17.8 C
Sunday, October 2, 2022
Home Blog

Tesla’s robot waves but can’t walk, yet. Musk plans to make millions of them


SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off on Friday a prototype of its humanoid robot ‘Optimus,’ predicting the electric vehicle maker would be able to produce millions and sell them for under $20,000 — less than a third of the price of a Model Y.

Musk said he expected Tesla would be ready to take orders for the robot in three to five years, and described an effort to develop the product over a decade or more, the most detailed vision he has provided to date on a business he has said could be bigger than Tesla’s EV revenue.

Tesla’s push to design and build mass-market robots that would also be tested by working jobs in its factories sets it apart from other manufacturers that have experimented with humanoid robots.

The eagerly awaited reveal of prototype robots at Tesla’s office in Palo Alto, California was also part of what Musk has described as an effort to have Tesla seen as a leader in fields like artificial intelligence, not just a company that makes “cool cars.”

An experimental test robot that Tesla said was developed in February walked out to wave at the crowd on Friday, and Tesla showed a video of it doing simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars at a production station at the company’s California plant.

But a more streamlined current one, which Musk said was closer to what he hoped to put into production, had to be rolled out on a platform and did a slow wave to the crowd. Musk called it Optimus and said it would be able to walk in a few weeks.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it,” Musk said, adding later, “I think Optimus is going to be incredible in five or 10 years, like mind blowing.”

He said existing humanoid robots are “missing a brain” — and the ability to solve problems on their own. By contrast, he said, Optimus would be an “extremely capable robot” that Tesla would aim to produce in the millions.

Other automakers, including Toyota Motor and Honda Motor, have developed humanoid robot prototypes capable of doing complicated things like shooting a basketball, and production robots from ABB and others are a mainstay of auto manufacturing.

But Tesla is alone in pushing the market opportunity for a mass-market robot that could also be used in factory work.

The next-generation Tesla bot will use Tesla-designed components, including a 2.3-kWh battery pack carried in its torso, a chip system and actuators to drive its limbs. The robot is designed to weigh 73 kg.

Tesla engineers, who like Musk were all wearing black T-shirts with an image of metallic robotic hands making a heart shape, described how they developed the robot’s features — including in areas like how the fingers move — with a focus on making the cost of production lower.

“We are trying to follow the goal of fastest path to a useful robot that can be made at volume,” Musk said.

By developing a robotics business, Musk said, Tesla is shifting the terms of a well-known mission statement that has become part of its appeal to investors and climate activists by committing to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

“Optimus is not directly in line with accelerating sustainable energy,” Musk said. “I think the mission does somewhat broaden with the advent of Optimus to — you know, I don’t know: making the future awesome.”

Elon Musk presents the humanoid robot
Elon Musk presents the humanoid robot at Tesla AI Day in Palo Alto, Calif. on Sept. 30, 2022.Tesla/AFP via Getty Images

Musk has described the event as intended to recruit workers, and the engineers on stage catered to a technical audience. They detailed the process by which Tesla designed robot hands and used crash-simulator technology to test the robot’s ability to fall on its face without breaking.

Musk, who has spoken before about the risks of artificial intelligence, said the mass rollout of robots had the potential to “transform civilization” and create “a future of abundance, a future of no poverty.” But he said he believed it was important that Tesla shareholders had a role in vetting the company’s efforts.

“If I go crazy, you can fire me,” Musk said. “This is important.”

Many reactions on Twitter were positive, focusing on the speed of Tesla’s development effort since August last year, when Tesla announced its project with a stunt that had a person in a white suit simulate a humanoid robot.

Henri Ben Amor, a robotics professor at Arizona State University, said Musk’s price target of $20,000 was a “good proposition,” since current costs are about $100,000 for humanoid robots.

“There’s some discrepancy between sort of the ambition and what they have presented,” he said. “When it comes to dexterity, speed, the ability to walk in a stable fashion and so on, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Aaron Johnson, a mechanical engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, also said the robot’s need was debatable.

