He needed them to write but not for the microscope, so every time he raised or lowered his glasses, the band wore away at the hair at his temples. When the hair grew back, it came in white. He felt as if he had aged a lifetime in one year. I told him that he looked much better now — significantly younger than his age. I want to become miracle immortal man. As if to distract himself from this trajectory of thought, he removed a petri cup from his refrigerator unit. He held it under the light so I could see the ghostly Turritopsis suspended within.
It was still, waiting. The most reliable way to make the immortal jellyfish age in reverse, Kubota explained to me, is to mutilate it. After Kubota poked it six times, the medusa behaved like any stabbing victim — it lay on its side and began twitching spasmodically. Its tentacles stopped undulating, and its bell slightly puckered. He stabbed it 50 times in all. The medusa had long since stopped moving. It lay limp, crippled, its mesoglea torn, the bell deflated. Kubota looked satisfied. Then he started laughing. We checked on the stab victim every day that week to watch its transformation.
On the second day, the depleted, gelatinous mess had attached itself to the floor of the petri dish; its tentacles were bent in on themselves. This method is, in a certain sense, cheating, as physical distress induces rejuvenation. But the process also occurs naturally when the medusa grows old or sick. The idea was to see how quickly the species would regenerate itself when left to its own devices. During the two-year period, the colony rebirthed itself 10 times, in intervals as brief as one month.
He has made other significant findings in recent years. He has learned, for instance, that certain conditions inhibit rejuvenation: starvation, large bell size and water colder than 72 degrees. And he has made progress in solving the largest mystery of all. But he will need more financing for experiments, as well as assistance from a geneticist or a molecular biologist, to figure out how the immortal jellyfish pulls it off.
But then he added a caveat. The heart is not good. I assumed that he was making a biological argument — that the organ is not biologically capable of infinite life, that we needed to design new, artificial hearts for longer, artificial lives. By heart, he meant the human spirit. In Japan, it has disappeared. Big metropolitan places have appeared everywhere. We are in the garbage. If this continues, nature will die.
Man, he explained, is intelligent enough to achieve biological immortality. This sentiment surprised me coming from a man who has dedicated his life to pursuing immortality. In addition to being a researcher, professor and guest speaker, he is now a songwriter. Since then Kubota has appeared regularly on television and radio shows.
He showed me recent clips from his television reel and translated them for me. After a segment on the onsen, the hosts visited Kubota at the Seto Aquarium, where he talked about Turritopsis. But no television appearance is complete without a song. For his performances, he transforms himself from Dr. Shin Kubota, erudite marine biologist in jacket and tie, into Mr. Immortal Jellyfish Man. His superhero alter ego has its own costume: a white lab jacket, scarlet red gloves, red sunglasses and a red rubber hat, designed to resemble a medusa, with dangling rubber tentacles. With help from one of his sons, an aspiring musician, Kubota has written dozens of songs in the last five years and released six albums.
Many of his songs are odes to Turritopsis. He is a very good speaker, with a very wide range of knowledge. Science classes regularly make field trips to meet Mr.
Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? - The New York Times
During my week in Shirahama, he was visited by a group of and year-olds who had prepared speeches and slide shows about Turritopsis. The group was too large to visit Seto, so they sat on the floor of a ballroom in a local hotel. He spoke loudly, with great animation, calling on the children and peppering them with questions. How many species of animals are there on earth?
How many phyla are there? Kubota does not go to these lengths simply for his own amusement — though it is clear that he enjoys himself immensely. Nor does he consider his public educational work as secondary to his research. If everyone learns to love living organisms, there will be no crime. No murder. No suicide. Spiritual change is needed. And the most simple way to achieve this is through song. He spread his hands far apart, as if to indicate the size of the world. Every night, once Kubota is finished with work, he grabs a bite to eat and heads to a karaoke bar.
