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DESTIN EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Oct. 21

becker blake

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All city meetings are being held at the City Hall Annex, 4100 Indian Bayou Trail until further notice. All meetings are subject to change or cancellation. To virtually view the meeting, https://www.cityofdestin.com/. To view/stream is www.youtube.com/CityofDestin.

Town Center CRA, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21

Harbor and Waterways, 5 p.m.  Oct. 26

Parks & Recreation, 4 p.m. Oct. 27

Wednesday Night Concert Series

Enjoy a free evening of music from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 21 with Chris Alvarado at the Events Plaza Stage at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.

• Oct. 28: Cadillac Willy

SHRM

The Society for Human Resource Management of the Emerald Coast (SHRM-ECC) presents virtual Working From Home: Time Mastery Tips at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 21. Cost is $15/members and $25/non-members. Register at www.SHRM-EmeraldCoast.org. During this one-hour virtual webinar, review some basic tips and best practices for working from home, especially when in greater isolation from community. Explore 12 categories of time mastery followed by a conversation and Q&A that would help participants share their own techniques or ask burning questions. Program speaker is Joshua Sky of The Sky’s the Limit Consulting, Inc.

COCID-19 Testing Sites

The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County and Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services are partnering to expand COVID-19 testing offered to community residents. Limited to 450 tests. If 450 tests are reached prior to the scheduled end time, operations will close. Schedule includes Oct. 22 at Northwest Florida State College, 100 E. College Blvd. in Niceville.

Bubbly Baytowne

Who’s ready to sip and shop through The Village streets? Visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf for an evening full of free champagne and shopping during Bubbly Baytowne, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 22. Check in by the fountain to receive complimentary Baytowne Wharf glass. This event is free and for 21 and up only. The village will be open to the public during this event.

Blood Drive

The Market Shops will host a OneBlood blood drive on Friday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The OneBlood Big Red Bus will be parked in front of the shopping center, adjacent to Highway 98.

Dot and Ziggy

Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s first Theatre for Young Audiences performances designed for the very young, children ages 6 months to 5 years-old, stars will be held Oct. 23, 24, 30, 31 at 9 a.m.

The Gathering in the Garden

BeGenerous will host its third annual fundraiser where you will have an opportunity to partner with others in supporting this local faith based organization and The Yellow House Recovery Program, which encompasses efforts in aiding and assisting women coming out of traumatic life circumstances. Event will be from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Point Washington Preserve Pavilion Event Venue in Santa Rosa Beach. Food prepared by local chef, live worship, silent auction and fellowship. Tickets available at eventbrite.

Festival of the Arts

The MKAF 25th Annual Festival of the Arts will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Cultural Arts Village, 4323 Commons Dr. W. in Destin. A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, souvenir posters, T-shirts, and more. General admission of $5 per person helps to fund the Foundation’s annual cultural outreach activities and programs. Children 12 and under and all MKAF members are admitted free. Social distancing measures will be in place.

Rocktober Concert Series

Watch the Destin Fishing Rodeo catches hit the docks with daily weigh-ins from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. then rock out to a free concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 with Tyler Livingston & the Absolutes on the HarborWalk Village main stage. Free parking.

MKAF Festival of the Arts

The 25th annual Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Festival of the Arts will be held Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Cultural Arts Village on Commons Drive in Destin. A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, souvenir posters and T-shirts, and more. General admission is $5/person. Children 12 and under and MKAF members are admitted free.

Embroiderers’ Guild

The Sand Dunes Chapter of Embroiderers’ Guild of America will meet from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Religious Education building, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1200 Valparaiso Blvd. in Niceville. Favorite classes will be showcased. Visitors are welcome. Call 496-3466 with any questions.

New Destin Library Hours

Effective Oct. 26, the Destin Library building will be open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 1- 5 p.m. Curbside Service will still be available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Baytowne On Ice

Dust off those skates and get in the winter spirit at The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Baytowne on Ice from Oct. 26 thru Jan. 31. Hours vary daily.

Page Pirates Virtual Storytime

Set your compass to navigate to the Destin Library’s Facebook page and join the crew of tthe new storytime – Page Pirates Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m. Children’s librarian Laura Harris will post storytime videos that explore the imagination with advanced picture books, folk tales, and poetry for children ages 4-7. Call 837-8572.

ECPRO

The Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization (ECPRO) will have a Lunch and Learn program from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Emerald Coast Science Center, 31 SW Memorial Parkway in Fort Walton Beach. Members and guests will learn what the Center has to offer and why it’s a benefit to the area for young and old.This will be the last ECPRO meeting for the year. If your business would like to sponsor a lunch, contact President Pam Sparks at 581-1130. Lunch is $15/members, $20/associates of members, $25/non-members and $10/students. If you do not want to eat but want to hear the program, the cost is $10.

Who Comes a Tapping at the Destin Library’s Chamber Door?

On Oct. 28, join the Destin Library for a chilling read through of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, fun facts about his life and legacy, and learn about recent works of fiction inspired by the timeless literary figure. This event is best suitable for those 12 and older. Videos will be posted to the library’s Facebook page and their website at cityofdestin.com/library. If you have any questions, call 837-8572 or library@cityofdestin.com.

Grief Group

Stephen Ministry at Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive, will begin a grief group at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Destin Life Center. This is a six week program looking at the problems in dealing with “grief.” Group discussion covers death and loss; job and career change; creating a different life direction; help in overcoming mild depression; and next step “looking forward.” For information, call 582 2548. Do you have gifts of compassion? Are you a good listener? To find out more about becoming a Stephen Minister at Destin United Methodist, call one of the Stephen Leaders. New class starting soon.

Grace Fall Festival

GraceDestin will host its first Grace Fall Festival from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 with a night of safe, outdoor (weather-permitting) fun. Activities include prepared food, games, a costume contest (kids and adults), family devotion, bonfire and outdoor movie, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” For more information, email pastorlogan@gracedestin.com.

Adopt-A-Street

The City of Destin’s Adopt-A-Street Program allows local families, businesses and community groups to perform a valuable community service by adopting sections of a street to keep clear of litter and debris. Groups who participate in this program will have their name listed on the City’s website and signage installed on their adopted street. For more information, call 837-6869 or email adoptastreet@cityofdestin.com.