“What is really impressive is that they got to that level so quickly. What is still a little murky is what exactly the use case is for them to make millions of these,” Johnson said.

Tesla also discussed its long-delayed self-driving technology at the event. Engineers working on the auto self-driving software described how they trained software to choose actions, such as when to merge into traffic, and how they sped up the computer decision-making process.

In May, Musk said that the world’s most valuable car maker would be “worth basically zero” without achieving full self-driving capability, and it faces growing regulatory probes, as well as technological hurdles.

Musk said on Friday beta testing of Tesla’s full self-driving capability will be “technically” ready for global rollout by the end of 2022, but regulations represent hurdles.

Source link

From ‘My Policeman’ and ‘TÁR’ to ‘White Lotus,’ October’s must-see queer films and TV


Nothing quite says fall, or queer-inclusive, like a watchlist filled with stylish Oscar contenders and spooky remakes of campy and queer-coded content. 

Now that they’ve made their way through many of the year’s film festivals, “TÁR” and “My Policeman” are finally coming to theaters, giving fans a chance to drool over their respective stars. But things are no less titillating on the small screen, with a very steamy, very gay series remake of “Interview With the Vampire” ushering in the month. There are also retoolings of ‘80s cult horror classics, with a new season of “Chucky” and a “Hellraiser” film reboot. 

Luckily, if all that entertainment-induced panting and shrieking gets to be too much, a new comedy special about lesbian culture and the highly anticipated second season of “The White Lotus” are waiting in the wings to give viewers a good laugh.

‘Interview With the Vampire’

Anne Rice’s most famous novel, first adapted into the 1994 film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, returns to the screen in an AMC series remake. And delightfully, this time, there’s no beating around the bush about what’s going on between its dashing male stars. In the new version, set in 2022, Sam Reid takes on the role of Lestat, the charming but temperamental vampire that turns Louis, played by Jacob Anderson of “Game of Thrones” fame. As the centuries-old Louis recounts his story to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian), his narrative is populated with details of his and Lestat’s passionate romance and many lovers’ quarrels, which they try to resolve by adopting an undead daughter, Claudia (Bailey Bass). Although Rice initially said the queer subtext of “Interview With the Vampire” was unintentional when the novel published in 1976, she quickly embraced the reading, which solidified her status as a gay icon later in life. She even signed on to be a producer of the new, much gayer adaptation, a role which her son, Christopher Rice, stepped into after her death in 2021.

“Interview With the Vampire” season one premieres on AMC and AMC+ on Oct. 2. 


Season one of Don Mancini’s “Chucky” series earned the “Child’s Play” franchise creator overwhelmingly positive reviews for breathing new life into his demonic creation: a possessed, redheaded doll with a penchant for sharp objects. The new season will pick up amid the murders set off in season one, when Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur), a gay, 14-year-old doll enthusiast, discovers Chucky at a garage sale and unwisely takes him home. Also returning for season two are veteran “Child’s Play” stars Brad Dourif, who has voiced the doll since the original film, and Jennifer Tilly, who reprises her recurring franchise character, Tiffany Valentine.

“Chucky” season two premieres on USA Network and Syfy on Oct. 5 and on Peacock on Oct. 6. 


After more than 15 years, filmmaker Todd Field makes a triumphant return to cinema with “TÁR,” a film he wrote specifically for star Cate Blanchett. Despite a perhaps purposefully misleading official description, the film’s central figure, “the iconic musician Lydia Tár,” is in fact a fictional character. And that’s far from the only surprise Field has cooked up. As Blanchett’s titular, internationally renowned composer, who is almost equally as famous for being a womanizer, readies her orchestra for a history-making performance, the story transforms into an elusive psychological thriller that keeps audiences guessing until the end. In addition to Blanchett’s tour de force performance, the film features stellar turns by co-stars Noémie Merlant, who plays Tár’s assistant, and Nina Hoss, who plays her wife. And, while it’s still early, there’s already plenty of chatter about the cast’s awards season prospects, especially after Blanchett took home some of the top honors at the Telluride and Venice film festivals. 