He sings karaoke for at least two hours a day. He owns a karaoke book that is 1, pages long, with dimensions somewhat larger than a phone book and even denser type. His goal is to sing at least one song from every page. Every time he sings a song, he underlines it in the book. Flipping through the volume, I saw that he had easily surpassed his goal. The street was silent and dark. When I opened the door, I found myself in what resembled a living room — couches, coffee tables, pots with plastic flowers, goldfish in small tanks.
A low, narrow bar ran along one wall. A karaoke video of a tender Japanese ballad was playing on two televisions that hung from the ceiling. Kubota stood facing one of them, microphone in hand, swaying side to side, singing full-throatedly in his elegant mezzo-baritone. The bartender, a woman in her 70s, was seated behind the bar, tapping on her iPhone. Nobody else was there. At my request, Kubota sang his own songs, seven of which are listed in his karaoke book. On my last morning in Shirahama, Kubota called to cancel our final meeting. He was going to a specialist. He apologized repeatedly.
I want to be immortal! Turritopsis, it turns out, is also very weak. Despite being immortal, it is easily killed. Turritopsis polyps are largely defenseless against their predators, chief among them sea slugs. They can easily be suffocated by organic matter. And their immortality is, to a certain degree, a question of semantics.
But those are not the same cells anymore. The cells are immortal, but not necessarily the organism itself. Emmett is described as "a blur around the bases", and Edward can move so quickly that he is able to intercept a ball that has been hit "like a meteor. They can lay down and sit up within the same fraction of a second, almost without having to even think about going through the motions. After being turned into a vampire, Bella describes her movements as being instantaneous. Edward exerting his strength to save Bella. Another enhanced trait is their unstoppable physical strength.
A vampire is said to be thousands of times stronger than any human, able to lift objects several hundreds of times their own weight. They can crush granite boulders, subdue any prey, throw cars, crush metal, and uproot trees with their bare hands. Edward feared his strength when first meeting Bella, and explained that there was barely a difference between caressing her head and knocking it off.
A good example of their strength is seen when Bella decides to arm wrestle Emmett after becoming a vampire. She describes the power in his one arm to be about the same as a cement truck moving down a sharp decline at over 60 miles per hour. She beats him, however, because she is a newborn at the time. Newborn vampires are always stronger than older ones, since their strength derives from the lingering human blood left in their body from their human life.
A vampire's strength also enables them to leap incredible distances. Edward was able to leap over a 50 yard wide river with ease during Bella's first hunt, while Bella was able to leap over twice his distance, while still only using a small amount of her force. Diet does not have a massive impact on strength, since it always depends on the individual vampire.
Although, a diet of human blood makes a vampire stronger than animal blood, albeit only fractionally.
Vampires who feed on animal blood vegetarian vampires find that "big game"—predators like bears or wildcats - not only smell more appealing to them, but also make them stronger than the "weaker" blood of herd animals such as deer or cattle. Strength, of course, is not always physical. If a vampire possessed great mental strength and willpower as a human, he will find it easier to control his wild, animalistic instincts.
Even so, if a vampire has not fed for a long time, he will be less likely to think clearly and more likely to give in to his thirst, attacking the first living thing he detects and draining it of blood within seconds, all without a single thought human or animal. A vampire's senses are also greatly enhanced, which enables them to see, hear, smell, feel, and taste things imperceptible to humans.
A vampire's vision is incomparable. Everything is much sharper, and more defined as a vampire, and their vision is unhindered by darkness. As a vampire, colors are much more vibrant.
Bella described looking back at her human life as like looking through a thick, dark veil because of her new incredible vision. Their sense of sight exceeds by far that of a hawk: They can see objects in microscopic detail, and can see into the invisible spectrum of light.
Vampires also have much better depth perception than humans. Their enhanced vision allows them to see the smallest details, and extends into the ultraviolet region of the light spectrum. Bella describes her sight as being better than an eagle's. Vampires find wearing glasses or contact lenses to be uncomfortable or irritating because they see the smallest imperfections such as very small scratches and optical aberrations imperceptible to humans.
