be worth signing on for.

Ralph Breaks the Internet revisits Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) a few years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph, and their lives couldn’t look sweeter. The BFFs work hard at their respective games all day, and then hang out with each other all night. Come sunup, they separate to start the cycle again.

But this blissful routine is shattered when Vanellope’s game breaks down, leaving her not just without a home but without a sense of identity and purpose. Ralph, however, knows exactly who he is and what his job is: He’s Vanellope’s hero, which means he’s going to save her game. Even if they have to venture into the internet in order to do it. 

As envisioned by Disney Animation, the internet manifests as an infinite mega-city filled with enormous buildings (i.e., websites) and teeming with blocky visitors (i.e., user avatars). It looks sleek and colorful in the same way your home screen looks sleek and colorful, and it feels as full of infinite possibility as a blank browser window.

Through this vastness, Ralph and Vanellope set out on a convoluted voyage that takes them from the glittering towers of BuzzTube (a fictional YouTube-Buzzfeed hybrid, in case you couldn’t guess from the name) to the sketchy alleyways of the “dark web,” and everywhere in between. 

Ralph and Vanellope visit Slaughter Race in Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Ralph and Vanellope visit Slaughter Race in Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Ralph takes a while to get where it’s going, and not just because Ralph and Vanellope are exactly as bad at navigating the internet as you’d expect two total newbies to be. It’s not until halfway through the film that the real central conflict comes into focus, and once it does, it becomes apparent how hard the narrative was straining to get us there. 

Even then, the plot logistics require quite a bit of squinting and hand-waving to make work in any real-world sense. Like Ralph’s moneymaking scheme, which is definitely not how any of this works – take it from someone who works in an industry that’s famously struggled to monetize content. Or the mechanics of the third-act crisis, which I won’t spoil here.

But a bit of fuzziness is easy to forgive when Ralph is so sharp on so many other details. Everything about Slaughter Race – a game set in a dystopia so hilariously gritty, Mad Max would be at a loss – feels instantly recognizable, even though Slaughter Race doesn’t actually exist. And while that Oh My Disney setpiece feels almost creepily synergistic, it’s also hard to deny that C-3PO stage-managing Disney princesses is a childhood dream come true.

Wreck-It Ralph has a knack for distilling complicated grown-up concepts into kid-simple terms.

Ralph nails some bigger stuff, too. Like Zootopia (also co-directed by Rich Moore, who teamed with Phil Johnston for Ralph Breaks the Internet), Ralph has a knack for distilling complicated grown-up concepts into kid-simple terms. There’s shrewd messaging about toxic relationships, gender dynamics, and self-esteem, and a subversion of princess tropes that runs surprisingly deep. 

Also like Zootopia, it works because Ralph delivers all that without ever losing sight of the heart and humor driving the entire narrative forward. Ralph and Vanellope’s adventure is entertaining even when it’s not quite clear where it’s headed, thanks to its dynamic central duo, their willingness to embrace the absurd, and a heavy dose of spot-the-reference, and the emotions of the finale feel earned. 

Which, come to think of it, kind of sums up the online experience in a nutshell. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a two-hour journey down a series of rabbit holes filled with laughs, tears, a ton of self-referential meta gags, and a Tumblr-worthy reinvention of familiar characters that eventually delivers something you didn’t know you always needed. 

What could be more internet than that?

(PS: There are two post-credits scenes, so stick around to the bitter end.)

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What’s What in Doctor Who: Traveling Through Space and Time with the Eleventh Doctor (Paid Content by BBC)


The TARDIS returns!

We’re celebrating the return of Doctor Who (Sundays on BBC AMERICA) with a rundown of what makes Doctor Who the world’s longest-running sci-fi series and a unique, ever-evolving program with generations of fans. You can explore the universe with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors in our first article here. Whether you’re a passionate fan or a total beginner, BBC’s new DVD collections, featuring some of the most popular Doctors, will inspire you to join this epic adventure through space and time.

In 2010, the Tenth Doctor regenerated into the Eleventh, played by Matt Smith. Then 27 years old, Smith became the youngest person ever to play the Doctor. The quirky Time Lord’s favorite accessory? A bow tie — as he said himself many times, “Bow ties are cool.” (The occasional fez was a close second.)

Smith’s run saw the first married couple to live on the TARDIS, the regular appearances of fan-favorite characters like the Paternoster Gang, and the show’s 50th anniversary celebration. It was an action-packed run, with lots of exciting events to take in, and plenty of new things to learn about the Doctor and the Doctor’s world.

Now that you know the basics — the TARDIS, the sonic, regeneration — it’s time to travel with the Eleventh Doctor and see what else the show has to offer.

The Doctor’s Friends 

The Doctor almost always travels with someone. Whether they’re called companions, assistants, or friends, they’re the Doctor’s fellow travelers through space and time. They often offer a human touchstone for difficult decisions, give the audience someone to relate to, and (perhaps most important of all) give the Doctor someone to impress.

Often, the Doctor travels with only one person. Once in a while, though, the TARDIS will be home to multiple extra travelers. This dynamic means not only lots of friends for the Doctor, but also the opportunity to watch the relationships of these characters grow as they face new challenges.

After traveling alone with the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond brought her fiancé, Rory Williams, on board. The betrothed couple brought a whole different vibe to the series, as well as allowing for new perspectives on the different alien worlds and historical times visited. Plus, story arcs focused not only on the Doctor’s interaction with his friends, but also on their relationship with each other. Amy and Rory, it’s safe to say, had a distinctly unique married life!