“TÁR” opens in U.S. theaters Oct. 7.


Out of reverence for the original, director David Bruckner (“The Night House”) has been very clear about the fact that his new “Hellraiser,” starring Jamie Clayton as Pinhead, is not a remake — it’s a reboot. Specifically, it’s a new adaptation of Clive Barker’s novella “The Hellbound Heart,” which served as the source material for the first film in the franchise, from 1986. For anyone who missed the previous 10 films, the “Hellraiser” franchise hinges on a puzzle box that opens a portal to a hellish dimension, populated by a group of pain-obsessed sadists, called Cenobites. While in the past, Pinhead — the Cenobites’ bone-chilling leader and the franchise’s lead antagonist — has been played exclusively by men, Clayton, a transgender woman, is an inspired homage to the character’s queer cult status. While the villain is largely portrayed as an adrogynous character in the films, the characterization in Barker’s book is even more female-leaning and gender-fluid. That, coupled with the Cenobites’ S&M-club wear, has made the franchise a permanent fixture atop the towering canon of queer horror.  

“Hellraiser” premieres on Hulu on Oct. 7.

‘Easy-Bake Battle’

Fab Five culinary expert Antoni Porowski’s new Netflix series “Easy-Bake Battle” is, well, very Antoni. Drawing on the “Queer Eye” star’s love of a good kitchen hack, the knockout-style, home-cooking competition challenges its bubbly contestants to create appealing dishes, using limited ingredients and very limited kitchen equipment. As the harried home cooks attempt to make miracles with air fryers and a giant Easy-Bake Oven, Porowski and his co-host for the episode mine them for cooking tips and offer up a few of their own. When time is up on an episode’s two rounds, someone walks away with $25,000 and the hopes of adding even more money to their bank account the following week. 

“Easy-Bake Battle” season one premieres on Netflix on Oct. 12.

‘High School’

Queer, pop duo Tegan and Sara’s 2019 memoir, “High School,” makes its way to the small screen in an Amazon series adaptation starring TikTok-famous twins Railey and Seazynn Gilliland. In the series, the Canadian sisters Tegan (Railey) and Sara (Seazynn) navigate high school, their burgeoning sexualities, their often-difficult relationship with each other and turning their shared love of music into a Grammy-nominated band. As a nostalgic bonus, all of the falling-outs and first loves take place against the backdrop of ‘90s grunge, a perfect fit for co-creator and executive producer Clea DuVall. The series also stars Cobie Smulders as the twins’ era-accurate, hands-off mom. 

“High School” season one premieres on Amazon Freevee on Oct. 14.

‘My Policeman’

Right off the chaos surrounding “Don’t Worry Darling,” Harry Styles is back on the big screen as the star of yet another headline-grabbing film, “My Policeman.” Styles plays opposite Emma Corrin (“The Crown”) and David Dawson (“The Last Kingdom”) in the period piece about a love triangle between police officer Tom, schoolteacher Marion and museum curator Patrick. The story takes place in two timelines: in 1957, when homosexuality is still illegal in the U.K., and in 1999, when the trio deals with the choices, and betrayals, of their younger selves. Playing the older versions of the star-crossed lovers is Linus Roache as Tom, Gina McKee as Marion and Rupert Everett as Patrick, who, along with their young co-stars, became the first ensemble to win the Tribute Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered in September.

“My Policeman” debuts in U.S. theaters Oct. 21 and Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 4.

‘The Return of Tanya Tucker’

A new documentary from Brandi Carlile demonstrates why the country star is beloved for more than just her music. “The Return of Tanya Tucker,” which premiered at South by Southwest earlier this year, charts the rise of its titular subject as she records her 2019 comeback album, “While I’m Livin’.” A longtime fan of Tucker, Carlile took it upon herself to write the album, which is about the musician’s life. And the film documents Carlile cajoling Tucker back into the studio after years out of the limelight, following her very public experiences with substance use and a toxic relationship with fellow musician Glen Campbell. Ultimately, “While I’m Livin’” won Tucker her first two Grammys, for best country song and country album, and earned Carlile praise for her altruistic streak, which was seen in full force during a tear-filled, rare public performance by Joni Mitchell this summer.

