NASA study: Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

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‘No survivors’ in Sinai airline crash

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New Century Theatre Company’s Production of <i>Festen</i>; A Complicated Enticing Portrayal of Family Dysfunction

Seattle’s New Century Theatre Company recently premiered Festen, an intricate portrait of seriously dysfunctional family whose issues come to a head when everyone returns home for the patriarch’s 60th birthday. The show is brilliantly staged and keeps the audience on edge speculating and wondering who did what and how it will be resolved (or not). And there’s a real sense that the audience is confined to witness this family in circumstances where if often feels like being in a pressure cooker about to blow.
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And blow it does when the eldest son confronts his father in front of the party guests. Then, the question becomes – is the son Christian, portrayed with great skill and finesse by Connor Toms, telling the truth or simply delusional?

No spoiler here. Go experience Festen for yourself. Here’s how New Century Theatre Company describes the show:

“Festen takes place at a family-run hotel in the countryside where friends and family have gathered to celebrate patriarch, Helge’s 60th birthday. Dark secrets revealed during the course of the evening expose the false cheeriness of the family as Helge’s adult son, Christian struggles to set himself free from his past. Both horrific and ridiculous, this dysfunctional birthday party will be a night to remember.”

And it was, in fact, a night and a show to remember. The actors were skillful, playing their parts with just enough drama and angst to make them believable. The staging was complex without taking away from the central dark theme. And the way in which the story flowed was exactly what was needed to have the audience involved and entertained.

All in all, Festen is a gem of a dramatic show that is not for the faint of heart. It sucks you in and takes you on a roller coaster ride that left me feeling more alive than when I walked in the door. Festen runs through November 21 at 12th Avenue Arts in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

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Hands-On With the New Apple TV: An Overview of Siri and Search

Along with an App Store, Siri voice integration and universal search are important software-based features available on the new Apple TV. With Siri voice integration, it’s possible to search for content and control video playback, while universal search allows users to look for movies and TV shows across a range of different apps.

In the video below, we went hands-on with the new Apple TV to give MacRumors readers an in-depth look at how the new Siri and universal search features work in person.

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Siri is linked to universal search, as the main (and simplest) way to seek out television shows, movies, and apps on the Apple TV. Siri is able to do things like pause, rewind, and fast forward, and there are also some cool tricks. For example, asking Siri “What did he say?” during a bit of missed speech in a TV show or movie will rewind a few seconds and display subtitles. Searching through television shows by specific actors, scenes, and episodes is another nifty feature.

At the current point in time, universal search is limited to a handful of sources that include Netflix, iTunes, Hulu HBO Go, and Showtime, but Apple plans to make a universal search API available, expanding the number of apps that can take advantage of the feature.

For more on the new Apple TV, make sure to check out our complete hardware overview and our look at the tvOS App Store. We’ve also rounded up a list of Apple TV apps and we’ve shared some tidbits about the new device.

On our forums, our readers are discussing the new Apple TV in the dedicated Apple TV forum. Of particular interest is a thread where new Apple TV owners are discussing their first impressions of the device, and there’s also a forum dedicated to Apple TV apps.

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