Apple’s iPhone 13 might have an always-on display with 120Hz refresh rate

Apple’s next iPhone might have a feature many Android smartphone users have had for years: an always-on display. 

This is according to leaker Max Weinbach (via EverythingApplePro) whose report outlines a number of new features, both big and small, the iPhone 13 will supposedly have. Yes, it’s still early for iPhone 13 rumors, but with so many people working from home, EverythingApplePro claims that Apple cannot control its information flow as efficiently as it normally does, leading to more leaks about upcoming features in products. 

The report claims the upcoming iPhone will have a display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and an always-on display, using tech similar to that of the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, which also have an always-on display

According to Weinbach, the iPhone won’t allow for a lot of customization here; the time and battery icons will always remain on screen, and incoming notifications will show up when needed.

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Other upcoming features reportedly include a grippier, matte back, a stronger MagSafe magnetic connector on the back, and new astrophotography features. 

As for the iPhone 13’s overall look, it should stay pretty much the same compared to the iPhone 12. 

A November report by leaker Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the iPhone 13 will get upgraded ultra-wide cameras. Just like the iPhone 12, it will come in four sizes, and it will launch in September, the report said. An even earlier report by analyst Ross Young predicted that the next iPhone will have a 120Hz display, and Bloomberg said that Apple is working on reintroducing Touch ID fingerprint scanner to the iPhone, albeit this time it would be hidden under the phone’s display. 

None of the new features sound particularly revolutionary, and most of them are already available on Android devices. But it’s still early days, and we’ll probably hear a lot more about the new iPhones as we approach the alleged September launch date. 

Don’t spontaneously FaceTime people and expect them to pick up

At 4:25 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2020 I got a random, out of the blue FaceTime call from a friend. When my phone started ringing I was wearing pajamas, slippers, and an unflattering fuzzy gray robe. I didn’t have any makeup on, I was in the process of removing little hot dogs from the oven, and When Harry Met Sally was on pause in the living room. In other words, I did NOT feel FaceTime ready.

I know this friend extremely well, so I was confident that the FaceTime request was nothing urgent. I caught one glimpse of my unprepared self in the answering screen, thought “absolutely not,” and waited until she hung up.

My friend is both smart and persistent, so 10 minutes after I dodged her call she saw I posted an Instagram story, correctly assumed I was standing phone-in-hand, and FaceTimed me again. As my finger moved to like an Instagram post I did the unthinkable and accidentally picked up the call.

We proceeded to video chat for the next 13 minutes, showing off our New Year’s Eve appetizer feasts and catching up on our holidays. Ultimately, it was a lovely chat. But would I have found the call significantly more enjoyable if I’d agreed to it beforehand and willingly accepted some sort of invitation? Absolutely! 

Call me boring. Call me old. Call me inflexible. Call me whatever you want. Just do not spontaneously call me on FaceTime and expect me to pick up.

The anxiety of spontaneous FaceTime calls

There are so few things we can control in this world, so we should at least have a say in when we video chat with others. Some reckless FaceTime fans may argue, “Oh, it’s no big deal. FaceTiming is the same as calling someone on the phone.” To that I say, “No ❤️,  it really isn’t.”

Receiving an unexpected voice call is no big deal. You can seamlessly talk on the phone if you’re out in the world, multitasking at home, or lying in bed with your wet hair wrapped in a towel. No one knows what you’re doing or what you look like when you’re having a regular phone conversation, but the same can’t be said for FaceTime calls.

As with other video chat platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts, the act of socializing face-to-face with another human being requires an added level of emotional preparedness and energy.  If you suffer from social anxiety like I do, video calls are not necessarily something you can just be ready for on a whim. 

When you make the choice to spontaneously FaceTime someone, you’re in control. You’re ready to be camera, and you’ve made the choice to partake in this journey, but you need to remember that the person on the other end of the line has done no such thing and there’s a good chance they’re not in the same headspace as you. 

Are spontaneous FaceTime calls ever OK?

If you’re a member of Gen Z or have developed a newfound appreciation for video chatting in quarantine, perhaps there’s never a bad time to receive a spontaneous FaceTime call. But personally, I can never know how an unexpected FaceTime will be received until my phone screen lights up. It all depends on my mood, my location, the caller, and whether or not I feel up to having an impromptu face-to-face conversation with that person.

