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At one end of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, there is a scene you must see to believe

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The Trump administration granted a presidential permit March 24 for a multibillion-dollar underground pipeline that would move Canadian oil through the US.

Called Keystone XL, the project is a new segment of the existing Keystone Pipeline system, which begins in Alberta’s oil sands, sometimes called tar sands, and ends at holding tanks in Patoka, Illinois, as well as points in Texas along the Gulf of Mexico.

The 1,180-mile (1,900-kilometer) XL segment, which is partially built but may ultimately cost entrepreneurs more than $10 billion, would move larger volumes of oil in less time by shortening the route and burying larger-diameter pipes.

Proponents of the pipeline say it will lessen dependence on foreign oil while creating jobs and growing domestic industry; that is, if financing, local permits, and legal challenges can be resolved. But environmental groups and many Americans — especially Native Americans — are furious about Trump’s support for the project.

Former President Barack Obama canceled the Keystone XL pipeline in November 2015 with an executive order that said it wouldn’t help lower gas prices or create that many jobs. He also said the pipeline’s long-term contribution to climate change — possibly more than 22 billion metric tons of carbon pollution, according to Scientific American — wasn’t worth the loss of America’s global leadership on climate change.

“If we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground,” Obama said.

Neither Trump’s January 2017 reversal of Obama’s order nor this week’s State Department permit grant mention the project’s steep environmental costs, which include the potential industrialization of 54,000 square miles of Alberta wilderness.

“We’re not saying the project is good or bad. We’re just saying the scale and severity of what’s happening in Alberta will make your spine tingle,” Robert Johnson, a former Business Insider correspondent, wrote after flying over the Canadian oil sands in May 2012.

Keep scrolling to see an updated version of Johnson’s photo essay, which shows the effects of Canadian oil mining — a process in which tar-laden sand is dug from the ground and the oil separated. Today that process makes up about 50% of the Keystone XL pipeline’s oil, while “in situ” pumping generates the rest.

SEE ALSO: 25 of the most iconic images of Earth from space

DON’T MISS: Apollo astronaut: ‘You go to heaven when you are born’

To get a look at the oil sand mines, we rented this Cessna 172, which the pilot was allowed to bring down to 1,000 feet. Through the open window we could see what really goes on in one of the most controversial places on the planet.

The Alberta oil sands are spread across more than 54,000 square miles, but we’re taking a look at just a small part of it. The red line is an approximate outline of the entire deposit — the green is where we were flying.

Thousands flock here to make real money in the oil sands, where creating synthetic crude begins in the strip mine.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The director of the mind-blowing new sci-fi thriller 'Life' explains how he pulled it off

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Perhaps it’s because he refuses to live in LA or he tends to liken the way he makes movies to the classics he grew up on, but when Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa was given the chance to direct the sci-fi thriller “Life,” he didn’t see a blockbuster. Instead, he saw a chamber piece about life back on earth.

“People compare this to ‘Alien,’ but this is a movie that takes place now,” Espinosa recently told Business Insider from his home in Sweden. “Back in the 1970s people speculated what our future would be, this is a somewhat realistic piece. Yes, it’s the feel of an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ or a zombie movie like ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ but its reality comes from Raymond Chandler.”

The movie follows a group of scientists on the International Space Station who discover life on Mars, but while studying it, that life becomes deadly and takes out the crew one by one. It all ends with a dramatic conclusion you never see coming, and that’s what hooked Espinosa.

“I wanted to make the two turns in the movie the essence of the picture,” he said, referring to the alien suddenly turning on the crew and the surprise ending. “But also have the characters have a complex past that would reflect on their actions. Normally in American movies that doesn’t really happen. You get everything told to you. In this movie all these characters had their secrets and that’s why they react certain ways.”

Life 2 Sony finalTo explore those complexities, Espinosa got some of the biggest stars in the world to join him: Ryan Reynolds, who was Espinosa’s first call, as the two had worked together on the director’s 2012 film, “Safe House”; then Jake Gyllenhaal; and finally rising star Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”).

But there was one other person Espinosa had to reach out to before taking on the film: Ridley Scott. Though the legendary director has no real direct involvement in “Life,” his fingerprints are all over the story, written by “Deadpool” screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, which very much resembles Scott’s “Alien.”