Destin Fishing Rodeo

Throughout the month of October, the best fishing rodeo ever will be held in Destin. To participate, all you need to do is contact a local captain and charter a boat for a day of fun on the water. Once you’ve got your catch, head in to AJ’s for weigh-ins. Everyone’s invited to share in the fun and excitement as anglers show off their winning catch of the day.

Rock Out Climbing Gym in Destin

Rock Out Youth Climbing Club A is a six-week recreational program through Nov. 2 Mondays for ages 7-9 years old. Rock Out Youth Climbing Club B is a six-week recreational program through Nov. 4 Wednesdays for ages 10-12. Call 837-0526 or email info@rockoutclimbing.com to sign up.

Camp Helen State Park Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins will be sold seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 .p.m. through Oct. 31 or until sold out. Social distancing measures will be in place. Everyone is encouraged to stay six feet apart and only handle pumpkins being purchased. Camp Helen State Park is at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway (Highway 98), Panama City Beach.

Throwback Thursday Cinema

Grab your lawn chairs and enjoy a relaxing evening with the free Throwback Thursday featured film, “Hocus Pocus” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

Barktoberfest

Dog-Harmony presents the free Barktoberfest fundraiser from 4-6 Oct. 29 at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Attendees and their pets are encouraged to dress in their Halloween best and enjoy a canine-only trick-or-treating event. Judging for the best “Pet & Parent Matching Costume” Contest will take place during the event with the prize-winning duo announced at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy light bites, libations, and raffle drawings. Donations are greatly appreciated. No prong, choke or shock collars.

Morgan James

The spotlight will again shine brightly on the Sinfonia stage with the return of soul songstress Morgan James at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 on the Lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. The evening includes a sparkling wine reception, four-course meal prepared by Bijoux Executive Chef/Owner Jack McGuckin, wine, and all gratuities. Cash bar available. Tickets are $295 per person and includes reception, dinner, and performance. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/JamesMorganCabaret20.

Witch Ride

The Witch Ride is an annual Halloween charity bike ride that benefits Children’s Volunteer Health Network. This year there will be three Santa Rosa Beach rides including the Founders Ride at 7 a.m. Oct. 30; Sunset Ride at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30; and the Goblin Ride, 10 a.m. Oct. 31.

Visit https://www.witchesofsouthwalton.com/ for more information and to register.

Hub-O-ween 2020

Hub-O-Ween 2020 will be held from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 30 at The Hub, 7000 East County Hwy. 30A in Watersound Beach. Trick or treat through The Hub and The Shops at The Hub from 5-6 p.m., followed by pumpkin decorating, $5/person, from 5-7 p.m. and a DJ Dance Party on stage from 6-9 p.m.

Splash or Treat at GulfScarium

Splash or treat at Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Enjoy trick-or-treating, a skeleton scavenger hunt, and more. Free admission for children in costume, ages 3-12. This offer is not to be combined with any other discount or coupon, limit two children per adult. Visit www.gulfarium.com/halloween to see the full schedule of events.

Spooktacular Nights

Celebrate Halloween with two nights of fun every ghost, ghoul, and goblin can enjoy from 6-9 p.m. at HarborWalk Village. The Boos & Booze Bingo | Pub Crawl & Concert on the main stage

Oct. 30 and Spook Street | Trick or Treating & Costume Contests with fireworks on Oct. 31.

Trick or Treat Street

Calling all ghouls, ghosts, and goblins to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for a spooktacular extravaganza from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Trick or Treat through the Village streets and visit merchants for treats. Steve Hall will play frighteningly good tunes on the main stage and enjoy crafts and balloon animals. Be sure to stop by Coconut Kidz to enter the costume contest and compete to win the grand prize. End the night with a spooky fireworks display at 8 p.m.

Pink Walk Fore Her

The annual Pink Walk Fore Her will be from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 1 at Destin Commons. The half-mile walk around Destin Commons and after party is set to feature a DJ, photo booth, sweet treats, and activities for children. Proceeds will benefit Fore Her, which provides financial assistance to local breast cancer patients.

Annie Kids

ECTC’s Educational Theatre program elementary students present one of Broadway’s family-friendly musical comedy classics at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 and  2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at 560 Grand Boulevard, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in Miramar Beach. ECTC’s outreach program in DeFuniak Springs has performances at the Florida Chautauqua Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 and  2 p.m. Nov. 22. Tickets are $12 per person in advance and $15 at the door. Proceeds benefit ECTC and its Theatre Education programs. Purchase tickets online at www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

Sip N’ Stroll Gallery Night

Enjoy an evening of art at J.Leon Gallery and Studio with wine, champagne, and eats from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 at 13370 US Hwy. 98, in Miramar Beach. Meet local artists and view work from 11 artists from the Okaloosa/Walton area, including painters, mixed media artists, ceramics artists, and illustrators. Events continue on the first Friday of each month.

Sacred Heart Diabetes Program

Ascension Sacred Heart offers Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Program, a yearlong PreventT2 Lifestyle Change Program, starting on Nov. 5. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes. For more information on enrollment, class schedules, cost or to speak to an education specialist, call 278-3546 or email Julie.Palmer@ascension.org.

Tribute Weekend

Tribute Weekend returns from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 6 and 7 and 2-4 p.m. at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Rock out the weekend and enjoy live music from great tribute bands, including TUSK The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute on Friday; DEPARTURE: The Journey Tribute Band on Saturday; and Satisfaction/International Rolling Stones Tribute Show Sunday. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and meet on the events plaza lawn for a jam-packed weekend of incredible talent.

Thanksending

Who is ready to compete in a Red Point Classic bouldering event with raffle, prizes, and an all-around good time? Compete from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at Rock Out Climbing Gym. The Open Competition is for men and women beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories. Register at www.rockoutclimbing.com/competition for $40 ($35 members) or pay $45 day-of the event. Spectators free.

Island Concert Series

Dance to the sounds of the Caribbean on the harbor from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 7, 14 and 21 at

HarborWalk Village. Tap your feet to the island beat.

