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Formula One

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In Hackers, the 1995 cult teen cyber thriller, a young Angelina Jolie and an American-accented Jonny Lee Miller play WipEout in a club. Established hacker Angelina is pretty good at the game, and has the top score. But then upstart hacker genius Jonny smashes it to bits. They hate each other. They love each other.

At the end of the movie Angelina and Jonny fall into a swimming pool and, finally, kiss, as Squeeze's little-known love song Heaven Knows lifts the camera up into the air. A year later, in 1996, the pair married. By then, WipEout, the racer that evolved from that pre-rendered demo Angelina and Jonny pretended to play on the big screen, was the most exciting video game in the world.

Improbably, a dozen or so people from a north west England developer called Psygnosis had conspired to stomp on Mario's head and speed past silly Sonic onto the cover of style magazines. WipEout steered into the slipstream of a dance music-fuelled drug culture, leaving its racer rivals in its wake. Forget beeps and boops - WipEout on PlayStation had heavy beats. WipEout was for grown ups. WipEout was cool.

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There are now over one billion automobiles on the road worldwide. An explosion in the auto markets in China and India ensures that number will increase, with China supplanting the United States as the world's largest car market. It's fair to say humanity has a love affair with the car, but it's a love-hate relationship. Cars are at once convenience, art, and menace. People write songs about their vehicles, put them in museums, race them, and wrap their identities up in them. About 15% of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels comes from cars. Traffic fatality estimates vary from half a million per year to more than double that. Gathered here are images of the automobile in many forms, and our relationship to and dependence on our cars. This is the second in an occasional Big Picture series on transportation, following Pedal power earlier this year. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
Antti Rahko stands next to his self-made "Finnjet" during preparations for the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany on November 22, 2012. The car rolls on eight wheels, offers ten seats, weighs 3.4 tons and is worth about one million US dollars. (Marius Becker/AFP/Getty Images)

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Animator and illustrator Rufus Blacklock animated 60 years of Formula One race car design. The outline of each year's car morphs from design to design, the engine shifts location, and the steering wheel changes shape. The video as a whole is pretty sexy.

He also took a look at just the steering wheel's evolution. I'm almost certain the next iteration will be non-existent in the future, where only robots race. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Robot Wars? That was good entertainment.

[via Revolutions]

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Rich Hilleman, the chief creative director of Electronic Arts, has a big task: getting the company ready for the future. He has to navigate the waters of the social and mobile revolution while also keeping core gamers satisfied as the company's products shift to blockbusters-cum-online services. In this interview, Hilleman -- who has been at the company since the 1980s -- looks back as well as forward, reflecting on how the company's success on the ...

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There was nervous excitement all over me when I was assigned to cover the F1 Grand Prix held at Budh International Circuit on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi, last week.

The reasons...

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By now, those of you who are sick of the monkey picture will realize I'm on something of a summer hiatus. Officially I'm back after Labor Day.

But one last post and recommendation for the summer.

"Senna" is a documentary about about the Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna that is being released in the States tomorrow. It explores his arrival in Formula One in the mid 1980s, and follows his struggles both on track against his rival, French World Champion Alain Prost, and off it, against the internal politics of the sport. Directed by Asif Kapadia, it was a huge success in England and won the World Cinema Audience Award for documentaries at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

The film is a gripping story on many levels. There is the charisma of its subject, matters of spirituality, and glimpses into Brazilian culture. Beacause I knew so little about Senna and motor racing, the story kept me on the edge of my seat while the insight in to Formula One racing was a fascinating glimpse into another world.

Just see it.

Ciao for now.

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