“Once I decided to do ‘Life’ he gave the blessing right away,” said Espinosa, who had a relationship with Scott already as he was a producer on Espinosa’s 2015 movie “Child 44.” “He has always been encouraging of my work and he didn’t think it was an ‘Alien’ rip-off at all. I actually had the opportunity to spend time with him in his office and go through his storyboards for ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner’ and talk to him about them. It’s an honor that he allowed me to do that.”

Though “Life” has the look of a big-budget blockbuster, it was made for a relatively modest $57 million on a shooting schedule of 65 days. Quite barebones for a Hollywood studio movie with A-list stars.

But for Espinosa, it created the perfect working environment. Sony mostly stayed out of his way and let him do unconventional things like ditch having a second camera unit and use preproduction time to come up with extensive backstories for the characters.

“What I do is a tradition of the Danish system in which we create the backstory to each character but they are not allowed to discuss it,” Espinosa said. “So as we are doing the scenes, all the actors are equally surprised by the reactions.”

It was that kind of detail that instantly grabbed the actors.

“What I loved about this role and how Daniel described it was the philosophy of her and the romance of science,” Rebecca Ferguson told Business Insider of her character. “It was all created through the backstory, which is never told, but hopefully it’s displayed through our acting.”

Then there was also Espinosa’s technical ambition. To open the movie, he introduces the cast and their mission with a five-minute single shot (or a “oner”) that travels throughout the International Space Station. No cuts allowed.

“I thought I have to do a oner to understand the claustrophobia and the ballet that these characters have to do to survive,” he said.

Though it’s a standout moment in the movie, looking back now, Espinosa admits it was a lot harder than he anticipated.

Daniel Espinosa AP“Halfway through [shooting it], I thought that I had gone mad, that this was completely impossible,” he said, though with the guidance of his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (known for his famous oner in “Atonement”), they pulled it off.

But what really makes Espinosa stand out in the Hollywood system today is his feeling about sequels.

“I think it’s uninteresting,” he said, when asked if there will be a sequel to “Life.” “I think you make a piece of work that stands by itself and then to go back on it is like meeting an old lover and trying to start a relationship again.”

Espinosa believes it was a big gamble by Sony to allow him the creative freedom to take chances and not be controlled by test-screening audiences or the pressure of building a possible franchise. He hopes “Life” is part of a trend of studio projects that tell unique stories.

“We’re in an interesting time where movies that don’t fit under the current banner, like ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Logan’ and hopefully my movie, show there is an interest in something that is different than the road we’ve been going down the last 20 years,” he said.

“Life” opens in theaters on Friday.

SEE ALSO: How Rebecca Ferguson went from “Mission: Impossible” scene-stealer to the star of “Life”

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NOW WATCH: The Oscars just had its biggest gaffe in history — here’s what happened

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A giant U-shaped skyscraper designed for New York City could be the longest building in the world

THEBIGBEND_ oiio_16

Manhattan developers keep building skyscrapers taller and taller, but Greek architect Ioannis Oikonomou hopes to break a new kind of record.

His firm, Oiio Studio, has designed a U-shaped tower called the “Big Bend” that aims to become, what Oikonomou calls, “the world’s longest building” (if you were measure from end to end of the U, which would total approximately 4,000 feet). 

The design calls for a super-tall, skinny skyscraper bent in half, to form what looks like the first drop of a roller coaster. From the sidewalk to the building’s peak, it would stretch about 200 feet taller than One World Trade Center, the largest tower in the city.

For now, the Big Bend is merely a design. Oikonomou tells Business Insider he has sent the design to a few developers, and is currently seeking investment.

The residential building would be located on the southern border of Central Park, an area that’s known as “Billionaire’s Row” and contains many luxury skyscrapers.

Oikonomou is confident that plans for the Big Bend could move forward since many developers will do whatever it takes to get a better return on investment, he says. In a  huge skyscraper that doesn’t take up much space, more people would pay mortgages or rent.

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The Big Bend has been created, among other things, in order to emphasize the fact that New York has become a giant hotel,” Oikonomou says, referencing the recent trend of people buying condos without using them as primary residences. The Big Bend would “ensure maximum profit for its investors, even if its apartments are inhabited only for some days every year.”