A Showcase Under the Stars

Alissa Steffens Vocal Academy/Studios presents A Showcase under the Stars from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 on the Events Plaza Stage at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Singer/songwriter students age 8 to adult will perform an evening filled with solos and duets in a variety of music styles. Event is free.

Legally Blonde Jr.

Follow the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13; 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 14; and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 with Emerald Coast Theatre Company at Grand Boulevard. Legally Blonde Jr. features ECTC’s teens in this energetic musical that’s fun for the whole family.

Sparkling Wine & Holiday Lights

Start the holiday season with a special sparkling event during the Eighth Annual Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights at The Village of Baytowne Wharf from 5-6 p.m. Nov. 14.  Event will feature more than 30 champagnes and appetizers at featured Village restaurants. Enjoy the sounds of the season with carolers, and a sneak peek of the first tree lighting of the season.

Subaru to the Rescue

Dogs and cats ready to be adopted from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society will be showcased at Subaru Fort Walton Beach, 916 Beal Parkway, from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 14 and Dec. 5. Adoption fees range from $45 to $125 for dogs, and $45 to $100 for cats. Fees cover spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm control and microchip.

Classi-Palooza featuring members of Sinfonia Gulf Coast

The greatest hits of the 18th to 21st centuries hosted al fresco by Sinfonia assistant conductor Aaron King Vaughn at 4 p.m. Nov. 15 on The Lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. Tickets are $75 per person  and includes Bijoux bento box with savory & sweet bites. Purchase at http://bit.ly/classi-palooza20.

The Listening Lounge

The first featured musical act in The Listening Lounge series at ECTC, debuting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17,  is Longleaf Drive. With an old time bluegrass band vibe.  Tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors/military; and $18 students. Purchase tickets online at www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

Moonlight Serenade featuring VIOLECTRIC

Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents VIOLECTRIC at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 on the lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. Tickets are  $75 per person and include Bijoux Bento box with savory & sweet bites. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/VIOLECTRIC20.

The Polar Express

Watch a free holiday favorite, “The Polar Express,” at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 on the Events Plaza Lawn at Baytowne Wharf.

Here Comes Santa Claus

Get in the winter spirit during The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Here Comes Santa from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 28. Cheer Santa and watch as he lights the Village tree. Enjoy face-painting, kids crafts, and a fireworks display.

Holiday Gospel Brunch

Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents D’Vine at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Coastal Ballroom at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Ticket price is $95 to $125 and includes performance, brunch and all gratuities. Cash bar also available. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/HolidayGospelDVIne20.

Dueling Piano Show

AJ’s Endless Summer presents Dueling Piano Show this summer at AJ’s On the Bayou, 200 Eglin Parkway NE in Fort Walton Beach. Shows are every Friday and Saturday night starting at 9 p.m. featuring Chris Roberts from the Howl at the Moon. Seats are on a first come first serve basis. Come for a late dinner and stay for the show.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Tickets are on sale at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com for the 2021 Seabreeze Jazz Festival April 21-25. 2021, at Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater in Panama City Beach. Or charge by phone at 855-233-6714.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

The eighth annual Country On The Coast festival in Panama City Beach will be March 26-28, 2021. Tickets for the three-day event are available at www.GulfCoastJam.com.

Grand Boulevard Farmers Market

Grand Boulevard Farmers Market takes place every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grand Park in the heart of Grand Boulevard in South Walton. Bring your shopping bag and load up on local produce, eggs, jams and pies. Homemade soap, good olive oil, and pickled things are all there for the taking.

Rosemary Beach Farmers Market

Come browse the 30A Farmers Market in Rosemary Beach on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The local farmers market takes place on Sundays year round, and Thursdays throughout the summer months, in North Barrett Square along Scenic 30A.

Destin Woman’s Club

The Annual Fashion Show held by the Destin Woman’s Club has been cancelled this year due to the Covid virus. The Fashion Show for 2021 has been scheduled for Nov. 5.  As their major fundraiser, net proceeds go toward the Club’s Family Assistance Fund designed to help local families and a local charity.

Senior Programs

All activities are at the Destin Community Center, unless noted. Call 654-5184 or email recreation@cityofdestin.com for information and to register. Persons with disabilities who require assistance are asked to notify the center 48 hours in advance.

— Destin Senior Membership: Join the Destin Seniors to enjoy multiple festivities including the senior lunch bunch, potluck, casino trips, cruises, bingo, chair exercise, knitting, scrabble, and Mexican dominoes. Members must be a Destin resident.

— Senior Book Club: The Destin Senior Members meet at 10 a.m. the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Destin Library, 150 Sibert Ave.

— Senior Drop-In Hours: The Destin Senior Center at Buck Destin Park, 724 Legion Drive, offers senior drop-in hours from 9 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Thursday for Seniors (50 years and older) to meet and enjoy each other’s company, participate in games such as Mexican Train Dominoes, Scrabble, cards, etc.

— Senior Walking Club: The Destin Senior Members walk around the Destin Community Center’s gymnasium from 8-9 a.m. Monday-Friday. All of the miles that you walk will be added to the “team map” as we travel from one region to the next. The team’s miles are reported on the 4th Friday of each month at the Destin Senior Membership’s Potluck.

— Destin Senior Chair Exercise 50+ years: Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10-10:45 a.m. at Buck Destin Park consists of performing light exercises to help improve balance, flexibility, strength, and circulation. Free/residents.

Entertainment

We’re Coming for the Asteroids. Are the Asteroids Coming for Us?

becker blake

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on

 

What are the most important places to explore in the solar system?

The leading answers to that question have shifted over the years, driven by scientific discoveries, public curiosity, technological realities, and political agendas. For human exploration, the list of plausible destinations has always been short: Earth-orbit and the Moon. (Mars is achievable, no doubt, but we not at all technologically ready to go there right now.) For robotic probes, the list started in the same place but kept going: inward to Mercury and the Sun itself, outward past Neptune and Pluto.

For the most part, though, we’ve ignored the other 99.9999% of the objects in the inner solar system: the asteroids. There are, by current estimates, nearly two million asteroids more than a kilometer in diameter. Collectively, they represent a landscape greater than the surface of the Moon, but we’d never seen one up close until 1991. Even now, we’ve visited just a dozen of them. The asteroids didn’t get much love.