Smell: When a vampire hunts, he uses his sense of smell to find prey and hearing to track its movements. Vampires can smell objects several miles away in a good breeze. Smell is most intense to vampires, because one can smell the blood of his prey. By not breathing, they feel uncomfortable due to the lack of smell, though they can survive without it. As they grow older and more disciplined, vampires can learn to smell differences between the scents of various humans' blood, as well as scents of other things like fabrics - the unique scent of denim.
The range of their senses can be increased though only fractionally through concentration. Vampires mostly rely on smell to find their prey and take in the environment, which is partly why they find the lack of breathing uncomfortable. Hearing: Vampires can hear the most muted sounds. When Bella completed her transformation into a vampire, she listened to the sound of rap music until it slowly faded away.
She then realized that it was coming from a car with its window rolled down on a freeway, miles away from where she was. When she went on her first hunt, Bella could hear the fluttering wings and heartbeats of small birds flying through the forest. She could also hear the scurrying noises of animals that were beneath the ground, as well as an army of ants on the ground.
They also have an instinctive reaction to danger, usually from ill-willed vampires. They can hear sounds coming from several miles away, and even with their eyes closed, they can be sure that there are multiple people in a room thanks to their varied breathing patterns.
They can hear the sound of a heartbeat, a pulse thudding in a vein, and words spoken too quietly or too fast for humans to detect. Touch: Despite being indestructible and hard-skinned, vampires can feel the things they touch, no matter the softness; such as fur, the coolness of wind, etc. They can feel the slightest changes of temperature around them, though they are not bothered by it. They can feel the heat radiating from a human several meters away. When their skins meet sunlight, they can also feel its warmth. Physical pain is implied when their bodies are being ripped apart by something with similar supernatural strength.
Taste: Vampires have a similarly enhanced sense of taste allowing them to taste flavors with much more depth and precision.
They can taste the differences of particles in their atmosphere. They can also detect minute differences between similar flavors. Even as a newborn, vampires are able to taste if the human they are feeding on has recently ingested drugs or alcohol. Sixth sense: Vampires also have a keen sense to danger, usually from something strong enough to harm them.
Sometimes, they may even detect danger before they know it consciously. Another impressive feature about vampires is their virtual indestructibility. During the transformation process, a vampire's cells become extremely hard, durable, and refractive, rendering their bodies nearly impenetrable. Vampires are noted to be exponentially more durable than "soft" humans. The strength of a vampires skin is described as harder than granite, and even diamond-hard.
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Their bodies are so hard that they are unable to be harmed by human weapons, and the only creatures capable of killing them are other vampires, or werewolves. Their teeth are also noted to be one of the few things strong enough to be able to cut through their skin, as are werewolf teeth. Because of this indestructibility, it is quite impossible for a vampire to kill himself. As a newborn, Carlisle attempted this in many ways including jumping from atmospheric heights, drowning himself, and starving himself, after all of which he was unharmed.
A vampire's body movements are uncannily flexible.
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Their agility is more advanced than humans, which allows them to rapidly respond to change by adapting to its initial stable configuration; They can make numerous gymnastic, or martial arts implements with little effort using a combination of strength, balance, reflexes and speed. They can even swing, flip, bend and twist themselves without failure due to their enhanced sense of balance and flexibility. Using their physical senses as allies, they can find motions at human speed too slow for them to miss.
In battle, vampires can swiftly dodge an attack without having to think how to move their bodies first. In general, only something that moves at vampire-speed can render a vampire unnoticed to the motion. Part of this enhancement is based on the enhanced activity of their brains, which allows them to think and move much faster than humans.
When a vampire catches his prey, he bites into its neck and injects his venom into its bloodstream while feeding. This serves as a way to immobilize his prey while also initiating the conversion from human to vampire, allowing the predator to feed on his prey without it trying to resist, even though it would not have done any good.
