"When Discovery does natural history it sets the bar high, and this ground breaking project features the very first ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Our crew came face-to-face with the giant squid, and it's the ideal season finale for our CURIOSITY series that stirs the imagination of our audience, bravely asking questions and fearlessly seeking answers. This latest production, four years in the making, is a world-first achievement for television, and I'm excited to share it," said Eileen O'Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks.
Discovery and NHK captured groundbreaking imagery below the Pacific waters during a mission that included over more than 285 hours in the abyss, 55 sub dives, some at depths greater than 3,000 feet, and a crew of scientists...
Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said they followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 metres as it swam into the ocean abyss. NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.
For Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.
"It was shining and so beautiful," Kubodera told AFP. "I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data."
Kubodera said the creature had its two longest arms missing, and estimated it would have been eight metres long if it had been whole. He gave no explanation for its missing arms.
One more screenshot, AFTER THE JUMP...
In a settlement announced today, former service members in a class action lawsuit challenging a Defense Department policy that halved the separation pay of those honorably discharged for “homosexuality” will receive their full pay.
The NYT reports:
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the action against the Defense Department, the half pay was the result of an internal policy adopted in 1991. Troops are entitled to separation pay if they are involuntarily and honorably discharged after completing at least six years of service. Separation pay is calculated based on years of active service and the service member’s monthly basic pay when at the time he or she was discharged.
Said Laura Schauer Ives, managing attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico: “There was absolutely no need to subject these service members to a double dose of discrimination by removing them from the armed forces in the first place, and then denying them this small benefit to ease the transition to civilian life. This decision represents a long-delayed justice to these veterans.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports today to speak about the Chuck Hagel nomination as Defense Secretary and the pushback it has received from some LGBT rights advocates.
“I do not know Chuck Hagel...I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. I want to hear how he’s evolved on this issue in the the last 14 years because the significance to the post to which he's been nominated is the respect for now openly gay members of the military who because of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell can serve openly and we need to see that implemented successfully..."
Mitchell also asks Baldwin if she has any concerns about how Obama's cabinet is shaping up given that he has thus far assembled a white male team of top foreign policy advisers.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Authorities in Russell County, Alabama have thwarted a planned attack by a high school student and self-declared white supremacist on gay and black classmates, after a teacher found the teen's journal, ABC News reports:
Derek Shrout was arrested Friday after a teacher at Russell County High School found what appears to be the teen's journal and contacted authorities. Police said the journal contained plans to kill six students and one teacher with homemade grenades. Six of the seven individuals were black.
In the journal, police say that Shrout thought the white male on his list was gay.
"That's the reason the white male was on the list. It screams hate crime," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
Investigators say Shrout started writing in his journal just three days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
"The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks and attacks of violence and danger on the school," Taylor said.
Watch a report from WTVM, AFTER THE JUMP...
TROMBONE: The way GoPro was meant to be used.
COCA-COLA: Their 2013 polar bear film produced by Ridley Scott.
JUDY SHEPARD: On the Tectonic Theatre's support for The Laramie Project.
MARRIAGE NEWS WATCH: AFER's Matt Baume with the latest on Illinois, RI, and DOMA repeal.
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Paul Rudnick has a quiz for Tom Cruise's new estate manager...
Focus on the Family's James Dobson tells flock that 35 years of work is ruined.
Giant rubber duck invades Sydney harbor.
Reported $3 million offer for photo of Kim Kardashian-Kanye West spawn.
Track coach resigns over affair with athlete: "Hall of Fame women's track and field coach Bev Kearney, whose story of recovery from a paralyzing auto accident inspired people around the country, has resigned due to an "intimate consensual relationship" with a University of Texas athlete in 2002, the school announced Saturday night."
Rebel Wilson is considering kidnapping One Direction.
Michelangelo Signorile chased down a bigot in Chelsea who called him "disgusting" after he kissed his partner: "I've not come to this age in my life, to this stage of the game in the fight for LGBT rights, to have someone call me 'disgusting' in my own neighborhood. And it's time none of us let them get away with it. I'm not saying that I or anyone should stand up to everybody engaged in a homophobic act every time. Obviously you have to be wise and safe. But whether it's on the streets of Chelsea or in Columbus, Ohio, all of us, straight and gay, must speak up when we can. Stand up and fight back. Because if we don't, they win."
Justin Bieber speaks out about marijuana photos.
Cheyenne Jackson and Patti LuPone had a Broadway date night.
Maggie Gallagher on the retirement of her syndicated column: "I've spoken the truth within the limits of my insight, which is all any writer can do. I've had an impact on my times and stood up for some denigrated truths that I do not think any society can do without. Plus, I know people trying to live by these truths and [passing] them down to their children really appreciate my capacity to put into words what is in their hearts. All in all, I feel pretty good about how I've spent my life."
Boeing 787 Dreamliner catches fire on tarmac in Boston: "Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the fire was in the belly of the Japan Airlines aircraft, which flies between Tokyo and Boston."
Providence, Rhode Island bishop says marriage equality sanctions "immoral activity".
They are FAMily.All hail the tomato pill: "Ateronon, which contains lycopene found in the skin of ripe tomatoes, had previously been hailed for unclogging arteries but the latest results have given researchers hope it could halt the damage caused by heart disease – Britain’s biggest killer...The effect of the pill on people with heart disease saw improvements in the function of cells in the endothelium, which lines blood vessels. Ateronon was shown to improve the flexibility of blood vessels by up to half."
Male model fix: Wouter Peelen.
Appeals court overturns conviction of two men jailed in 2011 for homosexuality in Cameroon.
Honey Boo Boo's earnings go into a trust fund: "June tells TMZ ... the lion's share of earnings from 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' (a cool $15k - $20k per episode) is being equally divided into funds for all 5 girls ... Alana 'HBB' Thomson (7), Lauryn (12), Jessica (15) and Anna (18) and baby Kaitlyn. June says the little stars can't touch the cash until they turn 21 -- except in case of medical emergencies or using it for school -- saying, "I want my kids to look back and say, 'Mama played it smart. Not like those other reality TV people.'"