That’s about to change: There currently eight dedicated asteroid missions underway or in development (nine if you include MMX, a Japanese mission to Mars’s inner moon, Phobos, which might be a captured asteroid). Hayabusa2 is about to swing past Earth next week, dropping of samples of asteroid Ryugu over Australia. OSIRIS-REx will follow behind with a larger cache of rocks that it recently collected from another small asteroid, Bennu.

The next round of asteroid missions will try out a bunch of unusual styles of exploration. Lucy will visit the Trojan asteroids that move in the same orbit as Jupiter. The Psyche mission will travel to the asteroid Psyche—a mysterious object that appears to be composed almost entirely of metal. DESTINY+ will head to Phaethon, a “rock-comet” asteroid that appears to be crumbling because it passes so close to the Sun. NEA Scout will use a solar sail to navigate to a near-Earth asteroid.

Most dramatic of all, the DART spacecraft will ram full-speed into a small asteroid Dimorphos in 2022. The goal is to test out a technique for deflecting a dangerous asteroid if we discover one coming our way; four years later, the Hera probe will follow up to assess the damage.

In the fall of 2022, the DART spacecraft will execute a high-speed collision with 160-meter-wide asteroid Dimorphos, seen here orbiting its larger companion, Didymos. (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL)

In the fall of 2022, the DART spacecraft will execute a high-speed collision with 160-meter-wide asteroid Dimorphos, seen orbiting its larger companion, Didymos. (Credit: NASA/JHU-APL)

There are many reasons for this current fascination with asteroids. They contain evidence of how our solar system formed, how Earth got its water, maybe even how life got started here. They are rich, complicated mini-worlds in their own right. They are easy to visit because of their very low gravity. Someday asteroids could even provide useful resources for astronauts or for space-based industry.

The DART-Hera pair of missions embody perhaps the most compelling reason why people find asteroids so compelling. We know that small asteroids hit Earth all the time; we know that larger ones can cause significant damage when they hit; and we have the fundamental technology needed to deflect an asteroid if it were on a collision course. Understanding asteroids could therefore be a matter of life and death.

One measure of how much people are moved by the asteroid threat is the regular appearance of “killer asteroid” stories in the tabloid newspapers. A more meaningful measure is the new IMAX movie Asteroid Hunters. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply reduced its audience for now, but when science museums and IMAX theaters safely reopen, the movie will give you a dramatic view of asteroid science—and especially of the science behind averting a natural disaster from above.

I spoke with Phil Groves, the writer/producer of Asteroid Hunters, to find out why he finds asteroids so interesting, and to understand how he worked to make the science accessible to the general public. An edited version of our conversation follows.

A rubble-pile asteroid, inspired by the actual structure of Bennu, begins to feel the heat of a nuclear blast in Asteroid Hunters. (Credit: IMAX/Huahuang Pictures)

A rubble-pile asteroid, inspired by the actual structure of Bennu, begins to feel the heat of a nuclear blast in Asteroid Hunters. (Credit: IMAX/Huahuang Pictures)

Most IMAX documentaries are very earthbound. What inspired you to make one about asteroids?

I grew up a hardcore NASA geek, before I made a sharp left into the film business. About 12 years ago, I ran into this article describing a proposed European Space Agency mission called Don Quixote [a predecessor to the DART/Hera missions]. It was going to send a probe to knock a binary asteroid, which is a little moon asteroid that goes around a bigger asteroid, to test the notion of asteroid deflection. The idea of protecting our planet against an asteroid this way never occurred to me until I read that article.

At the time, I was running development and global distribution for IMAX, and it struck me that this was the perfect topic for the IMAX format. From there, I began to research the topic, reaching out to NASA and JPL scientists. This film became a passion project.

I’m afraid that most people still picture the movie Armageddon when they think about protecting Earth from a hazardous asteroid.

If an asteroid is headed towards Earth, you send up a bunch of oil rig workers to go blow it up. It’s quite a misunderstanding! One, that is something you wouldn’t bother to do, sending people up there. And two, you wouldn’t want to blow up the asteroid, because then it sends a cloud of buckshot to Earth. But there’s a real problem here, and it’s a problem that is solvable. The threat of asteroids is the most preventable of all natural disasters.

To pump up the drama, some news stories hype the likelihood of an asteroid collision. A major impact is actually a very low-probability risk, but potentially a highly destructive one. How do you communicate a subtle point like that?

It’s a really good question. There are about a billion asteroids going around the sun [if you include the really small ones]. Most of them live in the asteroid belt, but there are two classes of asteroids that we pay particular attention when it comes to planetary defense. One is near-earth asteroids. Its very name tells you why we’re interested in them—because they come close. Then there’s the class of potentially hazardous asteroids, the ones that come very close to intercepting Earth in our orbital path around the Sun. About 10 percent of near-earth asteroids fall into this category.

We know of a couple thousand potentially hazardous asteroids. And here’s the part where you talk about the low probability but high consequence in the event of an asteroid strike: We’ve found only a third of these asteroids, maybe.

So we shouldn’t relax just yet?

The good news is, of the asteroids that we know about, none pose a threat except for at least 100 years or further in the future. But it’s the asteroids that we don’t know about that we have to keep on looking and finding. It’s not a question of if an asteroid will hit Earth again, but when. Look at the Moon: You see all the craters there. Well, Earth has been hit more often than the Moon has been. We just have weather and geology that erase the records.

That said, there’s about 200 impact craters that we do know about on Earth. An asteroid big enough to cause real trouble to a city or even a small country hits earth once about every 100,000 years. The next one could be 100,000 years from now, because that’s just an average obviously, or it could be tomorrow when we find an asteroid that is coming our way. We have to be ready for it. That’s what Asteroid Hunters is all about.

Yeah, let's make sure that doesn't happen: a major asteroid impact as envisioned in the movie Asteroid Hunters (Credit: IMAX/Huahuang Pictures)

Yeah, make sure that doesn’t happen: a major asteroid impact as envisioned in the movie Asteroid Hunters (Credit: IMAX/Huahuang Pictures)

In your view, how much effort to preparing to fend off such an unlikely disaster?

