2015 was a year full of turbulence, with emotionally stirring scenes captured perfectly in photos by the world's top photojournalists, thousands of which were reviewed by The Atlantic's Alan Taylor for his In Focus galleries.
Now that the year is coming to a close Alan has compiled his picks for Most Powerful Images of 2015 into a very visually arresting video montage that's sure to give you all the feels. (warning: graphic content)
Gimmicks that were total game changers, like the Sanity Meter dynamic in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem or the V.A.T.S. combat system in Fallout 3, have been imitated and lauded by gamers as really fun and interesting additions.
But the bad gimmicks, like the solar sensor on Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand that forced gamers to go play in the sun or the Nintendo DS' built in mic that forced you to blow on it to play certain games, left gamers feeling burned.
There was a time when Hollywood movies didn't make it out of the country, but when filmmakers found they could sell their films to an overseas audience and make boatloads of cash they started catering to these new clients.
They began shooting more on location footage in Europe and Asia, casting European and Asian actors more often and generally pandering to that new frontier of profit.
Now, thanks to their efforts, China is about to surpass the U.S. as the largest film market in the world, which may not seem like a bad thing until you consider how it will change the face of the industry.
Product placement will become even more disruptive to the movie, comedy movies will become even lamer, scripts will be written for easy translation and censorship will take a strange turn as Hollywood chases those Yuan.
Steven had grown accustomed to life with the Crystal Gems, and they had learned to tolerate him as well. Looking for a way to cure those post battle blues Steven suggested they go for a walk around the block, so the whole town could see that Steven had some mighty cool new friends. As they started to cross the road Steven was reminded of a CD cover he used to see sliding around in his dad's van, some album about a girl named Abbey by a band named after a bug...
Bring some colorful cartoon cool to your geeky wardrobe with this Crystal Road t-shirt by adho1982, it's sure to make every fan in the universe drool with delight!
Visit adho1982's NeatoShop for more super cool designs:
ThreePeeOh was trying to get in on the Rebel action, but his programming prevented him from harming any living being, Sith Lord or not, so he had to find a different way to express his robotic rage. He studied the ways people rebelled on other planets like a true nerd, and as he scanned one entry in particular caught his attention. It was about a rebellious property defacer known as Banksy who actually became the President of planet Earth despite his criminal background, and all because his spray paint art inspired the masses to revolt. C-3 was inspired, and so he began spray painting the symbol of the Rebellion throughout the galaxy, knowing nobody would suspect the uptight droid of being the defacer...
Join the Rebellion in style with this Rebel Banksy t-shirt by Soulkr, it's one straight up slick design that's sure to appeal to both sci-fi and street art fans.
The Legend of Who began with a war on his home planet, and ended in a similar fashion, but in the middle were lots of fun bits about a time travelling police box, a sonic screwdriver and lots of cool companions. There were wardrobe changes, where we discovered bow ties are cool and every incarnation has his own sense of style. There was laughter and tears, and a story that seamlessly linked the two together and simultaneously made us hopeful and fearful of the future. He lied, he scanned, he raved, he disobeyed. He helped those who deserved help and destroyed those who didn't, but above all he stayed busy becoming a full blown legend!
Take your favorite Doctor with you wherever you go with this Legend Of Who t-shirt by sugarpoultry, it's one timeless mashup!
The darkness is still spreading across the galaxy, bringing winds of war with it as the vile Sith fight to bring each and every planet under their control. The Rebels thought killing the mighty Sith lord Vader would slow the Imperial march across the stars, but as he fell a new foe emerged, black helmet and all. And so the chronicles of the light and dark sides of the force begins anew, with but one side fighting to preserve the balance...
Spread scowls wherever you go with this Hatred t-shirt by zerobriant, it's the stylish way to show your allegiance to the Dark Side.
The Force took a surprisingly long time to return to the galaxy, but when it did the fans came out in droves to see who would become the next Jedi Knight or dark Sith Lord. Those who believed the Force welled within them had their confidence bolstered by the premiere of the new film, but like so many different mysterious forces in the universe the ones who will really become stars are those who don't know it yet. Their powers are still loading, the energy levels within them so great that it takes a while to awaken...
Show the world you're almost ready for intergalactic war with this The Force Is Still Loading t-shirt by NoobDesign15, it's one out of this world way to celebrate the return of your favorite sci-fi franchise!