New viewers enjoying adventures with the Thirteenth Doctor’s three friends may see a bit of that same chemistry in Mrs. and Mr. Pond: a human couple with a life of their own, who walk hand-in-hand right into the Doctor’s adventures. At the close of “Vampires of Venice,” Amy made no secret of how much she loved having a full house as she traveled through space and time. ad5e 12e6%2fthumb%2f00001

Familiar Faces from History

Doctor Who was created in part to get kids excited about history, and that love of our past hasn’t changed. To that end, the Doctor often travels back in time to meet some of Earth’s historical greats. It’s always exciting when that happens, too, because the Doctor makes no secret of being a fan.

In the modern series, the Doctor has met Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, and William Shakespeare, to name just a few. This season, Rosa Parks joins the ever-growing list of historical figures to cross paths with the Doctor. 

The encounters are rarely just a chance to fly in and shake hands, though; aliens love to play with the course of human history, and these famous figures seem to find themselves in the midst of their monstrous schemes.

Historical episodes aren’t just a chance to learn about the past, either. As the Doctor and friends spend time with these historical greats, the audience gets to learn more about them as people. In “Vincent and the Doctor,” Amy gets to know fellow redhead Vincent van Gogh. At the end of the episode, she and the Eleventh Doctor take Vincent to a modern museum to show him just how much he means to future generations — a rare opportunity for any artist. baea 01f6%2fthumb%2f00001

Holiday Specials

For Doctor Who fans in the 21st century, gathering around the television and watching a brand-new adventure in time and space has become something of a Holiday tradition. Starting with “The Christmas Invasion,” every season of Doctor Who has an additional long-form episode that airs around the holidays, usually stand-alone in nature and with a festive or magical theme.

Pretty much anything goes in these episodes. Past holiday specials have had the Doctor meeting Santa, wandering into a superhero story, and traveling to a Narnia-esque world. They’re also a prime spot for celebrity cameos with stars like Nick Frost, Ian McKellen, and Richard E. Grant making appearances.

Holiday episodes have also become the venue of choice for regenerations, so you can often expect an emotional, action-packed finale for one Doctor and an intriguing welcome for the next one.

The Eleventh Doctor’s first Holiday special, “A Christmas Carol,” was just what it sounds like: a re-telling of the classic Charles Dickens story. Since this is Doctor Who, of course, there’s an alien spin on the concept. The Doctor encounters Scrooge-y Kazran Sardick (played by Michael Gambon) and, using Dickens’s tale as an outline, travels through Sardick’s childhood to alter events and make him kinder.

Since it’s the Holidays, the Doctor also can’t resist making an on-brand entrance. 1341 14a2%2fthumb%2f00001

Home Is Where the Hearts Are

The Doctor travels all through space and time, seeing the sights and putting things right. Fortunately for us, there’s always been a soft spot in those two hearts for Earth.

Humans are the Doctor’s favorite race in the entire universe. If you were to ask why, you’d get a different answer for every Doctor but it always comes down to the same sentiment: the Doctor loves Earth and will always be here to protect us.

The Time Lord is so invested in the planet that UNIT — the UNified Intelligence Taskforce — even has the Doctor on their payroll as a consultant. The Doctor is also de facto President of Earth in global states of emergency. Plenty of other organizations, both human and alien, recognize the Doctor as Earth’s greatest and staunchest defender, and for good reason.

In “The Eleventh Hour,” the first episode of the Eleventh Doctor’s run, an alien known as Patient Zero finds out just how ready the Doctor is to defend Earth. It only takes a little bit of sorting through their database to see how the Time Lord, time and time again, has deflected multiple alien threats. Earth is defended, and the Doctor only has one word of advice for the monster: run! 7184 da68%2fthumb%2f00001

 A Whole Universe to Explore

Doctor Who is a unique television show thanks to its longevity. Just as new friends and foes join the fray each episode, familiar faces from the past are bound to pop in every once in a while. Whether it’s the Doctor’s companions from days gone by or even previous Doctors coming in to lend a hand, the show’s vast and varied history is accessible and ever-“wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.”

In fact, Doctor Who has been around so long that it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. “The Day of the Doctor” was a global event, uniting the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors with John Hurt’s War Doctor. The stakes were high, and the Doctors were ready, joining forces for one of the show’s biggest adventures ever.

At the end of the episode, another Doctor came back for a cameo: Tom Baker, who famously played the Fourth Doctor from 1974-1981. Just who and what The Curator is… well, you can decide for yourself. But his appearance in “Day of the Doctor” was a reminder of the show’s rich history and a lovely moment for new and long-time fans alike to share.

That’s one of the most wonderful things about Doctor Who as a show: there will always be something that’s new to you! 25e9 8fed%2fthumb%2f00001

Although there are exciting changes to the show’s format in Series 11, some things will always ring true. The Doctor will always have friends to help save the universe, get excited over meeting famous people from history, and protect Earth from whatever else is out there. Doctor Who will always be accessible to new fans at any point in its long history, and you can count on sharing the adventure through space and time with family and friends.

Next up, we wrap up our look at the first ten seasons of Doctor Who in the 21st century with the era of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi!

To own the Doctor Who DVD Collections click here and enter code 5OFFWHO11 for $5 off The Matt Smith Collection on Amazon

To continue to explore the world of Doctor Who visit DoctorWho.TV

Watch new episodes of Doctor Who Sundays at 8pm on BBC AMERICA      

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