“The Return of Tanya Tucker” opens in U.S. theaters Oct. 21

‘Fortune Feimster: Good Fortune’

Maybe it’s lingering trauma from Hannah Gadsby’s devastating “Nanette” or the wealth of recent comedy controversies, but Fortune Feimster’s new stand-up special, “Good Fortune,” seems almost too delightful to be true. In just over an hour, Feimster relates anecdotes about her relatively mild pandemic traumas, recent happy marriage and most disastrous (but hilarious) stand-up show, all the while eliciting cheers from the audience of the packed Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The set’s running jokes poke fun at lesbian culture in a way that’s good-natured and refreshingly casual, handing queer women a rare opportunity to hear themselves talked about on a comedy stage and laugh about it.

“Fortune Feimster: Good Fortune” premieres on Netflix on Oct. 23.

‘Wendell & Wild’

The visionary director behind “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Henry Selick, is putting his spooky spin on a new animated story about childhood, “Wendell & Wild.” The stop-motion film, written by Selick and horror master Jordan Peele, is about a young girl, Kat (Lyric Ross), who gets roped into helping two demon brothers, Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele), return to the land of the living to face their nun arch-nemesis. Joining the horror and comedy legends are stars like Angela Bassett and James Hong, and newcomer Sam Zelaya, a transgender actor who voices Kat’s best friend, Raul, who is also trans.

“Wendell & Wild’ premieres on Netflix on Oct. 28.

‘Please Baby Please’

Amanda Kramer melds 1950s musical, seductive thriller and neon-lit camp-fest in her fearless new film starring Andrea Riseborough, Harry Melling, Karl Glusman and forever bombshell Demi Moore. Based on a script from Kramer and Noel David Taylor, “Please Baby Please” is about seemingly straight newlyweds Suze and Arthur (Riseborough and Melling), whose lives are turned upside down when they witness a murder and become involved with a leather-clad gang known as the Young Gents. The couple’s growing fascination with the greasers, led by an alluringly gaunt Glusman, leads them to question their sexual leanings — and who can blame them — which doesn’t help Suze’s situation with her upstairs neighbor (Moore).

“Please Baby Please” opens in U.S. theaters Oct. 28.

‘The White Lotus’

An almost entirely new cast of haves and have-nots is headed to the White Lotus hotel’s Sicilian outpost for season two of creator Mike White’s hit comedic thriller. The season’s premiere comes shortly after the series’ impressive showing at the Emmys, taking home five awards, including first-time wins for White and stars Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge. Coolidge and actor Jon Gries return for the Italian iteration, joined by an ensemble cast that includes Aubrey Plaza, F. Murray Abraham, Haley Lu Richardson, Theo James and Leo Woodall. A hilariously exacting Sabrina Impacciatore plays the White Lotus’ put-upon hotel manager, the role previously pioneered by Murray, who to her chagrin is the ringmaster of the five-star accommodation’s perpetually chaotic guests and ominous comings and goings. 

“The White Lotus” season two premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Oct. 30.

In case you missed it…

‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’

Although no stranger to a disturbing story, “American Horror Story” regular Evan Peters ups the stakes as the titular character in Netflix’s new Ryan Murphy series about the infamous gay serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Starring alongside Peters is Niecy Nash as a neighbor who repeatedly tries to alert the authorities to the suspicious late-night sounds and smells emanating from down the hall. The real-life Dahmer was found guilty in 1992 of killing 16 people (though confessed to killing 17), many of them queer men of color, between 1978 and 1991. He was killed in prison by a fellow inmate in 1994 at age 34 — outliving all of his known victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 33. Part disturbing historical lesson and part justice-system critique, the highly controversial series is definitely not for the easily unsettled.

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is available on Netflix.

Follow NBC Out on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.