While the venom is transformative to humans, it is deadly to animals and shape-shifters. Children of the Moon , however, are completely immune to its effects. If a vampire loses a body part, they can use venom to reattach the lost limb, though it is unable to reattach hair.
Most vampires find their key personality characteristics intensified by the vampire transformation in the same way their physical abilities are strengthened, but relatively few have abilities that can be classified as supernatural. More common would be a human with a love of learning becoming a vampire with an insatiable scholarly curiosity, or a human with a deep value for human life becoming a vampire with the strength to avoid human blood. But a few vampires do develop additional abilities that go beyond the natural.
These extra abilities are due to psychic gifts in the original human that are intensified in the resulting vampire. For example, a human who was very sensitive to other people's moods might develop the vampire ability to read thoughts or influence emotions. A human who had some limited precognition might develop into a vampire with a strong ability to see the future. A human with a good instinct for hunting might become a powerful vampire tracker.
If a human already possessed a certain supernatural gift, this talent will be amplified many times after he is transformed into a vampire. The proportion of supernaturally talented vampires to "normal" vampires is greater than the proportion of psychically gifted humans to "normal" humans. This is due to the same factor of temperament that results in more beautiful humans being selected to become vampires.
Vampires are also drawn to gifted humans when they look to create companions. Some vampires actively seek out the gifted in the hope of utilizing that extra ability in their coven. According to Eleazar , most vampire gifts are manifested in the mind, though there are certain exceptions. Benjamin was the best case—his power over the elements of nature is completely physical. No gift ever works in the exact same way in two vampires, because no person human or vampire is ever exactly the same.
Though there are a range of vampire lifestyles, the most common is nomadic. The majority of vampires move frequently, never settling permanently in one place. This pattern is partly an attempt to hide from the notice of humans. If too many humans disappear from one area, suspicion might be aroused and the Volturi might take notice. Also, if a vampire interacts regularly with humans, eventually the humans will notice that the vampire isn't aging. Another aspect is boredom; vampire lives are so long that many keep up a continuous search for novelty.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
A few covens are exceptions to this rule, and maintain semi-permanent or permanent homes. Doing this requires a great deal of subterfuge—if the coven wants to avoid suspicion and keep the Volturi from becoming involved—and most vampires don't care for the hassle. Vampires usually travel alone or in pairs. It is said in New Moon that James's coven , which included three vampires members: Victoria , James and Laurent , was considered large.
The only exceptions are, in order of decreasing numbers, the Volturi , the Cullens and the Denalis. Individual characteristics : When a human becomes a vampire, all of his natural behavior, needs and characteristics are frozen within him forever, though they are also heightened at the same time. From the moment a vampire is made, his interests, dislikes and personality are permanently petrified. For instance, if a human with a loving character becomes a vampire, his or her passion is magnified, allowing him or her to love others even more intensely.
Another example is if the human was ambitious and cunning, those characteristics become magnified as a vampire, thus making him a ruthless killer. The only aspect that does change is the vampire's outlook on the world. Basic instincts : Aside from their original personalities, they also have ferocious instincts and a compelling drive for consuming blood.
The moment they give in to their thirst, all of their human characteristics disappear and they could risk hurting one another by competing for prey. The longer they abstain from blood completely, the harder it becomes for them to resist, and eventually they will give in to their thirst. Vampires are feral, predatory creatures, and far more savage and beast-like than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back baring their teeth as signs of aggression when provoked.
They also have a sense of self-preservation; when they are confronted with danger that proves too overwhelming for their capabilities, they will immediately evade the area, unless there is something holding them back. Bonding factors : Vampires are mostly territorial and nomadic, but there are a few occasions for them to bond with someone else, human or vampire. The first bonding force is romance : If a vampire falls in love, that feeling never fades away and that love is bound for eternity. As a general rule, only the bond between mates is strong enough to survive the competitive drive for blood.