Have I spontaneously FaceTimed a friend before? Sure, but only in a dire social emergency. Otherwise, if I want to FaceTime someone I’ll give them the courtesy of a warning text along the lines of “Hey are you free to FaceTime at some point today?” or “Hi! Can I FaceTime you for a few?” It’s so simple and so courteous!

I’ll admit: Under the right circumstances an unexpected FaceTime call can be a delightful surprise. But if you randomly video chat someone without warning you shouldn’t get your hopes up. Assume that they won’t answer, and if they don’t and you really need them to because you have big news like you just got engaged or something, text them to communicate the urgency and I’m sure they’ll reconsider.

I love to FaceTime, don’t get me wrong. It’s an intimate form of communication and a great way to keep in touch in a pandemic. I, a walking ball of anxiety, merely ask that you let me prepare for it.

UFO hunter spies second ‘Tic-Tac’ anomaly in New York archive video – ‘100% proof’

Controversial footage has recirculated again online, with a minority of viewers suggesting they depict the mysterious Tic-Tac UFO phenomena. These apparent anomalies first fully came to the wider public’s attention when US navy pilot Chad Underwood filmed an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) behaving “erratically” in the sky.

He is credited with first nicknaming the anomalies “Tic-Tacs”, after verified footage of the objects shot from an infrared camera of his F/A-18 Super Hornet was released.

However, some conspiracy theorists suggest the distinctly-shaped objects have in fact appeared in the skies for many years.

The latest uncorroborated assertions arrive in the form of a reexamined archive video, supposedly first captured in 2013, over Owego, New York.

This obviously-amateur footage framed by a pylon, depicts a white speck streaming from left to right, while a dark cluster of pixels remains relatively static.

UFO hoax buster Scott Brando of is neither impressed by the quality of the video nor Mr Waring’s claims.

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“Object omitted no sound, there was no ‘trail’ after it there was no visible wings of any kind. A short 22-second video taken on a camera phone was shot.

“The disc moved from South West to the North East over the western horizon.

“Shortly after another object same size and shape, no wings, no trail, no sound was observed flying from east (Binghamton, NY) to the North West, however higher in the sky than the first object.

“Having observed thousands of flights going over this area in the last 30 years, I have never seen anything like this before.”

Despite the compelling nature of the apparent eyewitness’ account, Waring’s questionable contention drew some wither response on his YouTube channel.

Among the scores of people commenting, viewer Dutch Van Der Linde wrote: “I need to say something, I think all of us here already saw a spaceship / UFO / orb whatever, but so.

“But some of them, like this one, shows what appears to be a plane or for this one, a plane and a power line.”

And Tahir Usman appeared to agree with this more realistic analysis, writing: “First off could be an aircraft and that disc is a power fitting not showing the line cos of low res vid.

Finally, kidpoker007 added: “That grey is part of the power line you can see another one right below … nothing to see here another false alarm.”

This Chameleon May Be The World’s Tiniest Reptile, But Its Genitals Are Huge

Scientists studying an extraordinarily small chameleon species, Brookesia nana, have learned an intriguing fact: While the male of the species might be the smallest reptile in the world, it has disproportionately large genitals.

They outlined their discovery last week in the paper “Extreme miniaturization of a new amniote vertebrate and insights into the evolution of genital size in chameleons,” which was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Brookesia nana — “a new, extremely miniaturized chameleon” that is rare and possibly endangered, according to researchers — was found in the rainforests of northern Madagascar. Researchers measured a male and a female specimen.

The female measured roughly 28.9 millimeters or 1.13 inches long, while the male was smaller, at 21.6 millimeters or a little less than an inch long.

Brookesia nana males are smaller than their female counterparts.

Frank Glow et al.

Brookesia nana males are smaller than their female counterparts.

Despite its small stature, researchers said, the male had “large, apparently fully developed hemipenes” — in other words, a pair of penises — that measured about 2.5 millimeters (0.09 inches) long when fully exposed.

“In these miniaturized species, the smaller males may simply need larger hemipenes to allow for a better mechanical fit that makes successful copulation with the much larger females possible,” the paper states.

A male Brookesia nana with its disproportionately large hemipenes.

Frank Glow et al.

A male Brookesia nana with its disproportionately large hemipenes.