The way I internalize that sort of thinking is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You have a house. You buy a fire extinguisher, and the expense of that fire extinguisher relative to the overall cost of the house is pretty small. The amount of money
that you would have to spend to send up a space telescope to look for asteroids so that we can find it before they find us, is pretty small compared to the overall economy of the world. When you go to sleep at night, you lock your front door. The chances of someone invading your house in the middle of the night is pretty minuscule as well, but you do it. This is the same thing, just on a grander scale.

And it doesn’t even cost that much! NASA’s budget for finding asteroids is probably less than what it costs to make one Hollywood asteroid-disaster movie.

That might be generous, by the way. NASA’s budget for planetary defense in this past year is about 150 million bucks. Just about every Marvel movie made out there cost more than that. And this is the only natural disaster you can actually prevent from happening. You can’t cork a volcano. You can’t throw a net over a hurricane. You can’t glue shut a fault line to stop earthquakes. But this we can stop.

What do you find most scientifically exciting about asteroids?

The coolest fact that I learned along the way [making Asteroid Hunters] is that the asteroid belt is a planet that never came to be because of this big gravitational bully called Jupiter. It jealously prevented a planet from ever taking shape because of its gravitational influences on planetesimals, which is what asteroids are. They’re the leftover materials of construction of the planets of the solar system. The big gap between Mars and Jupiter is because of Jupiter’s huge influence. It was the first planet to form, and it’s the biggest. It kept things stirred up, gravitationally speaking, in that area, so the asteroids were never given a chance to come together and form a planet.

Then over the four-and-a-half billion years, most of the asteroids have either been sent
packing outside of the solar system or sent inward, where they become impactors of the Moon and the Earth, not to mention Venus, Mercury, and Mars. Some also fall into the sun. The asteroid belt today is maybe 1 percent of what it used to be. All of this stuff, it’s a big ammo belt, just being flung outward and inward over the course of the eons.

It’s an exciting time in asteroid exploration, with Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx bringing asteroid samples back to Earth. Any thoughts on these missions?

They’ll help us get an understanding of the construction of our solar system and maybe even the formation of life itself. A lot of these asteroids carry with them organic
compounds. You want to know: Did they bring water to Earth and Mars and perhaps other planets?

What’s also interesting about OSIRIS-REx is the asteroid it’s investigating, Bennu, is one of these potentially hazardous asteroids I was referencing earlier. It’s going to pass close to Earth in 2035. It’s not going to hit then, but Earth’s gravity could have some influence on its orbit around the sun. After that, Bennu may become a real risk to our planet, and it’s a pretty big asteroid. It’s about 500 meters across, more than 1,500 feet.

Behold Bennu, the diamond-shaped rubble-pile asteroid, as imaged by OSIRIS-REx. (Credit: NASA/University of Arizona)

Behold Bennu, the diamond-shaped rubble-pile asteroid, as imaged by OSIRIS-REx. (Credit: NASA/University of Arizona)

The images of Bennu are amazing. It’s a diamond-shaped hunk of gravel.

It’s a rubble pile, and knowing that is an important aspect of planetary defense. How you would mitigate the threat could depend on your understanding of the asteroid structure. Is it mostly metallic, like a big cannon ball? Or is it a rubble pile, where if you whack it too hard, it’ll break apart? Then you’d have a pile of buckshot, which could be just as bad.

For Asteroid Hunters, you researched many different ideas about how to deflect asteroids. Which idea did you find most persuasive?

We show a couple of techniques, the gravity tracker and the kinetic impactor. But my favorite way is also the way that many scientists prefer: sending a nuke out into the path of the asteroid. A nuke is the greatest amount of energy in the smallest package.

When the nuke goes off, it irradiates the surface of the asteroid. The heat that’s reflecting off of the surface and the ablating rock create an opposing thrust, which alters the orbit of the asteroid. It’s kind of a nice one-size-fits-all. It doesn’t matter what the structure of the asteroid is like. For any internal form, it will do a great job in reflecting that heat back out.

It’s a weird time to release a movie like Asteroid Hunters, in the middle of a pandemic. What message do you want people to take away from it?

The heroes of the movie are scientists, who are using the power of science to watch our back. One of the things that’s really important in protecting our planet—not just against asteroids but against any threat, including COVID—is working together. When we are working together, there isn’t anything that we can’t defeat, including the most preventable of all natural disasters.

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Entertainment

Streaming in December 2020: Torbaaz, Maara, Black Widows and more

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Written by Arushi Jain
| New Delhi |

Updated: December 1, 2020 4:29:02 pm

streaming in decemberDurgamati, Black Widows and Coolie No.1 will stream this month.

The streaming platforms have plenty of options to keep everyone entertained in the festive month of December. To help you pick what to watch this month, we have compiled a list of titles premiering on ZEE5, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus Hotstar, MX Player, AltBalaji, Apple TV Plus and SonyLIV.

ZEE5

Darbaan

Streaming on: December 4

Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Bipin Nadkarni, Darbaan stars Sharib HashmiSharad Kelkar, Rasika Dugal and Flora Saini. The film narrates the story of friendship between a master and his caretaker who belong to different social strata. It is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s short story Khokababur Pratyabartan.

Lahore Confidential

Streaming on: December 11

Starring Richa Chadha, Arunoday Singh Karishma Tanna and Khalid Siddiqui in pivotal roles, Lahore Confidential is the second installment in ZEE5’s Confidential franchise which started with London Confidential. It revolves around an Indian spy, Ananya (Chadha) and an ISI agent Rauf (Singh). The two, unaware of each other’s identity, fall in love, and their love story flourishes amid growing cross-border tension. What happens when Ananya and Rauf realise the truth about each other, makes for the film’s narrative. Created by S Hussain Zaidi and directed by Kunal Kohli, the film is produced by Jar Pictures.

Black Widows

Streaming on: December 18

Black Widows is the story of three friends Kavita (Shamita Shetty), Jayati (Swastika Mukherjee) and Veera (Mona Singh) who murder their abusive husbands. The series draws inspiration from a 2014 Finnish TV series which was previously made in Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, the Middle East, Mexico, Scandinavia and the Czech Republic. Directed by Birsa Dasgupta, it also stars Sharad Kelkar, Raima Sen, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Aamir Ali and Sabyasachi Chakraborty.

