It was a tragic accident with mass casualties. Now it’s being used as stock disaster footage in the dystopian movie Bird Box. And Netflix has no plans to remove it.
The Sandra Bullock-starring sci-fi streamer is an undisputed hit, spawning culture-saturating memes and racking up a staggering 80 million viewers in its first four weeks. At least one of those viewers, however, noticed that some of the world-building footage intended to convey the level of chaos in the film’s reality looked familiar. This footage comes from the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, a Canadian tragedy in which an unattended freight train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, destroying a large swath of the city and taking 47 lives.
Once Lac-Mégantic Mayor Julie Morin became aware that footage of the disaster was being used this way–first on the Netflix series Travelers and later on Bird Box–she called upon the company to remove it.
“We find that it’s really a lack of respect,” Morin told Canadian press on Tuesday. “It’s hard enough for our citizens to see these images when they are used normally and respectfully on the news. Just imagine, to have them used as fiction, as if they were invented.”
Peacock Alley Entertainment, the company behind the series Travelers, quickly apologized for using the footage and vowed to replace it. However, as far as Bird Box goes, Netflix is leaving the footage in the film.
According to The New York Times, the footage came from a stock agency called Pond5, which has a library of over 14 million video clips depicting military conflicts, natural disasters, and fictional scenes. The CEO of Pond5 has since apologized for the way the footage was used, saying “We didn’t do all we could on our end to make sure that people understood the sensitive nature of the content, because what happened is not appropriate.”
After a spokesman from Netflix called Morin on Thursday morning to let her know the company would not be removing the footage from the film, Morin said in a statement that she is satisfied Netflix has “committed to reflect with their partners on the use of images so that this situation is not repeated.”
Being vigilant not to repeat the mistake is a productive step forward; however, it must be cold comfort to anyone affected by the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster seeing it used to amplify Sandra Bullock’s fictional sense of danger. And it’s hard not to wonder what Netflix’s reaction would be if instead of Lac Megantic, Quebec, the tragedy had taken place in Sausalito, Calif.
A lot happened in the world of paleontology in 2018. Some of the big events included some major fossil finds, a new understanding of our reptile ancestors and a major controversy whose outcome could rewrite human history. The Conversation Africa asked Dr Julien Benoit to discuss five important moments in paleontology you may have missed during 2018, and what they mean – particularly for Africa and its place in the story of human origins. 1. A contested thigh bone The year started with a bang. In January Roberto Macchiarelli, a professor of human paleontology, accused his colleague Michel Brunet of totally misrepresenting… This story continues at The Next Web
I don’t like electric bikes. They’re usually ugly, quite ugly, or extremely ugly. But a bike presented at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month made me question that belief–thanks, in part, to a design by a legendary midcentury name.
My new two-wheeled love is called Coleen (the Gaelic word for “girl”). I found myself longing for one based on the pictures alone. From the shape of her carbon fiber frame, and metallic details to the leather work. She’s a thing of beauty, with the design of a timeless classic.
That’s because she is modeled after a timeless classic: the bicycle that Jean Prouvé created in occupied France during World War II.
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@coleenfrance le #veloelectrique #connecté #urbain
A post shared by Coleen (@coleenfrance) on Jul 26, 2018 at 10:00am PDT
Prouvé was originally a metal worker, evolving into a self-taught architect who specialized in prefab buildings and furniture. He was admired by Le Corbusier himself, who consulted with him on technical problems and called him a constructeur–a person capable of blending architecture and engineering.
Life in 1941 was hard for Prouvé, who was an active member of the French Resistance. He didn’t have much work, and to keep his shop going, he decided to start designing and building bikes. He was forced to use cheap sheet metal since the tubular steel typically used for bike frames was reserved for war applications. That’s how he came up with his efficient, sturdy, and strangely X-shaped bike frame design. Those original bikes now go for up to $100,000 at auction–and the design served as the basis for the new e-bike.
Today’s Coleen retains the same essential design as the Prouvé classic, but with changed materials. The sheet metal frame is now a carbon frame that only weighs 1.9 kilograms (about 4 pounds). The rest of the bike is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, with beautiful new details like fine-grain leather handlebars and saddle.
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#chargebattery #pluggin #ebike
A post shared by Coleen (@coleenfrance) on Jun 20, 2018 at 5:39am PDT
The new model is a mix of new and old in other ways, too. The base model has a 250W motor powered by a 529Wh battery, which translates to an assisted speed boost of 15 miles per hour. On the top model, called the Speed One, the engine maxes out at 500 watts, which provides a 28mph boost. Coleen’s designers–Audrey Lefort and Thibault Halm–claim that this nouvelle tech gives the bike a “more than 62-mile range” on a single charge. For comparison, some top-of-line e-bikes, which have ranges between 25 and 50 miles. The battery charges from empty to 80% in about 90 minutes minutes. Another hour will get you to 100%.
The technical magic doesn’t stop there. The handlebar has an integrated digital speedometer that communicates with the engine circuitry to give you information about speed and battery status in real time. Around the speedometer, located in the center of the handlebars, a little ring lets you control the level of assistance you want. A Bluetooth app lets you access all of that information, and lock your battery, too. Rather than using a chain–which requires maintenance and grease–the bike’s energy gets transmitted to the wheel using a belt, and buyers can add a 7-speed gearbox if they want more options for hilly conditions, too.
All of that design and engineering comes at a price, though: $5,340 for the “Elegance” model, with a 250W motor and 529Wh battery; $6,720 for the “Sport,” which comes with a leather saddle and enhanced braking system: and $8,540 for the top-of-the-line “Speed One,” which has an integrated 7-speed gearbox and an increased speed boost thanks to a 500W motor. It may seem like a lot of money, but it’s in line with other high-end e-bikes, like the $5,000 Tracker or the Audi Sport e-tron mountain bike, which costs $17,430.
The Bayonne-based company behind the bike is taking pre-orders now.