Mark Scherz, one of the authors of the study, tweeted that other chameleon species in the Brookesia genus also feature small males and larger females, though the Brookesia nana is believed to be the world’s smallest.

Scientists have speculated that the remarkable size of these reptiles may be due to “island dwarfism,” the belief that creatures living on islands — such as Madagascar — evolved to be smaller to make up for a lack of resources.

Scherz suggested that while the male Brookesia could evolve to be extremely small, its genitals likely could not.

“We think that this might also be related to size dimorphism,” Scherz wrote in a blog post. “If the female remains larger than the male, a constraint is placed on the reduction of the male genital size.”

The Brookesia micra — measuring about 1.1 inches long — was discovered in 2012 and is currently a close second for the tiniest known chameleon on the globe, fitting on the head of a match.

‘SNL’ Weekend Update sums up the absurdity of Trump’s second impeachment

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You know what? I’m gonna let Saturday Night Live Weekend Update host Colin Jost take this one.

“This has to be the dumbest trial I’ve ever seen. Here’s how dumb it was. The jurors who were deciding the case were the ones attacked by the defendant. The trial took place at the scene of the crime. And then right after the trial ended, one of the jurors who voted to acquit Trump” — here we see a photo of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — “ran out and said, ‘Someone’s got to prosecute this guy, he did it! This man belongs in jail!'”

This really isn’t all that complex. That’s exactly what happened, and Jost is right that it’s the dumbest trial.

Why ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is still terrifying 30 years later

Around five minutes into The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) comes upon the FBI’s investigation materials on the serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). The camera, acting as her eyes, lands on a headline yelling “BILL SKINS FIFTH,” complete with photos of the five victims. Later, Starling and the audience see photos of their naked bodies.

These victims don’t look like svelte Hollywood starlets. They aren’t thin — by the killer’s design. In the film, they’re called overweight, large, fat, “big through the hips.” They look like me and many people I know.

Seeing a non-thin person on screen is so rare that I’m jarred every time I watch The Silence of the Lambs, which was released 30 years ago this week. Most often, I see bodies like Buffalo Bill’s victims on reality television — some simply existing, others looking to lose weight in shows such as The Biggest Loser, Supersize vs. Superskinny, and many others. 

This is perhaps, in part, of what makes The Silence of the Lambs so viscerally terrifying: The women Bill kills makes Lambs more true to life than other crime fiction out there. 

Bill seeks out “bigger” women as part of his plan to create a “woman suit.” To achieve this, he kidnaps and starves his victims before murdering them and cutting off pieces of skin to sew together. (There’s been discussion and criticism over Bill potentially being transgender, though Lecter explicitly states in the movie that he isn’t. The upcoming CBS series Clarice will, thankfully, touch upon this aspect of Bill.)

The size of Buffalo Bill’s victims is so imperative to his narrative that it’s the reason behind his nickname. Early in the film, Starling tells Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) that the name started out as a joke because Bill likes to “skin his humps,” comparing these women to bison.  

Their size is referenced so much throughout the film that the viewer is constantly reminded. In one scene, Lecter asks Starling if Bill’s latest abduction, a senator’s daughter, is “roomy.” The last thing Buffalo Bill says before he attacks said woman is, “Are you about a size 14?” Later, when confronted by Starling about a previous victim he asks, “Was she a great big fat person?”

In 2018, 68 percent of American women wore a size 14 or above. There’s little research on size diversity in American media, but it’s safe to say, as with diversity of race, it’s lacking. The studies that do exist are pretty damning: Of 275 episodes of television in the 1999 – 2000 season, three out of every 100 women characters were obese while one in three were underweight. 

Try to think of the last time you saw one let alone multiple plus-sized women in a film or movie. Now try to think of the last time you saw one and weight wasn’t the center of their characterization. 

That’s not to say Lambs doesn’t fall into that category; it does, and in a horrific way at that. Bill seeks out his kills precisely because they’re heavier, because they have more skin than thin women. We finally see characters whose bodies are more like ours, and they’re murdered because of it.

We finally see characters whose bodies are more like ours, and they’re murdered because of it.