Amazon Prime Video

Durgamati

Streaming on: December 11

durgamati trailerBhumi Pednekar-starrer Durgamati will stream on December 11. (Photo: Akshay Kumar/Twitter)

The Bhumi Pednekar-starrer is the Hindi remake of Telugu horror film Bhaagamathie which had Anushka Shetty in the lead role. In the film, Bhumi’s character Chanchal Chauhan is made the victim of a conspiracy involving bigshots of the country. She is imprisoned in a haunted Durgamati Haveli while being interrogated in the case. What happens to Chanchal in the haveli forms the plot of the film. Written and directed by Ashok, the film also stars Arshad Warsi, Mahie Gill, Jisshu Sengupta and Karan Kapadia.

Sons of the Soil

Streaming on: December 4

Abhishek BachchanSons of the Soil is directed by Alex Gale.

The unscripted sports docu-series follows the journey of Abhishek Bachchan-owned Pro Kabaddi League team Jaipur Pink Panthers in the seventh season of the league. Directed by Alex Gale, it offers a locker-room view into the players’ world, their interactions with junior Bachchan, love for one of the country’s oldest sports and the team’s persistence to win the coveted Pro Kabaddi League title. Talking about the series, Bachchan had shared, “The Sons Of The Soil is an honest look at what all happens in putting a Kabaddi team together and how the players go through an emotional journey of successes and failures. The players are the stars of the show.”

Coolie No.1

Streaming on: December 25

David Dhawan’s upcoming film Coolie No. 1 is a remake of his own 1995 comedy film of the same name. While the original starred Govinda and Karisma Kapoor, the remake features Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in the lead roles. The film also stars Paresh Rawal, Jaaved Jaaferi, Rajpal Yadav and Johnny Lever in significant roles. Coolie No. 1 is David Dhawan’s 45th film. It is produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment.

Maara

Streaming on: December 17

maara, maara amazon prime videoMaara features Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath in the lead roles. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

The upcoming Tamil slice-of-life film is directed by Dhilip Kumar. Starring Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath in the lead roles, Maara is the Tamil remake of critically-acclaimed Malayalam film Charlie, starring Duqluer Salmaan and Parvathy in the lead roles. Produced by Prateek Chakravorty and Shruti Nallappa of Pramod Films, Maara also stars Sshivada Nair, stand up comedian Alexander Babu and Mouli.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Streaming on: December 10

Based on the video game franchise of the same name, the action-packed adventure film stars Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, and Neal McDonough.

I’m Your Woman

Streaming on: December 11

Directed by Julia Hart, the American drama stars Rachel Brosnahan, Arinzé Kene, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Bill Heck, Frankie Faison, Marceline Hugot and James McMenamin. The film revolves around Jean (Brosnahan) who has to be on the run with her child because of her husband Eddie’s crimes. Jean meets Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake) with whom she forms an unlikely partnership.

Netflix

Bhaag Beanie Bhaag

Streaming on: December 4

Bhaag Beanie BhaagSwara Bhasker will play a stand-up comedian in Bhaag Beanie Bhaag.

In Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, Swara Bhasker plays Beanie Bhatnagar, a girl who, after getting bored with her regular life, decides to take up comedy as a career. Varun Thakur, Dolly Singh, Mona Ambegaonkar, and Girish Kulkarni also feature in the series.

MANK

Streaming on: December 4

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher and written by his late father Jack Fincher, Mank is a biopic of the alcoholic but talented screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz (also known as Mank), who co-wrote the screenplay of Hollywood classic Citizen Kane. Apart from the trials and tribulations that Mank faced while penning the script, the film will also touch upon the alleged conflicts and clash of ideas that he and filmmaker Orson Welles had regarding Citizen Kane. The movie features Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke and Charles Dance.

Bombay Rose

Streaming on: December 4

Gitanjali Rao Bombay RoseGitanjali Rao’s film Bombay Rose had its India premiere at the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Gitanjali Rao’s animated feature Bombay Rose chronicles the lives of people who migrate from small towns, seeking minimal life in the maximum city. Set on the streets of Mumbai, it is the story of a flower seller who has to choose between protecting her family or allowing herself to fall in love. The film had its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Streaming on: December 8

Chadwick Boseman’s last film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is adapted from a play of the same name by August Wilson. Set in the 1920s, the film has Viola Davis playing Ma Rainey, a celebrated performer, who is trying to gain control of her music by taking on her white manager. Boseman plays Leevee, an ambitious trumpeter who wants to make his mark in the music industry. Directed by George C. Wolfe, the movie also stars Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown.

Torbaaz

Streaming on: December 11

torbaaz netflixTorbaaz stars Sanjay Dutt and Nargis Fakhri.

Torbaaz, directed by Girish Malik, features Sanjay Dutt in the role of an ex-army doctor Nasser Khan who uses cricket to bring some joy in the lives of children living in refugee camps in Afghanistan. The official synopsis of the film reads, “Torbaaz is the story of one man who rises above his personal tragedy and decides to take matters in his own hands. He’s determined to coach refugee camp kids in cricket, who are otherwise destined to become suicide bombers. Will he succeed in straying them away from the path of destruction?” Rahul Dev, Nargis Fakri, Pransh Chopra and Humayoon Shams Khan also feature in the movie.

Paava Kadhaigal

Streaming on: December 18

Paava KadhaigalPaava Kadhaigal will stream on Netflix. (Photo: PR handout)

Tamil anthology film Paava Kadhaigal features four short films directed by Tamil filmmakers Sudha Kongara, Vignesh Shivan, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vetrimaaran. Through the four stories, they try to explore how love, pride and honour influence relationships. It stars Kalki Koechlin, Padam Kumar, Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi, Anjali, Bhavani Sre, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Hari, Kalidas Jayaram, Shanthnu Bhagyaraj and Simran among others.

AK vs AK

Streaming in: December

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, AK vs AK features Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap in the lead roles. The synopsis of the film reads, “A brash film director (Anurag Kashyap) kidnaps the daughter of a movie star (Anil Kapoor) and films the star’s desperate search for his daughter in real-time as his next blockbuster.”