Source link

Russian forces withdraw from key front-line city in Ukraine


After being encircled by Ukrainian forces, Russia on Saturday announced it had pulled troops out of an eastern Ukrainian city that it had been using as a front-line hub. It was the latest victory for a surprise Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman, which the Defense Ministry announced on its Telegram channel, complicates its internationally vilified move to annex four regions of Ukraine and paves the way for Ukrainian troops to potentially push further into land that Moscow now illegally claims as its own.

The fighting around Lyman comes at a pivotal moment for Putin’s war. Facing Ukrainian gains on the battlefield — which he frames as a U.S.-orchestrated effort to destroy Russia — Putin this week heightened his threats of nuclear force.

Lyman, Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers stand on a road Lyman, Ukraine on Apr. 24.Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP via Getty Images file

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had inflicted damage on Ukrainian forces in battling to hold onto Lyman, but that outnumbered Russian troops were withdrawn to more favorable positions. The Russian announcement came soon after Ukraine’s air force said it had moved into Lyman and the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff posted photos of a Ukrainian flag being hoisted on the town’s outskirts on its Telegram channel.

Lyman is some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Earlier on Saturday, a senior Ukrainian official said Russian forces had killed 20 people when they shelled a civilian evacuation convoy in the country’s northeast. Bombardments have intensified as Moscow annexed the territory.

Russian officials have not commented on the incident; NBC News was not able to confirm details.

Kharkiv region Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said the civilian convoy was struck in the Kupiansy district, calling the attack on people who were trying to flee the area to avoid being shelled “сruelty that can’t be justified.”

The attack was apparently the second in two days to hit a humanitarian convoy. Russian troops have retreated from much of the Kharkiv region after a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive last month but continued to shell the area.

In a daily intelligence briefing, the British Defense Ministry highlighted an attack Friday in the city of Zaporizhzhia that killed 30 people and wounded 88 others.

The British military said the Russians “almost certainly” struck the humanitarian convoy there with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. Russia is increasingly using anti-aircraft missiles to conduct attacks on the ground likely due to a lack of munitions, the British said Saturday.

“Russia’s stock of such missiles is highly likely limited and is a high-value resource designed to shoot down modern aircraft and incoming missiles, rather than for use against ground targets,” the British said. “Its use in ground attack role has almost certainly been driven by overall munitions shortages, particularly longer-range precision missiles.”

Russian-backed officials in Zaporizhzhia pinned the blame for the attack on Ukraine without offering any evidence.

A couple hug each other near cars damaged by a missile strike on a road near Zaporizhzhia.Genya Savilov / AFP – Getty Images

The British briefing noted the attack came while Putin was preparing to sign the annexation treaties.

“Russia is expending strategically valuable military assets in attempts to achieve tactical advantage and in the process is killing civilians it now claims are its own citizens,” it said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of “kidnapping” the head of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops and located in the region that has been annexed.

Russian forces seized the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ihor Murashov, around 4 p.m. Friday, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said. That was just hours after Putin, in a sharp escalation of his war, signed treaties to absorb Moscow-controlled Ukrainian territory into Russia.

Ukraine Russia Military Operation Nuclear Plant
The 1st reactor of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.Konstantin Mihalchevskiy / Sputnik via AP

Energoatom said Russian troops stopped Murashov’s car, blindfolded him and then took him to an undisclosed location.

“His detention by (Russia) jeopardizes the safety of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” said Energoatom President Petro Kotin said.

Kotin demanded that Russia immediately release Murashov.

Russia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has staff at the plant, said it had sought clarification from the Russian authorities and has been informed that Murashov was temporarily detained to answer questions.

The IAEA did not say whether he had been released and what his condition was.

Ukrainian officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Zaporizhzhia plant repeatedly has been caught in the crossfire of the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian technicians continued running it after Russian troops seized the power station. The plant’s last reactor was shut down in September amid ongoing shelling near the facility.