In the time since Lambs‘s release, we at least have social media to help bridge gaps left by traditional media. But the gaps are still there. Recent research seems to focus on body shaming rather than on representation itself, and on children’s programming rather than that for adults. An example is this look into weight stigmatization in teen television shows. Another instance is a 2017 article from the American Academy of Pediatrics’s journal PEDIATRICS that concluded there’s weight stigmatization in children’s movies

While it hasn’t been quantified by a journal, we know there’s a dearth of non-thin people in movies and TV — we can easily see it. This makes so many mainstream stories all the more unrealistic. When the majority of the population is above a certain size, showing anything but is a fantasy. 

Lambs rips us out of that fantasy into a gruesome realization: It took a fictional serial killer with a penchant for “roomy” women to actually see larger bodies on film. Three decades later, unfortunately, not much has really changed.

‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ gets a full trailer and a brief look at Joker

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Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League is almost here. This is your first real look. (Again.)

Arriving in the same unusual-for-a-movie aspect ratio as the last one, the latest trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League offers more of a look at the villains of this story as well as an overall sense of the plot. Though given that this is a re-cut and elongated version of the movie that released in 2018, you may well know the plot already.

The moment most people will probably fixate on is the trailer’s final moments, which offer a first in-movie look at Jared Leto’s take on Joker, the Batman villain he first played in the 2016 movie, Suicide Squad. We don’t spend much time with him here, but it’s a taste of what’s to come.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League comes to HBO Max on March 18.

Near death experience: Clinically-dead woman recounts seeing future –‘everything buzzing’

A woman, known only as Bolette L to preserve her anonymity, has recounted a near-death experience (NDE) after almost bleeding to death in hospital. The woman recounted the apparent 1996 incident with incredible detail to the Near-Death Experience Foundation (NDERF) site.

She said: “I had postpartum preeclampsia after the birthing of my youngest son the day before.

“I gave a normal birth to my son, which lasted one hour and 15 minutes.

“The doctors wouldn’t cut in me, give me a C-section, even though there was an imminent danger of cramps, and the risk of bleeding to death due to my lack of platelets was great.

“My pre-eclampsia persisted after birth. The child, my son – my 10th child – was fortunately healthy and was fine after the birth.

However, it was around this point she believed she passed to the other side – a fact purportedly supported by clinicians, who pronounced her “clinically dead”, she claimed.

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Colette said in her account translated from the original Danish: “I also felt befuddled and dizzy. Then I knew, when I would lie down, I would die.

“I just got that knowing in a calm manner, without drama, I just noted it.

“Feeling very tired and exhausted, I tried all I could do to remain sitting, but then I couldn’t go on, and I lied down in the bed.

“Then I died, in silence and calm, by feeling and observing myself slipping out of my body, out of the back of my head.

“Right after I floated in the air under the ceiling of the hospital room I was in, while my body was still in bed, with my son sleeping by the bed in his crib.

“I died and floated slowly and calmly out of my body, as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

“After floating under the ceiling, I left the room, leaving behind my body, the hospital ward, and the hospital where I lied down with my newborn son.”

Then she described the “wonderful” experience in the realm from beyond, which she considers gave her a glimpse of the future.

Bolette said: “After leaving the hospital, I reached some nice, very comforting and soft darkness. It felt so nice, soft and loving.

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“Then I saw a light very far away. It came closer and closer while the soft and loving darkness pushed me towards it.

“Then I was surrounded by this unearthly loving, very beautifully radiating light. In that overwhelming radiating, loving light, I met a glowingly beautiful, very loving being. It was as if I knew him – it was apparently a he.

“I was also told that I would have many delightful experiences thereafter, and begin to write and publish books about subjects I didn’t know about yet.

“Then I was told that I would work with something completely different from then on – different from what I had worked with up to then.

“I would get completely different goals about the future compared to now.

“I would also find love again between man and woman much later, and it would be the dessert of the life I have, for both of us. Then much laughter followed in a compassionate way.

“Right then I was shown how he looks, he who would be my great love in the future, so that I could recognise him that day off in the future when I would meet him.

“After the review of my past and future, I visited a very beautiful and lively landscape, where I had the experience of taking a walk with my energetic and radiating friend.

“All the colours were so beautiful and vibrant, as if everything was alive and buzzing.”

Then before she knew it, the woman suddenly returned to reality as we know it.

She said: “Then immediately I was propelled back to my body with immense speed.