SEE ALSO: The 25 most beautiful buildings in the world, according to architects

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NOW WATCH: London is building Europe’s tallest residential skyscraper

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Apple: Macs and iPhones are safe from newly revealed CIA exploits

The Mac and iPhone exploits described in new documents attributed to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency were patched years ago, according to Apple.

WikiLeaks released a new set of files Thursday that supposedly came from the CIA. They contain details about the agency’s alleged malware and attack capabilities against iPhones and Mac computers.

The documents, dated 2012 and earlier, describe several “implants” that the CIA can install in the low-level extensible firmware interface (EFI) of Mac laptop and desktop computers. These EFI rootkits allow the agency’s MacOS spying malware to persist even after the OS is reinstalled.

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Microsoft delays tools for third-party Cortana integrations

Microsoft has delayed the release of its tools for connecting other services to the Cortana virtual assistant, a decision that could cause it to lose ground in a crowded industry.

The tech titan announced the Cortana Skills Kit in December of last year, saying at the time that it would be released to the public in February. As Microsoft watcher Brad Sams noted on Twitter, Microsoft missed that deadline, and the Skills Kit remains locked in a private beta with a select group of partners. Microsoft didn’t offer an explanation for the delay, saying in a statement that the kit will be coming soon.

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Google Play faces cat and mouse game with sneaky Android malware

What’s the best way to avoid Android malware? Downloading all your apps from the Google Play store — where software is vetted – is perhaps the best advice.  

But that doesn’t mean Google Play is perfect.

Security researchers do find new Android malware lurking on Google’s official app store. That’s because hackers are coming up with sneaky ways to infiltrate the platform, despite the vetting processes that protect it.

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Facebook finally tests a GIF button for comments

 After years of stubborn caution, Facebook is finally embracing the animated GIF. Next week Facebook will begin testing a GIF button that lets users post GIFs from services like Giphy and Tenor as comments, a source told TechCrunch. We inquired with Facebook, which confirmed the GIF test is coming with this statement: “Everyone loves a good GIF and we know that people want to be able to… Read More

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This sensory wearable is designed for flirting

 With people more likely to be locking eyes with their smartphone screens these days when they’re hanging around in public, the London-based designers behind this feathery wearable are worried that the chances for exchanging flirtatious glances with passing strangers is being engineered out of daily life. Or, let’s be honest, translated into monetizable swipes on Tinder et al. Read More

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Elon Musk: Teslas are not named like iPhones and any confusion is because 'I was a dumb idiot' (TSLA)

Elon Musk

Elon Musk wants you to know that Tesla electric cars are not named like Apple’s iPhones.

Apple names its phones to let customers know which model is newest — the iPhone 7 is newer than the iPhone 6S which is newer than the iPhone 6, for example.

The Model 3 is not the sequel to the Model 1 or the Model 2. The Model 3 is Tesla’s lower-cost sedan that should start being delivered to customers later this year.

Tesla’s other cars are named the Model S and Model X. 

Musk:

(However, Apple never released an “iPhone 2” or “iPhone 3.”) 

Why would Musk name one model after a number and other models after letters? Musk has a self-deprecating and funny reason:

Turns out, the Model 3 was supposed to be called the Model E, but Ford didn’t like that. That opened the door for Musk to make a funny, juvenile joke about Tesla’s entire naming convention:

 

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk: Tesla will start taking orders for its solar roof in April

AND: Elon Musk wants Tesla customers to temper their expectations of the Model 3 launch

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NOW WATCH: This animation shows how terrifyingly powerful nuclear weapons have become

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What cocaine does to your body and brain

Cocaine interferes with the way our brain absorbs and recycles certain hormones, including those that play key roles in pleasure, desire, and drive. It also appears to acutely affect parts of our brain that play a role in forming and retrieving memories, which may influence our chances of becoming addicted.

BI Graphics_What drugs do to your body and brain_Cocaine

SEE ALSO: What marijuana does to your body and brain

READ NEXT: The answer to treating drug and alcohol addiction may be far simpler than you think

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NOW WATCH: 7 surprising medical benefits of marijuana

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