Some of the changes implemented in the latest iteration of Dolphin Browser for iPhone are carryovers from the previous update to its iPad counterpart. These are password saving, autocomplete, and Dolphin Connect.
Password saving, of course, pertains to the app’s ability to storeyour login credentials for certain sites. Autocomplete enables the app to remember your browsing history, bookmarks, and searches, thereby facilitating URL and keyword typing. And Dolphin Connect lets you sync your bookmarks across all your devices.
Previously available on the iPad version only, Dolphin Connect is now also on the iPhone version.
More changes common to both versions of Dolphin Browser are brought by their respective updates today. Password saving has been improved, so that you can specify which passwords you wish to be remembered. Exporting of your Dolphin downloads is also now possible via iTunes Share.
In addition, instructions for Gesture are no longer shown beyond their second appearance and the “Rate us” pop-up is displayed only by the second time you open Dolphin.
An improvement exclusive to the iPhone version is support for other languages for search using Dolphin Sonar. And on the iPad version only, the keyboard is hidden upon tapping a blank area of the screen.
This twofold treat from MoboTap no doubt makes Dolphin Browser an even better Safari alternative. But I’d still like to see Dolphin Sonar make its way to the iPad version, too. And add full Retina display support in there for good measure.
wireless technologies have been transforming domestic life since the availability of home radios in the 1920s. Since then every new kind of wireless technologyand every new application has brought more transformative changes to the home.
Television, for example, used to receive its signal wirelessly, which enabled its fast adoption in the 1950s. As the use of cable TV spread, transforming a wireless signal into a nonwireless one, wireless remote controls added another convenience.
Cordless phones changed when and where you could make and receive calls. Wireless garage door openers and other special-purpose wireless devices subtly improved people’s lives in small ways. You probably have a Wi-Fi network in your home, which you use to connect computers, laptops, phones and possibly your TV to the Internet.
Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are geeky technologies working invisibly and behind the scenes to subtly and profoundly change homes all over the world. They’ve eliminated cables, reducing clutter. And they’ve freed you to place consumer electronics devices anywhere.
Now a brand-new technology is about to really change things again.
why the new, improved Bluetooth will change your house. The fourth generation of Bluetooth technology is revolutionary. It’s not just a little better than the Bluetooth you’re currently using. It’s massively better.
Today most chatter about Bluetooth 4.0 is about advancedgadgets, such as the highly anticipated Pebble E-Paper Watch (shown). The device will use Bluetooth 4.0 to let you control your phone, as well as household appliances and media devices like your TV, from your wrist.
Bluetooth 4.0 is also called Bluetooth Smart Ready, and one of the best things about it is that it uses much less power.
If you use a wireless mouse or keyboard, you know that the batteries have to be changed or recharged every few weeks or, at most, every few months. Bluetooth 4.0 would enable them to never have to do anything with the batteries. These devices would be charged when you open the box and remain charged for more years than you would want to use them.
This is great news, and not just for lazy wireless keyboard users. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Where Bluetooth 4.0 comes from. Bluetooth 4.0 isn’t something you buy at the store. At some point, one by one, a gazillion gadgets will add or upgrade to the new technology. The most aggressive company to build Bluetooth 4.0 into its products is Apple. This is surprising, because Apple often lags behind other companies in the introduction of new standards and new technologies.
The iPhone 4S was the first phone ever to support Bluetooth 4.0. The current iPad (shown in use above) is the first tablet to support it. In fact, every major Apple product, including desktops and laptops, shipped in the past year comes with Bluetooth 4.0 support.
By the end of the year, we can expect every major Bluetooth device, from phones to tablets to peripheral devices, to support the new Bluetooth 4.0 standard.
What happens when everything is connected. The reason Bluetooth 4.0 will completely change everything in the home is that it will accomplish the following feats:
1. It will replace proprietary technologies. A wide range of household gadgets, from TV remote controls to room temperature thermostats to doorbells, use nonstandard tech to communicate wirelessly. New capabilities in Bluetooth 4.0 will mean all these gadgets can just use the new standard. When that happens, you’ll be able to easily connect to, monitor and control things with your phone and tablet. Current tablet products, such as Control4’s 7-Inch Portable Touch Screen (shown) use Wi-Fi or proprietary wireless technologies. Because of those technologies, the use of tablets for controlling things is rare. Bluetooth will make home tablet remote controls and control panels commonplace.