“It only took a split-second to come back and it hurt incredibly to get back in my body.

“When I was leaving the hospital, the attending physician told me that I was that patient, who had been the most ‘gone’, and then came back again.

“He said that they couldn’t do so much in that situation, other than give me plenty of platelets, watch me and then pray to God.”

However, despite the utterly-compelling content of her paranormal adventure, it flies in the face with scientific convention.

One theory in particular suggests there are actually two types of near-death experiences.

Type one is associated with the brain’s left hemisphere and features an altered sense of time and impressions of flying, while the alternative involves the right hemisphere – characterised by seeing or communicating with spirits, and hearing voices, sounds and music.

Although it is still unclear why there are different types of NDEs, the experts theorise various interactions between the two parts of the brain create these unique experiences.

Pope Francis feared global ‘destruction’ in Bible warning over ‘evil, violence and greed’

This week the Pope is scheduled to celebrate Ash Wednesday – the Christian holy day of prayer and fasting that comes six weeks before Easter. In a statement, the Vatican has confirmed the ceremony will take place “in the presence of a very limited number of faithful” in accordance with current pandemic restrictions. In his message ahead of Lent 2021, the 83-year-old called on Christians to “renew our faith, draw from the living waters of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God”.

It is a stark contrast to a sobering speech the Pontiff delivered at the Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa, when he honoured the fallen soldiers of World War 1.

He said: “I now find myself here, close to this cemetery, and I can only say one thing.

“War is madness.

“Greed, intolerance, the lust for power – these motives underlie the decision to go to war, and they are too often justified by an ideology.

“It’s presented as a justification, and when there is no ideology, there is the response of Cain – ‘why should I care?’”

In the Book of Genesis, Cain is the elder brother of Abel and the firstborn son of Adam and Eve.

He was a farmer who gave an offering of his crops to God with which God was not pleased and favoured Abel’s over Cain.

Out of jealousy he then killed his brother, for which God banished him from Eden and marked him with the curse and mark of Cain.

Interpretations consider Cain to be the “originator of evil, violence, and greed”.

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Referring to the Paschal mystery – one of the central concepts of Catholic faith relating to the concept of salvation – he added that the “journey is illumined by the light of the resurrection” of Jesus Christ.

He added that fasting, prayer, and almsgiving “makes it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope, and effective charity.”

Francis pointed out that “accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word”.

He added: “Lent is a time for believing.

“For welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to make his dwelling in us.”

UFO sighting: Mysterious object spotted in live French TV broadcast sparks ‘alien’ claims

Commentators were quick to claim a UFO appeared in the background on live French TV broadcast this week, sparking a frenzy of discussion and conspiracy theories online. The strange sighting took place during an RT France news segment, when the French anchor interviewed Russian correspondent Vera Gaufman in Moscow. At the time, the two were discussing High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell’s recommendations to sanction the Kremlin after the expulsion of three European diplomats from Russia.

Behind Ms Gaufman, a bizarre object was spotted briefly flying across the screen before disappearing.

Footage of the alleged UFO incident has already reached nearly 10,000 views and spread quickly across social media.

Self-proclaimed UFO expert Scott Waring described the incident: “If you watch this RT News broadcast, you will notice two dark oval objects fly past.

“The objects seem to be flying so close they are almost stacked one upon the other.”

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He continued: “They are moving incredibly fast and I put it into slow motion at the end of the video to see them better.

“Honestly, it looks like aliens are trying to show up on the news.”

He said it resembled another alleged sighting when “Obama was sworn in at the National Monument where CNN was broadcasting and they noticed an incredibly small and fast object shoot past behind them”.

Mr Waring added: “More and more newscasts are getting UFOs flying in the backgrounds, not by accident, but on purpose to expose the public to the truth slowly.

Viewers remarked that it travelled “about as fast as a fighter jet, but without the sonic boom”.

Another compared the shape of the object to a “flying rod”.

One person joked that it was a Russian secret weapon while one sceptic questioned whether the background was green screen.

Others suggested that it was simply two birds flying close together or a pair of jets.

One person wrote: “If it was an aircraft, where’s the sonic boom? At that speed, it would be impossible for an aircraft not to produce one.

“The fact that you see it continue on behind her lends credence to its speed and the fact that it wasn’t a bird.”