Archival footage, audio immerses viewers in Apollo: Missions to the Moon

Archival footage, audio immerses viewers in Apollo: Missions to the Moon

This year makes the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, so naturally we’re seeing a slew of films and TV series celebrating that milestone, like last year’s First Man biopic. The latest is a new documentary, APOLLO: Missions to the Moon, making its debut on the National Geographic Channel. Ars had the opportunity to sit down with filmmaker Tom Jennings and former NASA engineer Frances “Poppy” Northcutt back in June to talk about the making of the documentary, and revisit this pivotal moment in space history.

NASA’s Apollo space program is well-traveled ground in popular media, so Jennings faced quite the challenge in coming up with a fresh take with the material. Fortunately, this is also one of the most well-documented periods in 20th century history. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director

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Disney’s live-action Mulan looks more like a period drama in first teaser

Disney’s live-action Mulan looks more like a period drama in first teaser

Yifeu Lu stars in the title role of Mulan, Disney’s live action remake of its 1998 animated film.

Disney has dropped a teaser for its forthcoming film, Mulan, giving us our first real look at the studio’s live action remake of the classic 1998 animated film.

(Mild spoilers for the 1998 Disney animated film below.)

Both films are based on the Chinese legend, “The Ballad of Hua Mulan,” telling the story of a young woman in the Northern Wei era (spanning 386-536 CE) who takes her father’s place when each family is required to provide one male to serve in the emperor’s army. In this version, Hua Mulan is already a well-trained fighter—the Arya Stark of Chinese legend—and she serves for 12 years with none of her fellow soldiers ever suspecting her true gender.

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How much carbon does our lumber sequester?

How much carbon does our lumber sequester?

Enlarge (credit: US BLM)

Carbon sequestration is generally thought of as locking carbon out of the atmosphere semi-permanently by incorporating it into rocks or forests that are then preserved. But there’s a large cache of carbon in a form that’s not especially permanent: the wood we use in our buildings and other structures. Some of that lumber has been in place for hundreds of years, while other bits of wood are used temporarily and then burnt or left to decay, which rapidly releases their sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that figuring out how much carbon ends up sequestered through our use of wood products is not a simple task. Undaunted, Craig Johnston and Volker Radeloff of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have decided to tackle it. By viewing that carbon as a pool that’s being drained and filled at the same time,

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Fixing the past: The art of collecting pinball machines

Fixing the past: The art of collecting pinball machines

Pinball is dying, if it’s still alive at all. The major manufacturers have moved from creating pinball machines to slot machines for casinos, a business with a much rosier future. With even larger arcades only sporting one or two pinball machines, most likely emblazoned with licensed artwork from a popular movie or TV show, enthusiasts of the game are forced to look backward for their joy, not forward.

“Pinball has seen a steady decline since the 90s. Chicago used to have many manufacturers that cranked out thousands of games each year. In the 80s and 90s, video games became popular and pinball sales suffered,” Karl Marsicek explained to Ars. He knows a little bit about the lost art of pinball: his basement houses a collection of machines he has

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Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch

Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch

Enlarge / A different band can change the entire look of the Inspire HR. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Update: Our Fitness Tracker Guidemaster was originally published in January 2018, but we’ve been testing new devices to prepare for the beaches and pools of summer 2019. Our recommendations now include some of the best and newest devices available in 2019.

The smartwatch hasn’t swallowed up the fitness tracker yet. While many consumers are intrigued by the Apple Watch, Android Wear devices, and the like, old-school fitness trackers can still be useful and available for the right price. The main goal of these devices remains simply tracking activity: from daily movement to intense exercise to steps, heart rate, and sleep. Most of today’s fitness trackers haven’t changed much aesthetically, either. They’re still, by and large, wristbands.

Most modern fitness trackers are meant to be worn all day long. And many now have basic

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