2. It will enable more things to be wireless. Bluetooth 4.0 will make it cheap and easy for companies to add wireless connectivity to random things: lamps, washing machines, refrigerators, coffee makers, air conditioners, ovens and much more. You’ll be able to control and monitor things from your phone or over the Internet that you previously had to control by touching the object.
3. It will let you automate things. Once an appliance or piece of functional furniture can be controlled through Bluetooth 4.0, it can be easily automated. You just need the software to control it. Your smart phone and tablet are based on an “app” economy, so you can expect literally thousands of home-control apps to come on the market over the next few years.
4. It will help appliances talk to one another. With all your stuff connected via Bluetooth 4.0, the appliances in your house can talk to other appliances without your involvement. The thermostat can turn on the air conditioner. An incoming phone call can pause your TV show. The alarmclock by your bed can turn on the coffee machine. The cell phone in your pocket can turn on the lights in and around your house as you pull into the driveway.
Futurists have been making bold predictions about the coming age of the “smart home” for decades. All these visions involve wireless technology for connecting devices to the Internet, to user control devices and to each other.
Bluetooth 4.0 is that technology. And now it’s here.
An interior of this extravagance would never endure a conventional television. the dielectric mirror TV is carefully positioned as a subtle centerpiece with a frame that is customized to blend effortlessly with this sophisticated décor. The graceful mirror shows off the elegance and dimensions of the room and disguises the high end entertainment technology for quiet conversation and fine dining.
After a dinner of fabulous cuisine and fine wine you can relax in the living area with state-of-the-art high definition entertainment. Who would have thought that you would be able to outfit such an exquisite décor with a television? Now it is possible with the dielectric mirror TV which is offered in an impressive array of sizes and styles with a custom frame that is exclusively crafted to the high standards of your taste in décor.
Having an arcadegame in your home doesn’t have to mean dealing with a gaudy-looking box. Surface Tension Arcade Tables (£2,000-£3,500; roughly $3,150-$5,500) combine qualitybuildmaterials, hidden brains, hidden controls, hidden LCD screens, anddarkglass to hide full-on arcade action inside stylish coffee tables. Features include your choice of finishes, optional integrated Sonos Zoneplayers, and retro-style arcade buttons, joysticks, trackballs. Pac-Man has never looked so good.
Doors are standard fair in any home. However, an awe inspiring front door can convert any blah home into an architectural wonder. It can add warmth, pizazz and though it serves as a gateway toyour abode, it is also a suggestion to what kind of interior awaits its entrants.
the curtain door is not only sick looking, but an engineering feet. It measures 5.2m high and 1.7m wide. 60 pulleys, 80 ball bearings, a wire-rope and a counter weight are hidden inside 40 sections of 254mm-thick Burma teak. So a few trees (understatement) died in the vein of this door, but there is no over looking its functionality and design.
When in the closed position each section stacks on top of itself. A push on the door’s planks causes it to rotate open. We can only hope this all happens in an effortless manner.
The curtain door was created by Matharoo Associates.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts private island at PuketStarwood Hotels & Resorts private island at Puket
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of a private luxury resort, Naka Island, which is located at the coast of Phuket. This beautiful Island resort will be opened to public in November this year. Situated at Thailand’s southernmost province, the resort will soon be a collection of Resorts & Spas. The island is situated amid breathtaking Andaman Sea, surrounded by lush green landscape, coconut groves and beautiful beaches.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts private island at Puketthe Island is 100 square kilometers in size has exclusive 67 villas spread in exceptionally large 450 square area.
The Island is 100 square kilometers in size and has 67 exclusive villas spread in exceptionally large 450 square area. The huge sized villas have private plunge pools, open air bathrooms, sala pavilion and large outdoor space. Each villa will also feature comprehensive library, indoorsound system and extravagant views over Phang Nga Bay and Phuket Island.