The Doctor has faced many Daleks during his multiple lifetimes, but all of his preconceived notions about those extermination obsessed aliens were thrown out the window the day he met Oscar. The aliens lurking inside those rolling trash cans are generally small, wet and squishy, but Oscar was dry and fuzzy and not afraid to speak his mind. He kept going on about some planet called Sesame Street and how he ruled it with an ironfur fist, but The Doctor wasn't so sure. For after a thorough examination via Sonic Screwdriver he discovered that Oscar was being controlled by human hands, and he had no legs!
Add one mighy cool mashup to your geeky wardrobe with this The Grouchy Dalek t-shirt by linesXofXfury, it's one surefire way to get fans of both shows grinning like a Cookie Monster!
The wastelands can get mighty lonesome, and life in towns like New Vegas or Megaton ain't much better, but there are two things that never change- war and dogs being man's best friend. Even those who grew up in Vaults and were taught to fear all animals know that a canine companion can make the difference between surviving the fallout storm and becoming Deathclaw food. So remember kids- get yourself a dog or you're dead meat!
Show the world you're lovin' every minute of the apocalypse thanks to your furry friend with this Let's Go Pal t-shirt by Begomori, it gets the coveted Pip-Boy two thumbs up!
When you pay a visit to Chalman's Cantina, conveniently located at the Mos Eisley Spaceport on Tatooine, you can expect to find good music, delicious blue and green drinks, and lots of alien atmosphere. What you won't find on an average day is Greedo's guts sliding down the wall after his stand off with that smuggler Solo, but those who were lucky enough to be in attendance that day have something to talk about for the rest of their lives. The rest of us will just have to settle for this commemorative t-shirt...
Clean up your act with this Sorry About The Mess! t-shirt by Sean Tiffany, it's sure to make you a star among your fellow fans and may lead to a war over who rightfully owns this amazing tee!
With the passing of metal legend Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead we must once again take inventory of the rock icons who are still with us after all those years of drinking, drugging and living that R'n'R lifestyle.
Some, like Keith Richards, were turned into vampires long ago, so it makes sense they're still alive, but how did a madman like Ozzy Osbourne survive four decades of rock star fun?
Genetic researchers decided to see what makes that survivor tick by analyzing some of Ozzy's blood, making Ozzy one of the few people in the world to have their genetic code broken down and analyzed.
The results show that while Ozzy was genetically predisposed to becoming an addict of some sort his body was also able to adapt to the steady stream of alcohol and narcotics in some startling ways:
It turns out that Ozzy’s ADH4 gene (which is responsible for breaking down alcohol) is able to break down booze much quicker than the average person. You know, like his little pal Lemmy Kilmister.
In addition to that was the finding that Ozzy also has two versions of the COMT gene (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) known also as the “warrior” and “worrier” - an enzyme that deteriorates dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
What all this means is that in addition to his weakness for booze and drugs, other functions such as awareness, planning, organization, self-awareness, and of all things self-regulation are super heightened in Ozzy.
I always knew there was something extra special about Ozzy!
The holidays are drawing to a close, and like most you probably got some stuff you wanted and some stuff you didn't want for Chrismukkah, but don't get down, get to the NeatoShop and get what you really want.
The NeatoShop has thousands of great designs that can be printed on a t-shirt or hoodie, so you can spread cheer well after the holidays as people go gaga over your amazing shirt!
People often assume that panda bears have a very black and white sense of style, with a preference for formal wear and striped shirts, but Boss Panda is here to change how people see pandas. She has her very own stylistic flavor, part tribute to her Asian heritage and part street fashion, and when she goes out on the town for a bite of bamboo all the other pandas stop and stare at her unique flair for fashion. She didn't get the title Boss Panda for nothing, girlfriend runs game in the animal fashion world, ya heard?!
Add some silly critter cool to your geeky wardrobe with this Boss Panda Chic t-shirt by Ashonimation, it'll turn you into the hippest party animal on the block!
If you're looking for an education that improves your mind and teaches you lots of "normal" skills like mathematics and science then you'd better go talk to those dainty elves in Lothlorien. But if you want to learn how to smash stuff real good, how to overrun a village with lots of yelling and bloodshed, and how to walk, talk and smell like a proper orc you've gotta apply to Orcs University. It's the only place to go when you want to lord over the battlefield without all that planning and preparing, and those who graduate as a member of the greenskin coalition will get a spiked ring to remember their crazy college years. So remember- if it's not Orcs University there's not enough bashing!
Show the world you've been properly educated with this Orcs University t-shirt by Cuckoo Art Design, it's one funny way to say "you can't f&%k with my alma mater!"
Archaeologists sometimes get a bit overeager about their discoveries, announcing them to the world before they've done enough research to avoid embarrassment.