Source link

Strathmore Rose Tiara: Queen Mother’s £500,000 royal diadem hasn’t been seen for decades


    Kate, Princess of Wales is the latest royal to wear the piece, but she has tended to wear it high on her head with an elaborate hairstyle.

    The Queen Mother’s daughter Princess Margaret also loved this diadem, although her other daughter, the late Queen Elizabeth II, tended to wear other pieces.

    In her later years, the Queen Mother was often pictured wearing the Greville Tiara left to her by Mrs Greville when she died.

    The Boucheron-crafted piece had a distinct honeycomb style and has been worn in recent years by Queen Consort Camilla.

    Source link

    Will Prince William get an investiture ceremony as new Prince of Wales?


      The Prince of Wales title has been used by English princes since the 13th Century, and it is not without controversy.

      Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales, was executed in 1283 after King Edward I took Wales, and he gave the title to his son, the future King Edward II.

      Owain Glyndŵr held the title during the Welsh Revolt of 1400 to 1415.

      William’s appointment as Prince of Wales has been met with approval but also significant criticism, with some arguing the title should have been left vacant.

      Source link

      Liverpool 3-3 Brighton: Four things learned as Trent Alexander-Arnold faces more questions | Football | Sport


      Diaz’s influence was clear to see when he came on in the second half and changed the game completely for Klopp’s side. The Liverpool boss is now relying on the team building up some form quickly ahead of what is set to be a hectic schedule.

      Lacking killing edge

      Apart from the Bournemouth demolition, Liverpool have seemingly always been on edge in games they would otherwise be expected to dominate. Brighton have been brilliant this season and were the better side in the opening 45 minutes.

      But Liverpool came out on top in the second half and once Roberto Firmino equalised, they would have previously gone for the jugular to take the lead quickly. They huffed and they puffed, but were guilty of misplacing too many passes in the final third with Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Diaz all left frustrated at times.

      Source link

      A Pocketful of Happiness review – A profoundly moving memoir


      Richard E Grant was so captivated by Joan Washington when he signed up for one of her acting courses in 1982 that he asked her to give him some private acting lessons.

      Source link

      Entertainment News – Film-film yang mengangkat tema bencana alam


        Program yang menyuguhkan berita atau informasi menarik dari dunia entertainment, di dalam dan luar negeri berdasar pada fakta dan informasi. Program ini juga akan membahas berita dari dunia…


        How high prices could impact rebuilding cost after Hurricane Ian


        If there’s any consolation for survivors of Hurricane Ian, it’s that the rising cost of building materials has started to slow — and in some cases even reversed.

        Thanks to a global economic slowdown, what seemed like a relentless increase in prices for materials over the past year or two had started to fade by the time Ian struck southwest Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm.

        The price of lumber, which surged during the Covid-19 pandemic and peaked in January, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, data from CME Group, a global markets company, show. It’s due in part to a sharp slowdown in construction as higher mortgage rates and higher home prices have taken hold.

        Meanwhile, global shipping bottlenecks have eased, making more shipping containers available and reducing the cost of freight. Data from Drewry’s index, a global shipping tracking firm, show costs fell for 31 consecutive weeks, and have declined by 61% over the past 12 months.

        “You’re not going to have to spend so much on flooring or kitchen supplies — right now [prices] are going down as we speak,” said Michelangelo Cocchiola, co-owner of Imeca Lumber & Hardware in Florida. “If the hurricane had hit two months or three months earlier, it would have been so much worse than now.”

        Nationwide demand for houses has ground to a halt, said Brendan Lowney, principal of Forest Economic Advisors, a company that studies building costs. The run-up in prices has also caused producers of key commodities like lumber to expand production capacity, helping to cool off those price gains, Lowney said.

        In addition to lumber, prices for other key homebuilding commodities like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and copper are also reversing, according to market data.

        The cost of materials “have come down substantially,” Lowney said.

        But they are still elevated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this month that prices for building materials had climbed 4.9% through the year-to-date, and were up 14.3% over the past year.