How to reach
Set on Naka Yai Island, the resort is just 25 minutes away from Phuket’s International Airport. One can reach to the Island only through speedboat and the whole Island is easily navigable on foot or a bicycle as it is spread on just 100 square kilometers.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts private island at PuketEach guest will be provided with ‘Experience Guide’ that includes one person who will act as a concierge, guest relations officer and a personal butler
Each guest will be provided with an ‘Experienced Guide’ who will act as a concierge, guest relations officer and a personal butler who will take care of each and every need of the guests. This Experience Guide will book a dining reservation, will arrange for outing and sightseeing, will take you to the driving trips and will help you to explore the Island and other nearby places.
The resort has an exceptional seaside sitting all day running restaurant Tonsai which offers healthy and tempting cuisine of the region. The island also has an open beachside grill house which is a delight for seafood lovers. wine lovers can also enjoy at the extensive wine cellar in the Z Bar along with magnificent sunset views.
The Naka Island has the largest spa in the region that offers complete peace of mind, body and soul through their world class spa therapies. The Spa is bespoke for every individual guest at the Island.
Known as the “Pearl of the Andaman,” Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and one of Southeast Asia’s most highly-regarded destinations. Phuket FantaSea is just 28.0 km away from the Island and also offers exciting jungle experience. Apart from these attractions, Golfers have three wonderful courses to choose from: Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Blue Canyon Country Club, and Mission Hills Golf Course.
Wayne Buckingham, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ regional vice president of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia commented:
“We are thrilled to introduce The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket to people with a sense of adventure who want to escape from everything and experience something truly unique, private and memorable.The Naka Island is a beautiful hidden treasure of luxury – located away from everything, but far from nothing.”
Infinity pools are all the rage for the optical-illusion-loving set that enjoys a nice view. This pool offers a more urban view of L.A. Just minutes up Doheny Drive from downtown, this 5,000-square-foot home designed for indoor/outdoor living is for sale for $6.29 million.
On the garden level, the 8-foot deep, 26-foot long pool is perfect for laps. The pool is a rarity in New York, where the Department of Buildings no longer permits them. The pool opens into a 16-foot high solarium sanctuary that connects to a private garden. The five-floor home also has a sauna, five wood-burning fireplaces and a rooftop deck. An indoor pool in the heart of New York city is the ultimate luxury statement. In this 22.5-foot-wide Chelsea town house, you can haveyour own indoor oasis for $11 million.
More of a pond than a pool, this photo shows it side on. As a piece of architectural narrative, the Bali Four Seasons pool entry is exceptional. A wooden bridge takes you over a chasm to an infinity pool with the jungle wrapping around the background, the pool floating 50 feet above it.
The entrance to the hotel is through a slit in the pool to the lobby underneath and is worth of a James Bond movie set.
Why It’s Cool: Its underwater music is novel, but it’s the entire roof terrace complex that makes this pool unique. Not only does it have sexy sunbeds, beautiful teak decks, and a pool concierge, but there are three infinity spa pools (cool, medium, hot) with views of bustling Victoria Harbour.
Interesting Fact: Legendary tai chi master William Ng offers complimentary lessons poolside on the roof terrace for guests.
Why It’s Cool: Designed by Philippe Starck, the three pools at the swanky new Viceroy hotel are connected, making it the longest pool complex in the country. At 205 feet, the main pool is the longest in Florida, while the 80-person hot tub is the world’s largest. Quirky details include a reflection pool with submerged tables and chairs.
Interesting Fact: Designed to mirror the Miami River running through downtown Miami, the pool literally runs through the condo “metropolis” of Icon Brickell.
Why It’s Cool: Home to some of the hottest parties and events in NYC’s Times Square, this indoor pool is conveniently connected to a 40-foot bar (the only swim-up bar in the city) and comes equipped with mood lighting, stadium seating, and a projector to show movies. There’s a large coed steam and sauna near the DJ booth.
Interesting Fact: Celebrity pool sightings include Nelly Furtado, Michael Stipe, and Tyson Beckford.
Why It’s Cool: This 25,700-square-foot wet playground is a destination in itself (guests receive a map upon entry). Nine free-form pools at six levels (from 40 feet to sea level) are connected by a “river” that carries swimmers along at varying speeds, from lazy river currents to whitewater rapids. Highlights include seven slides, grottoes, scuba certification pool, and a “Tarzan pool” with rope swing.