Disney Plus Hotstar

Godmothered

Streaming on: December 4

Godmothered trailer, Godmothered, Godmothered movie trailer, isla fisherGodmothered will release on December 4 on Disney+ Hotstar Premium. (Photo: Disney+)

The Sharon Maguire directorial stars Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher. The film revolves around Bell’s Fairy Godmother Eleanor in a world where fairies have gone out of fashion and kids do not believe in godmothers anymore due to modern gadgets. Even in The Motherland, the fairies have admitted defeat, and the profession is all but extinct. But Eleanor does not accept her situation and escapes to earth to find the little girl Mackenzie Walsh who wrote a letter to her and asked for assistance.

Mulan

Streaming on: December 4

mulan review round upMulan is a live-action remake of the 1998 animated film by Disney.

Mulan, a Niki Caro directorial, is the live-action remake of the 1998 animated movie of the same name. The animated film took its story from The Ballad of Mulan, a Chinese folk song. Set in China during the Han dynasty, Mulan follows Hua Mulan, a rebellious young woman who disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Imperial Army to fight off the Huns, invaders from the north, so that her ailing father would not have to go as part of conscription.

Soul

Streaming on: December 25

The film, directed by Pete Docter, revolves around a school music teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), who gets the coveted opportunity to perform in a reputed jazz club. But due to an accident, he dies and finds himself in the soul world, where the souls are given attributes before being put inside a baby. Gardner wishes to go back to his life, as he does not want to miss that chance. Soul features the voices of Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Angela Bassett.

Apple TV Plus

Earth At Night In Color

Streaming on: December 4

earth at night Earth at Night is filmed across six continents.

Filmed across six continents, the natural history series follows the moonlit dramas of animals at night, revealing new insights and never seen before behaviours. Narrated by Tom Hiddleston, Earth At Night In Color is produced by Offspring Films.

SonyLIV

Shrikant Bashir

Streaming on: December 11

Directed by Santosh Shetty and written by Shiraz Ahmed, Shrikant Bashir follows the story of Shrikant Mhatre, played by Gashmeer Mahajani and Bashir Khan (Yudhishtir Singh). The action drama focuses on the partnership of two ideologically and ethically different individuals, who come together to protect the country. The show also stars Pooja Gor, Mantra and Ashmita Jaggi.

Sandwich

Streaming on: December 25

Directed by Rohan Sippy, Sandwich features Aahana Kumra, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Zakir Hussain and Divya Seth Shah among others. It follows the story of a couple, Naina and Sameer whose life changes after they get married.

AltBalaji

Bebaakee Season 1- Part 2

Streaming on: December 11

BEBAAKEE teaser, kushal tandon, altbalajiKushal Tandon in a still from Bebaakee.

Bebaakee revolves around the lives of its three lead characters: Sufiyaan (Kushal Tandon), Kainaat (Shivjyoti Rajput) and Imtiaz (Karan Jotwani). Sufiyaan loves Kainaat passionately, but due to a misunderstanding, their relationship goes for a toss, and he decides to destroy her life. The second part of the show will show what turn their lives will take.

Paurashpur

Streaming on: December 29

Paurashpur is a period drama that boasts of larger-than-life sets, lavish costumes, and an ensemble cast including Annu Kapoor, Milind Soman, Shilpa Shinde, Shaheer Sheikh, Flora Saini, Sahil Salathia, Poulomi Das and Anant Joshi among others. The show is directed by Sachindra Vats and produced by Jaasvand Entertainment. It will also stream on ZEE5.

MX Player

Wishlist

Streaming on: December 11

hina khan wishlist Hina Khan in Wishlist.

The Hina Khan and Jitendra Rai-starrer is directed by Rahat Kazmi. The film is about a couple that decides to fulfil their wishlist of forgotten dreams after realising that they do not have much time left together.

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Entertainment

Best Cyber Monday tech deals from across the web

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Yahoo Life is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

On Cyber Monday, all the world's a tech sale: Save on Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and so much more. (Photo: Yahoo Life)
On Cyber Monday, all the world’s a tech sale: Save on Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and so much more. (Photo: Yahoo Life)

Wake up—it’s Cyber Monday! And while there are tons of deals across the Internet today, it’s the exceptional tech deals that make this occasion truly epic—yes, even better than Black Friday.

Cyber Monday is THE day to find the biggest tech savings online. Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of markdowns, and unsure where to begin? Never fear. We’ve sifted through the offerings from top retailers—Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more—and assembled the absolute best bargains.

Whether you’re thinking micro (the small-but-mighty Apple AirPods) or macro (a massive new Samsung 4K TV) or somewhere in between—there are tech treats on this list to match a few names on your holiday list. And maybe a couple of items you need in your own home too. Every one of them will save you serious bucks. So pour your coffee, settle in, and focus up. This merch moves fast. Get yours before it’s gone.

TVs

Save 35 percent on this Sony X750H 55-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV. (Photo: Amazon)
Save 35 percent on this Sony X750H 55-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV. (Photo: Amazon)

On sale for $518 from an original price of $800, this Sony 55-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV is the latest and greatest from the tech company. Its massive 55-inch 4K display is clear and detailed, with vivid color. Sony’s world-class Processor X1 powers true-to-life visuals, while HDR (High Dynamic Range) settings make sure colors stay bright.

“This TV has exceeded my expectations,” wrote a delighted five-star reviewer. “The picture is crisp and sharp from every angle; the design is very sturdy and the new remote is awesome!”

Check out more TV deals below:

Smartphones and tablets

Save $100 on this Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (128GB). (Photo: Samsung)
Save $100 on this Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (128GB). (Photo: Samsung)

Let’s be real: This Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a game-changer, and a worthy rival for the iPhone 12. For Cyber Monday, a factory unlocked model is $100 off at samsung.com. Not only is it super fast, thanks to new 5GB cellular antennas, but it’s also super powerful and built for speed—thanks to 6GB of memory and 128GB of on-board storage. Grab this deal while you can, and see what all the excitement is about. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out more phone and tablet deals below:

Audio gear and headphones

Save $226 on the Bose Wave Music System IV. (Photo: QVC)
Save $226 on the Bose Wave Music System IV. (Photo: QVC)

Still have a bunch of CDs you want to listen to? (We hear you.) The Bose Wave Music System IV is just what you’ve been searching for—a CD player and radio combo that’s elegant and sleek, with excellent audio. For Cyber Monday, the Bose Wave IV is 45 percent off at QVC, down from $500 to just $274. That’s the lowest price on the web right now!