        The sheer scale of the rebuilding to be done could also cause demand and prices to increase from here. According to the property information group CoreLogic, early estimates suggest Hurricane Ian will prove the costliest Florida storm since Hurricane Andrew hit the state in 1992, with a record number of homes and properties lost.

        “Hurricane Ian will forever change the real estate industry and city infrastructure,” said Tom Larsen, CoreLogic’s associate vice president overseeing hazard and risk management. “Insurers will go into bankruptcy, homeowners will be forced into delinquency and insurance will become less accessible in regions like Florida.”

        Hurricane Ian victims and disaster responders are likely to encounter other rising costs amid an annual headline inflation rate that continues to hover above 8%.

        Food price increases continue to hit multi-decade highs. Stephanie Ink-Edwards, CEO of Community Cooperative, an organization that fights hunger and homelessness in Lee County, said among the losses Ian victims are encountering is an absence of perishable food. She said food costs were already triple what they were last year in certain instances, even before the storm hit.

        “The outflow of people in need who we must serve is now so much higher, but the cost to get supplies is also higher, so we’re feeling the pinch from both ends,” she said.

        And while gas prices have come down from their summer peaks, with a Florida gas-tax holiday set to kick in Oct. 1, they remain well above their year-ago levels. As of Friday, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Florida was $3.39, according to AAA. That’s about $0.33 higher than it was last September.

        This week, Costco executives warned that they were seeing higher wages among suppliers — costs that will ultimately be passed on to consumers, in some cases.

        “Wages are still the culprit,” said CFO Richard Galanti, adding: “We’ll try to unstick them, but I’m sure some of it will stick and some of it won’t.”

        It is also likely to be harder — and costlier — to find qualified labor to help in the rebuilding process, experts say. While the global economic slowdown may be easing the cost of materials, Florida remains in the midst of a building boom, said Rusty Payton, CEO of the Florida Homebuilders Association.

        “They’ve already got plenty of projects to get done,” Payton said. “You’re not going see a mass migration of folks” to southwest Florida.

        Lowney predicted labor costs may jump in the short term as building contractors ration their services. 

        “In other words, they will raise their rates as high as the market will bear,” he said.

        On the flip side, with demand for jobs in Florida at an all-time high, those who have been displaced from their occupations by the storm are likely to find work more quickly than in other post-disaster periods, Lowney said.

        “It’s going to be less stressful if people don’t have to worry about being unemployed,” Lowney said.

        At least one local state official estimated Thursday it would take a decade to rebuild the areas hit hardest by the storm.

        “This is more similar to Katrina than the Florida storms we are familiar with,” state Rep. Spencer Roach, who lost his home in the storm, told FloridaPolitics.com. “There is a different level of devastation and recovery, and it is going to impact a lot of folks.”

        Source link

        Elvis: Living Hollywood star who played King’s mother opposite him shares ‘sweet’ memories | Films | Entertainment


        It was 61 years that Elvis Presley starred in Blue Hawaii, one of his post-army movies. The musical, which featured his hit song Can’t Help Falling in Love, saw The King play Chadwick Gates, who returned home to Hawaii after serving in the armed forces. Incredibly, Elvis’ mother Sarah Lee Gates was played by Angela Lansbury, despite being just nine years older than him.

        Lansbury is still alive and well at almost 97-years-old and in an unearthed interview shared her memories of working with Elvis on Blue Hawaii. 

        In the video below, the Hollywood star, who received her first Oscar nomination in 1944, said: “Well obviously I was awed by being in the presence, but he was an awfully nice young man in those days. He always was a wonderfully nice young man, a very caring person. He had terrible problems of a very personal nature, but in those days he’d just come out of the army.”

        Ahead of shooting Blue Hawaii in 1961, Elvis was flown out to the islands early to perform a benefit show. During the attack on Pearl Harbour 20 years previously, the USS Arizona battleship was sunk with 1177 losing their lives.

        To this day the ship remains submerged with a memorial over the top that Elvis’ concert helped raise money for. The King’s ticket sales made $64,000 towards the project and the performance took place on March 25, 1961.

        Source link