Larger covens are less stable, and usually end because of internal violence. If a vampire was romantically bound to someone before he turned, that love will remain as a permanent aspect in his characteristics after the transformation. It is also possible for a vampire to fall in love after he was turned, and that love will be just as permanent as any other. Driven by fury and grief at James 's death, Victoria prepares to attack Bella and Edward.
Another prevalent vampire trait is that of a vengeful nature. Related again to their unchanging state, vampires are not forgiving; they do not move past an insult or injury. The most common example of vampire vengeance is the aftermath of the loss of a mate. When a vampire loses his mate, he never recovers from the pain. He cannot rest until the party responsible is eradicated. Centuries can pass without lessening the ferocity of his need for vengeance. However, it is possible to suppress that desire if they compel themselves to focus. The second bonding force, and one that is able to keep a large coven stable, is ambition.
Ever since, Marvel has built its empire on the backs of dudes and, sadly, they really are all dudes who can hit RDJ-esque beats: most notably Chrises Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt. Jackson appeared as Nick Fury. It promised the vast world we now inhabit. Instead, del Toro presents even more steampunk gadgets and supernatural bazaars, along with heaping helpings of charming dialogue for Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Good lord, is this a wonderful little movie. And yet. Directors the Russo Brothers and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have become old hands at this sort of thing, functioning as a four-man band of jugglers tossing turduckens to one another. The story contains leaps of logic that beggar belief, but never mind that: On an emotional level, every beat feels earned and organic. Whenever the movie harkened back to a previous one, I found myself bizarrely and somewhat shamefully moved by the notion that the MCU has been there for so many points in my recent life. The whole endeavor is like a really sweet love letter from Big Brother.
From the very beginning of the first Spider-sequel, Maguire gives us a Peter who lives up to the neurotic ideal set forth in , one who simply cannot balance his quest for justice with his need for a steady job or his desire not to fuck up all his relationships. Sure, all the Spider pictures have jokes, but they generally lean more on the pathos than the patter, emphasizing heroic struggle and depressing failure above all else. Yet somehow, despite the frank depiction of PTSD, the film is also more fun than almost anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Shane Black, drawing on a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce, gives us a nimbly enchanting narrative. It hops from one colorful setting to another, showcasing pitch-perfect moments between Robert Downey Jr. It also offers up a tonally claustrophobic story about conspiracy and complicity, one punctuated by rousing action sequences and lines pregnant with double meanings. It lets old hands like Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson have fun and mostly avoid comic-book-y jargon.
Okay, hear me out. Like most viewers, I despised this aborted franchise-reboot upon first seeing it on opening day. I thought it was plodding and half-baked, with a Superman who spent an unsettling amount of time creeping on Lois Lane. There has never been a more beautiful ode to Superman committed to film. I mean that adjective literally: Brandon Routh used his background as a swimmer to give us a Big Blue Boy Scout who glides like a musclebound angel, and Bryan Singer uses sunbathed and wordless flashbacks to show us the American heartland iconography that has given Superman his human core for nearly a century.
The movie takes its time to tell its story, and it knows that the tensest moments are often the smallest like Lois silently sending an emergency fax while her son plunks away on a piano with a hitman. Nowadays, the greatest challenge to enjoying the movie is watching Kevin Spacey play Lex Luthor. But its commitment to them and its eloquence in explaining them elevate this cartoon to the highest echelons of superhero-movie achievement.
It did something no movie had ever done before: It wove together disparate characters and stories into a coherent capstone narrative that was something greater and more exhilarating than what had come before. Despite being the greatest character to ever emerge from Marvel Comics, Spider-Man spent his first 56 years of existence without having his own truly great superhero movie. Sure, there were a handful of good ones, even very good ones, as you can see on this list. Thankfully, that drought ended with the advent of the computer-animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Luckily, he has the assistance of an array of other Spider-people from alternate dimensions — a gimmick common in comics, never before dared on the big screen, and here executed with deft and thrilling elegance.