“A wanted a newer Bose, with a CD player, for another room so the System IV was a natural choice. Not disappointed,” shared a Bose shopper. “The AM/FM stereo radio and CD player perform flawlessly and the sound quality is equal to or better than a top drawer stereo system with large bookshelf speakers I have owned before. All in an attractive, compact package.”

This Bose CD player and radio combo is one of the most popular sound systems on QVC—and at this price, it’s likely to sell out fast. So click; look; add to cart.

Check out more headphone and audio gear deals below:

Work from home

Save $100 on this Lenovo Chromebook S330. (Photo: Walmart)
Save $100 on this Lenovo Chromebook S330. (Photo: Walmart)

For a speedy and sleek machine that’ll get you through these work-at-home days, look to this Lenovo Chromebook S330. It’s on sale for just $159 at Walmart for Cyber Monday—that’s $40 off its regular price.

It offers a traditional laptop feel, with a clicky keyboard and a pristine 14-inch HD display. With vivid colors, it’s also great for streaming YouTube and Netflix—and it’s powerful enough for Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and much more. It makes a great gift for a student learning remotely.

“This Chromebook is an absolute steal,” raves a delighted Walmart shopper. “I enjoyed the screen and it got very bright. The thin bezels are a big plus. The rest of the stuff is fairly straight forward. The keyboard is solid and tactile, the trackpad is a little grippier than glass but has exceptional multitouch and scrolling tracking. The speakers get fairly loud. You can expect to get nice fast Wi-Fi on this model.”

Check out more work from home deals below:

Earbuds

Save 38 percent on these Samsung Galaxy Buds earbuds. (Photo: Amazon)
Save 38 percent on these Samsung Galaxy Buds earbuds. (Photo: Amazon)

If you’re looking for a great money-saving alternative to Apple AirPods, look no further. These Samsung Galaxy Buds work flawlessly with Samsung Galaxy and Android smartphones and are an impressive 38 percent off for Cyber Monday.

Just open up the charging case and they’ll instantly sync up via the Samsung Wearable app for Android. The charging case (brilliantly) doubles as a wireless charging pad for your phone. It even works the other way around, to give the Galaxy Buds additional juice (something you can’t do with AirPods).

“Amazing headphones and definitely an Apple AirPods killer!” added a satisfied Amazon shopper. “They are comfortable, and I didn’t have to change the tips or wings because they were perfect,” the reviewer says of the fit.

These Samsung Galaxy Buds are on sale for $80—down from $130—at Amazon. That’s a 38 percent savings! Want to feel even better about the purchase? Compare this price to the cost of Apple AirPods.

Check out more wireless earbud deals below:

Smart home

Save 42 percent on the all-new Echo Dot (fourth generation). (Photo: Amazon)
Save 42 percent on the all-new Echo Dot (fourth generation). (Photo: Amazon)

With an all-new sphere design, the fourth generation Echo Dot—which is on sale from $50 to just $29 at Amazon for Cyber Monday—is a small but powerful speaker with a glow-light base. It can stream tunes from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Sirius XM, and more with clearer and more robust audio quality than earlier iterations .

You can pair it with another Echo Dot via Bluetooth to create amazing stereo sound in your home for less than what it would cost for just one Bluetooth speaker from Bose or Sonos.

Alexa is included, so you can always get the latest news and weather—and control other smart home devices with just the sound of your voice. Shoppers love the compact dimensions—they make the Echo Dot great for smaller rooms.

“This is exactly what I am looking for,” raved a happy Amazon shopper. “This fits perfectly in my bathroom after my Sony shower radio malfunctioned and was discontinued. The sound is loud and clear. Now I am able to hear all online stations with no interference. The design is space-saving, with rubber underneath to prevent sliding off from the tile.”

Check out more smart home deals below:

Echo Show 5, $45 (was $90), amazon.com

Google Nest Hub, $50 (was $90), walmart.com

TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Extender, $18 (was $30), amazon.com

Google Home Max, $149 (was $299), eBay.com

JBL Link View Bluetooth Smart Speaker, $90 (was $300), eBay.com

Roku Ultra LT Streaming Media Player, $59 (was $79), walmart.com

Google Nest Mini (second generation), $29 (was $49), walmart.com

Fire TV Stick Lite, $18 (was $30), amazon.com

Ring Stick Up Cam, $80 (was $100), amazon.com

Arlo Pro 2HD Video Camera, $100 (was $230), walmart.com

Kootion Smart Plug (two-pack), $15 (was $39), walmart.com

Google Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera, $127 (was $200), walmart.com

Fire TV Stick 4K, plus one-year subscription to Food Network Kitchen, $30 (was $70), amazon.com

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm), $179 (was $199), amazon.com

Echo Dot (3rd Gen), $19 (was $40), amazon.com

Ring Video Doorbell 3, $140 (was $200), amazon.com

Lenovo Smart Clock, $35 (was $80), walmart.com

Gaming

Save 33 percent on Watch Dogs: Legion for Xbox Series X/S. (Photo: Microsoft)
Save 33 percent on Watch Dogs: Legion for Xbox Series X/S. (Photo: Microsoft)

The Xbox Series X/S just came out a few weeks ago, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see the console or any of its games on sale anytime soon. But hidden deep on microsoft.com, you’ll find Watch Dogs: Legion on sale for Cyber Monday. Right now, you can score this title for 33 percent off, down from $60 to just $40. The third installment of this widely popular video game series would make a great gift for someone on your list.

This action/adventure game from Ubisoft takes place in a near future where London is on GFN of collapse. All-seeing surveillance state and private military are in control, while the fate of the city is in the hands of DedSec, a hacker group that wants to fight back for freedom. It’s as fun as it sounds. And for $20 off? A steal.

Check out more video game deals below:

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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