Interesting Fact: Going up? The pool is home to the world’s only water elevator—swimmers are lifted to the surface in a sealed chamber.
Why It’s Cool: Conceived by über-hip Clodagh, the pool features a stunning glass-encased centerpiece staircase. It stretches 28 feet into the middle, so swimmers can easily gawk at guests-and vice versa.
Interesting Fact: Visitors in the hotel’s Living Room lounge can ogle bathing beauties through slits in the ceiling.
The Hotel Joule, Dallas, TX.
In Bali, Indonesia.
Now that’s a view.
Crown Towers Hotel in Taipa Island Macau
This is a cool infinity pool that looks out over a breathtaking skyline from several stories up. This is definitely a great place to enjoy the sunset in Taipa Island.
Burj Al Arab in Dubai
Leave it to the hotel designer in Dubai to create a pool of this magnitude. It’s just too bad you probably have to own a helicopter to be able to comfortably afford to swim here.
Golden Nugget Las Vegas
While the pool might not seem too cool at first glance, notice the salt-water aquarium complete with sharks that is flush with the pool. There is also a clear tube slide that goes through the aquarium and into the pool.
Blue Lagoon Geothermal Resort in Grindavík, Iceland
Ok, technically this isn’t a pool in the typical sense of a hotel pool. But, it is a warm body of water that you have to pay a pretty penny to get into. Therefore it falls into the category of a luxury hotel pool.
Begawan Giri Hotel in Ubud, Bali
This small villa style hotels pool might not be big, but it has a million-dollar view. Combine that with the fact that at any given time you will probably be the only person in the pool and you get one luxurious little swim.
Mandarin Oriental in New York
At the Mandarin Oriental hotel, you can enjoy the famous New York skyline while lounging in the pool any time of the year.
San Alfonso del Mar in Chile
The pool at the San Alfonso del Mar is a mini ocean in and of its self. This pool is easily large enough to enjoy water sport activities like paddling and sailing, and it’s by far the largest freshwater pool in the world.
Four Seasons in Costa Rica
There is no better way to appreciate the coast of Costa Rica than from this infinity pool at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Six Senses Hideaway in Zighy Bay, Oman
This small infinity pool might not look like much at first, but when you take into account that the pool comes with your own private section of beach, cabana, pool, and more; it gets pretty luxurious.
Perivolas Luxury Hotel in Santorini
The infinity pool at the Perivolas Luxury Hotel may be one of the most famous hotel pools. It has one of the best views from any hotel pool and has been featured on a large number of travel magazine covers.
Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas
The sheer size of the pool at the Atlantis Resort is enough to get it on the list. But the pool features a number a slides, waterfalls, grottoes, and more.
Hotel Villa Mahal in Turkey
The infinity pool at the Villa Mahal made our list because it is a simple infinity style pool that does what infinity pools were made to do; give you the illusion of a pool that drops into the sky.
the tallest mountains aren’t necessarily the most impressive when climbed.
We’ve always been amazed by the courage and folly of trying to climb a 20,000 foot mountain just because it’s there. Which is why we were delighted to find this elegantly designed infographic, by Audree Lapierre of FFunction.
It simply shows the world’s Seven Summits — the tallest mountains o each of the seven continents, which together form a kind of grand slam for world-class mountaineers:
[Click for larger version]
But then below the chartare the rankings of a mountain’s “prominence.” Also called autonomous height, relative height, or simply prime factor, it’s basically a measure of how tall a mountain is relative to its surrounding topography. So you actually learn a littlebit about what it feels like to climb a given summit. If a mountain is tall but has a low prominence, then it probably doesn’t feel all that dramatic — you feel like you’re on top of simple one mountain among many others. But mountains with higher prominence jut up from the land around them — the loom over the surrounding landscape. Thus, when climbed, they offer a more dramatic sense of ascent and greater views. And once you’re at the top, the give you more of a sense of being on the literal top of the world.
Denial is the number one reason most scenes go bad. Any time you refuse an Offer made by your partner your scene will almost instantly come to a grinding halt. Example: Player A) “Hi, my name is Jim. Welcome to my store.” Player B) “This isn’t a store, it’s an airplane. and you’re not Jim, you’re an antelope.”