However, if the discovery was actually made by a maintenance worker any archaeologists working on the site should think twice before announcing that discovery to the world.
Case in point- this strange and majestic looking golden object was discovered by a maintenance worker in a cemetery in Jerusalem, which immediately made archaeologists and historians drool with delight.
Rather than accepting their "oops!" moment the Israeli Antiquity Authorities issued this statement:
The object, which is produced by a German company, is called ‘Isis Beamer’ after the Egyptian goddess Isis. In Egyptian mythology she was the goddess of medicine, magic and nature. We hope that those responsible for hiding the object in the cemetery will contact us and inform us why it was buried in an ancient structure and to whom of the dead they wished to give positive energy.
Hopefully you got all the wonderful things you wanted for Christmas, but if not you can always dig up something fun in the new year. Just be glad you didn't find some squishy, pulsating thing in your stocking, or open a box to discover it contained a horrific creature, because those are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving fear all year long. And even though your family is weird they're not turn a living creature inside out then use it as a Christmas stocking weird, so embrace the normalcy! Aren't you glad the horror-days are drawing to a close?
Say boo-bye to those dark days of holiday terror with this Happy Horror-Days t-shirt by Artistic Dyslexia, it's a gross way to keep the holiday spirit oozing along all year long!
They're the furriest band of mutant misfits to ever fight their way out of the alley, and yet most people aren't even aware that they exist. Those who are lucky enough to see these super powered felines in action marvel at their grace and speed, but then a barking dog would come along and chase the whole team off into the shadows...
Show some love for your favorite feline supergroup with this The Uncanny X-Cats t-shirt by Jacey Chase, it's the furriest way to unleash mutant fury upon the world!
Those who wish Halloween continued well into the holiday season are probably dead tired of watching Christmas movies, and even classic Christmas themed horror movies have lost their flavor by now.
And yet you may be stuck indoors for a while without anything good to watch, which could result in a real life horror movie scenario taking place in your home, so you'd better dig up some new flicks fast!
Might I recommend a deliciously dark Western starring Kurt Russell called Bone Tomahawk? It's a slow burner with a razor smooth finish.
Or, if you like your horror a bit more cutting edge, you may want to check out Circle, a sci-fi horror flick about people trapped and forced to decide each others' fate:
In a massive, mysterious chamber, fifty strangers awaken to find themselves trapped with no memory of how they got there. Organized in an inward-facing circle and unable to move, they quickly learn that every two minutes, one of them must die... executed by a strange device in the center of the room.
It's hard to understand how cold it is in the Arctic Circle unless you've been there, but photographer Michael Davies came up with an interesting way to illustrate the chill- his friend flung hot tea into the air while Michael snapped a pic.
When the hot tea hits the subzero temperature air it instantly turns into a spray of ice crystals that look especially beautiful when paired with a sunset glow.
The hot tea experiment is just one of the many interesting aspects to Michael's photographic trip to the Arctic Circle, which you can see in his Flickr gallery here.
It felt like they were racing along the streets of Gotham at a million miles per hour, and yet time seemed to have stopped for the Bat and his kitty Cat back scratcher. They were in hot pursuit of two clowns who were cracking people up all across the city, and although they were following their destinies something seemed off about the whole situation. The Bat was too busy single-mindedly pursuing justice to notice the canisters those clowns were dropping on the road, but that woman in the Cat suit was sharp, and man was she ever ready for some fun...
Get your geeky gear on the fast track with this In The Batmobile t-shirt by Dr Simon Butler, it's Batfan approved and sure to make even the most coldhearted villain grin with delight.
Evening news broadcasts are prone to bloopers and slip-ups, and I don't think I've ever seen one local news broadcast go off without at least a minor hitch.
However, it's the end of the year, so we're looking for the biggest, craziest, funniest and most delightful news bloopers of 2015, not just some run-of-the-mill mumbling or a minor teleprompter misread.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could all choose our own paths in life?
We would be seen as serious spellcasting Warlocks or mighty head chopping Warriors simply because we chose that path from the very beginning, gaining (life) experience points as we grow.
Sadly, life is not like a roleplaying game or Choose Your Own Adventure book, and once people see you as a sneaky Thief instead of the mighty Wizard you aspire to be your character class is set for life.
For Lack Of A Better Comic knows that feel, and even though he self identifies as a Barbarian Bard with Chaotic Evil tendencies he's often mistaken for a Druid from the Underdark. Go figure, eh?
This "animated data-driven documentary about war and peace" by Neil Halloran may seem like a morbid concept, but after watching the video you'll see that the "numbers" presented actually fill you with hope.