Clooney and Pitt Reunite in Action-Packed ‘Wolfs’ Trailer

George Clooney and Brad Pitt team up in the upcoming movie “Wolfs,” where they are hired as fixers for the same job. The Apple Studios film also features Amy Ryan, Austin Abrams, and Poorna Jagannathan.

This film marks their reunion after working together in “Burn After Reading” (2008) and the “Ocean’s Eleven” series.

Directed by Jon Watts, “Wolfs” is set for release in September.

Europe’s Biggest Music Extravaganza

The Eurovision Song Contest, often simply called Eurovision, is an annual international song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the winner. This unique contest offers a platform not only for showcasing emerging musical talents but also for promoting cultural exchange and mutual respect among nations.

This years contest is being hosted by Sweden. Each year, the event is hosted by the previous year’s winning country. The contest has three live shows: two semi-finals and a grand final.

The competition, first held in 1956, was based on Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival. It was created as a means to unify the newly established television networks across Europe following World War II. From its humble beginnings with just seven participating countries, Eurovision has grown immensely in scope and spectacle. It now features participants from over 40 countries, including nations beyond Europe such as Australia.

Eurovision is known for its eclectic mix of music genres and often flamboyant performances. It has launched the careers of many notable artists, including ABBA and Celine Dion, who first captured international attention by winning Eurovision for Sweden and Switzerland, respectively.

Beyond the competition, Eurovision has become a beloved annual tradition that brings together millions of viewers worldwide.

The first semifinal happened on Tuesday. The second semifinal will be Thursday, May 9, at 3 p.m. EST. The grand final will be Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m. EST.

You can stream the show on Peacock in the US.

Converting Plastic Into Fuel

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have made a groundbreaking advance in addressing two of today’s environmental issues: carbon dioxide emissions and plastic waste. They have developed a solar-powered method that transforms plastic bottles and carbon dioxide into sustainable fuels and useful chemicals, potentially paving the way for a circular economy. This innovation was detailed by chemistry professor Erwin Reisner and his team in a study published in the journal Nature Synthesis.

The challenge has been to convert these waste streams into valuable products simultaneously in an integrated process. While there have been efforts to develop catalysts for efficiently converting captured carbon dioxide into plastics and fuels, and separate initiatives to convert plastic waste into sustainable fuels using light-driven processes, the Cambridge team’s approach combines these processes in one solar-powered reactor.

This reactor features two compartments separated by a membrane, each with its own electrode. Carbon dioxide is converted into carbon-based fuels like carbon monoxide or formate using a negative electrode. On the other side, with the positive electrode, plastics from recycled sparkling water bottles are transformed into glycolic acid, a valuable chemical in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The process involves cleaning, chopping, freezing, and grinding the plastic bottles before they enter the reactor.

To harness sunlight to drive these reactions, the electrode dealing with carbon conversion is coated with a perovskite material, known for its efficiency in absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity. The choice of catalysts is crucial; the team experimented with cobalt, a copper–indium alloy, and a biological enzyme to trigger the carbon dioxide conversion. Different catalysts resulted in different end products. For the conversion of plastics, a combination of copper and palladium is used at the anode.

The reactor operates with high efficiency, producing chemicals and fuels at rates significantly faster than traditional light- and catalyst-driven processes, without the need for external electricity. “Generally, [carbon dioxide] conversion requires a lot of energy, but with our system, you just shine a light at it, and it starts converting harmful products into something useful and sustainable,” explained co-author Motiar Rahaman in a press release.

As the researchers continue testing different catalysts, their goal is to refine the reactor’s capabilities to produce an even broader array of complex products. This innovative technology could offer an excellent sustainable solution to waste management.

Fifth ‘Matrix’ Movie Is In the Works

The renowned “Matrix” movie series is expanding with a fifth installment, led by Lana Wachowski, one of the original co-writers and co-directors, who takes on the role of executive producer.

As per a recent press release from Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, Drew Goddard, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, will write and direct the film alongside his producing partner Sarah Esberg. Jesse Ehrman, Warner Bros. Motion Pictures President of Production, expressed excitement about Goddard’s fresh perspective on the Matrix universe, aiming to both honor the original vision and provide a unique take inspired by his own passion for the series.

Details regarding the plot and casting, including the potential return of Keanu Reeves as Neo, remain undisclosed. There has been no immediate response from Reeves’ representative regarding the project.

Goddard, known for his directorial debut “The Cabin in the Woods” and his work on “The Martian,” brings a wealth of experience to the project, having earned acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his screenplay.

“The Matrix,” which premiered in 1999, stars Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, and Carrie-Anne Moss. The groundbreaking sci-fi narrative follows Neo, a computer hacker drawn into a rebellion against a simulated reality known as the Matrix.

The original film was a massive success, grossing over $467 million and winning four Academy Awards. It spawned three sequels, with “The Matrix Resurrections” released in 2021. Over its 25-year span, the franchise has amassed nearly $2 billion globally, according to the studio.