Open ended questions (like “Who are you?”) are scene killers because they force your partner to stop whatever they are doing and come up with an answer. When you ask your partner and open ended question, you put the burden of coming up with something “interesting” on your partner – so you are no longer doing a scene together but forcing one person has to do more work than you are willing to do.
3) You don’t have to be funny.
The hidden riddle of improv is that the harder you try not to be funny the more funny your scene is going to be. Why? Because it’s the verybest kind of improv scene you can do is an “interesting” scene, not necessarily a “funny” one. When you do an interesting scene, a very surprising thing happensâ€¦ the funny comes out all by it’s self.
The best ways to go are to stick to your character, stick to the story that is being told, and to stay within the reality of the scene you are playing.
4) You can look good if you make your partner look good.
When you are in a scene, the better you make your partner look the better the scene is going to be and, as a direct result, the better you are going to look. All too often, I’ve seen players enter a scene and I can just tell they have some really great idea about the character they are going to play or an idea they want to do. This is wonderful, but guess what? Your partner probably has absolutely no idea what’s cooking in your evil little mind, and so has no idea how to react. And no matter how brilliant your idea might be, it’s practically worthless if the scene as a whole goes bad.
5) Tell a story.
Storytelling is probably the easiest rule to remember but the hardest one to do. The real magic of improv is when we see the players take totally random suggestions (like a plumber and a cab driversellingshoes in a leper colony ) and somehow “make it work”. If all these unrelated elements are going to come together then it’s going to happen in the course of an interesting tale. So that’s just what the players are going to try and do, tell us all a story.
In 1969, theApollo 11 moon landing mission ventures onto the far side of the moon for a top-secret mission. For the next twenty-one minutes, they document the wreck of a Cybertronian spacecraft with no survivors, confirming that mankind is not alone in the universe. Forty years later, the secrets of that mission are uncovered.
As a preemptive measure, DreamWorks and Paramount announced a July 1, 2011 release date in IMAX3-d for a third Transformers film before completion of Revenge of the Fallen. Director Michael Bay responded, “I said I was taking off a year from Transformers. Paramount made a mistake in dating Transformers 3—they asked me on the phone—I said yes to July 1—but for 2012—whoops! Not 2011! That would mean I would have to start prep in September. No way. My brain needs a break from fighting robots.”
On October 1, 2009, Bay revealed that Transformers: dark of the Moon had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its originally intended date of July 1, 2011 rather than 2012. Filming started in May 2010, with shooting locations including Chicago, Florida, and Moscow. Due to the revived interest in 3-Dtechnology brought in by the success of Avatar, talks between Paramount, Industrial Light & Magic and Bay had considered the possibility of the next Transformers film to be filmed in 3-D. Testing has been performed in bringing the technology into Bay’s work. Michael Bay was reluctant to film with 3-D cameras since in test he’d found them to be too clunky for his filming style, but he didn’t want to implement the technology in post production either since he was not pleased with the results.
In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray version of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 not necessarily larger than Revenge of the Fallen, but instead go deeper into the mythos, give it more character development, and make it darker and more emotional. Shortly after the release of Revenge of the Fallen, Orci said he would like to introduce Unicron “for scale’s sake”, and Unicron is seen during the Transformers 3 preview video in the Revenge of the FallenBlu-ray edition, but no comment is made on the subject.
Having been called Transformers 3up to that point, the film’s final title was revealed to be Dark of the Moon in October 2010.
Actors on a Transformers: Dark of the Moon set in July 2010
As of March 19, 2010, the script was said to be finished, and pre-shoots began on April 7, 2010 in Indiana, which will portray Ukraine and Los Angeles. Filming began on May 18. The first six weeks took place in Los Angeles, locations included Sherman Oaks, Fourth Avenue and 5. Main. The next four weeks were spent in Chicago. Locations filmed in Chicago included LaSalle Street, Michigan Avenue, Bacino’s of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue and around the “Sears Tower“. The scenes set in Michigan Ave featured a substantial amount of pyrotechnics and stunt work. Filming in Detroit was planned to take place August but the Chicago shoot was extended until 1 September. In late September the production moved to Florida, just before the launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-133. While filming in Washington the crew shot on the National Mall, Michael Bay stated that there would be a car race on the location. Two further locations announced were the Milwaukee Art Museum and an old factory location of Tower Automotive, currently under redevelopment for mixed use as well as the city of Milwaukee equipment yard. Filming was scheduled to take place there after work was done in Chicago. On September 23, filming was done at the former city hall in Detroit, MI. In October 16, work was done at the Johnson Space Center in Texas with intent to shoot a scene set in the late 1960s utilizing extras with period fashion and hairstyles.Other planned filming locations included Africa, Moscow, and China. The film is being shot entirely in 3D using the Sony Pace 3D camera system used for Resident Evil: Afterlife. Filming was officially completed on November 9, 2010.  On November 26, it was announced the film had entered post-production.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon film trailer transforms Apollo history
Tranquility Base transformed: Teaser for Transformers: Dark of the Moon reveals an alternate Apollo 11. (Paramount Pictures)
December 13, 2010 — In the teaser trailer released last week for Transformers: Dark of the Moon director Michael Bay rewrites the history of the first moon landing. Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are sent on a mission that takes “a giant leap” beyond collecting rocks and planting the American flag.
According to the preview for Bay’s third film about “robots in disguise,” while everyone thought the astronauts were exploring the moon “for all mankind,” they were really off discovering a crashed alien spacecraft.
But that’s not all Bay did to transform Apollo. Although the teaser is only about two and a half minutes long, it packs in a surprising number of changes to how the 1969 moon landing — and to quote the trailer, “a generation’s greatest achievement” — was accomplished.
Where exactly was Tranquility Base?
Within seconds of touching down on the moon on July 20, 1969, Armstrong — the real Armstrong — gave the Apollo 11 landing site its name.
Composite photograph of Apollo 11′s Eagle lunar module on the moon at Tranquility Base. (NASA/Ed Hengeveld)
“Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed,” radioed the Apollo 11 commander, borrowing “Tranquility” from Mare Tranquillitatis, or the Sea of Tranquility — the area on the moon where they landed.
Back on Earth however, flight controllers did not know exactly where the lunar module “Eagle” now rested. They tasked Michael Collins, who was orbiting the moon aboard the command module “Columbia,” to try to spot Eagle as he flew over but he was moving too fast and as such, was unsuccessful.
It wasn’t until the mission was over that the exact location of Tranquility Base was determined, based largely on the moonwalkers’ description of the area, their photographs and their spacecraft’s telemetry.
One thing that Mission control could be certain of though, was that Apollo 11 was on the side of the moon facing the Earth. Had they landed on the far side — the side that always faces off into space due to a peculiarity about the moon’s orbit — all communications between Earth and the astronauts would have been cut off.
There were no communication satellites orbiting the moon that could relay the moonwalkers’ voices and television broadcasts once they were out of the line of sight with the Earth.
In Transformers, the location of Tranquility Base is even less clear.
“Apollo 11 is on the far side of the moon,” reports Walter Cronkite, in a CBS news clip replayed during the trailer.
“Neil, you are dark on the rock,” radios an unidentified man from what appears to be a back room at Mission Control in Houston.
Armstrong and Aldrin bounding over a boulder-strewn ledge of a crater to explore the alien spacecraft. (Paramount Pictures)
What follows is a scene showing Armstrong and Aldrin departing the vicinity of the Eagle lander, bounding over a boulder-strewn ledge of a crater to explore the crash site of a clearly alien spacecraft.
A wide shot reveals the Earth in the black sky above.
So where exactly were they? Did they secretly land on the far side of the moon? Or was Bay trying to depict a real nearby crater (though not as close as depicted)?
As Apollo 11 was the first attempt ever at landing men on the moon, NASA sought out an area that was geologically interesting but devoid of major obstacles like craters and boulders.
In reality, as Armstrong was piloting Eagle to a landing, he considered a site near the northeast slope of a large rocky crater, which they had dubbed West Crater during training. But the area was surrounded by a large boulder field and it would have required Armstrong to stop their approach short, neither situation ideal for a safe first landing.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image of the Apollo 11 landing site, showing little West and West craters. (NASA)
Ultimately, Armstrong piloted Eagle over another, smaller crater (“Little West Crater”) before touching down at what would become Tranquility Base.
But what of the trailer’s mention of the far side?
From what little it shows, that appears to be a cover story. A flick of a switch in a Mission Control back room seems to take Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s voice transmissions to an encrypted channel. Meanwhile, the rest of the world thinks there has been a loss of communications.
“We’ve now had confirmation of loss of signal from Apollo 11,” reports Cronkite.
And how did Bay get Cronkite, who passed away in 2009, to help change history? Easy — he didn’t.
The two clips from Cronkite’s news reports did actually air in July 1969 but well before the landing as Columbia and Eagle passed behind the moon to enter lunar orbit.
Houston, we have a (spacecraft) problem
If locating the Transformers’ version of Tranquility Base is a challenge, identifying exactly how Armstrong and Aldrin got there presents an even bigger problem.
Apollo 11′s Columbia… missing Eagle. (Paramount Pictures)
The very first shot audiences see in the trailer is an Apollo command and service module firing its engine between the Earth to the moon.
The real Columbia did perform a 3.13-second engine burn on the way the moon, which is about the same length as the scene, but something is missing… Eagle!
During the real mission, Columbia did fly alone for a brief period of time before docking with the lunar module Eagle, but it certainly didn’t do so while firing a course correction. Further, since the trailer provides views of Columbia from ahead and behind, it is clear that Eagle is no where to be found (to say nothing of the Saturn V rocket’s third stage in which the lunar module was launched).
Before Columbia disappears from view though, a second problem is exposed: it has transformed — not into a robot, but a different Apollo spacecraft.
The trailer’s very next scene shows Columbia docked with Eagle. Where did Eagle come from? No idea. But a closer look at Columbia’s service module shows it has an open scientific instrument module, or SIM, bay — no relation to Michael Bay — which only flew on Apollo 15 and the later missions.
Eagle reappears, but so does a SIM bay… (Paramount Pictures)
Further, Columbia is now trailing what looks like a debris field, reminiscent of Apollo 13 (or perhaps “Apollo 13,” the movie).
Eagle, after its mysterious arrival in lunar orbit, seems to fare better, at least while it’s still in space. Once on the surface though, it too develops problems.
Re-staging one of, if not the most famous scenes in all of human history, the Transformers trailer takes audiences to the surface of the moon at the very moment Armstrong is about to first step foot on the surface.
“That’s one small step for man…” Armstrong — again, the real one, courtesy a sound clip — proclaims.
The audio plays back over footage of the Transformers’ Armstrong descending the ladder and then — timed with “giant leap” — jumping off directly on to the surface.
In reality, Armstrong did jump off the ladder’s bottom rung but it was onto Eagle’s footpad and he didn’t speak his now famous words until taking a step off that pad.
Missing MESA means no giant leap on TV. (Paramount Pictures)
This scene also raises the question as to how the millions back on Earth ever got to see that famous “small step” in the first place. During the real mission, one of the first things Armstrong did after crawling out onto Eagle’s porch was to deploy a small shelf that swung open on the side of the lunar module to reveal, among other things, the TV camera that broadcast his climb down to the surface.
In the trailer, it appears that the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly, or MESA, remains closed.
“Dark of the moon,” indeed.
And while on the subject of cameras, the trailer introduces another anomaly based on how the astronauts’ recorded their activities. As Armstrong and Aldrin explore the alien craft, both have Hasselblad cameras attached to the front of their spacesuits.
It might be a minor nitpick, but that’s one too many. Only one such camera used on Apollo 11 (which incidentally, is why there are no portraits of Armstrong on the surface of the moon, as for the most part, he always had the one and only camera).
Armstrong on the moon, but he still has the camera. (Paramount)
At one point, the trailer describes the lunar mission as “a secret hidden for 40 years.” The real secret — alien robot spacecraft aside — is that the Apollo 11 mission as it was recreated in Transformers: Dark of the Moon was different in key ways from the real mission that made history four decades ago.
Will Bay, who shot scenes at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Houston, further transform space history when the film is released in July 2011? Time will tell if more than meets the eye.