space diplomacy

Atë and Torix by @lyttathebug

The next set of heroes in our MASKS game. Atë is a 15-year-old teleport/projecting empath. Torix is a 900+ year-old heliokinetic from outer space, a student of diplomacy essentially doing work-study on earth. Atë thinks Torix is 19 or so. Atë also has a crush and an inflated sense of her own badassery.

Torix is mostly polite about the whole thing, really.

‘The Night Manager’ Updates John Le Carré & Revitalizes The Spy Drama – Awardsline

With a great nimbleness, The Night Manager makes change look very good.

“The center of the novel is arms dealing. It was happening in the early 90s, and of course it’s happening now,” reflects Tom Hiddleston on the updating of John le Carré’s 1993 novel for event television. Personified by leads Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, the Susanne Bier-directed miniseries stands on the giant shoulders of le Carré’s prose, deftly transposing the action from the dank end of the Cold War and South American drug lords to the bloody fallout of the Arab Spring.

In the first le Carré TV adaptation in over 20 years, Hiddleston is recruited to play former military man Jonathan Pine, the hotel night manager of the title. Having been seasoned by atrocities during his tours in Iraq in the preceding decade, Hiddleston’s Pine is a haunted man suddenly “stirred,” to quote the show, to coming out from behind the 5-star lobby desk and pressing himself into action.

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2K Announces Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide Expansion Pack

2K and Firaxis Games today announced Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide, the expansion pack for 2014’s turn-based strategy title, Civilization: Beyond Earth, is currently in development for Windows-based PC. Created by Firaxis Games, Rising Tide will enhance the Beyond Earth experience by adding a variety of new gameplay capabilities and providing near limitless ways for players to create a new future for humanity on an alien planet. The expansion pack is currently scheduled for release in fall 2015.

Rising Tide will expand Beyond Earth to new frontiers on the planet’s surface and across its seas, adding more choices and diplomatic options as players build “one more turn” toward a new vision for humanity’s future. New aquatic gameplay will explore the oceans for colonization by dramatically extending the play space, while an overhauled diplomacy system will provide players with additional layers of dynamic choices and options to shape the diplomatic landscape while engaging with the AI and one another.

“Firaxis Games has an impressive track record of delivering robust and innovative expansions that radically change player experience while adding extensive replay value,” said Sarah Anderson, SVP of Marketing at 2K. “Rising Tide is no exception, offering new features and overhauled gameplay systems that will challenge players embarking on a quest for planetary domination.”

“Rising Tide builds upon the lore of Beyond Earth, breaking away the historical boundaries of the original franchise and furthering mankind’s search for a new home in outer space,” said Sid Meier, director of creative development at Firaxis Games. “Whether colonizing the planet’s oceans, acquiring new Affinities or meeting exotic new leaders, aliens and units for the first time, Rising Tide offers more ways for players to write their own stories on a new world.”

Game Description

After the first wave of great colony ships departed Earth, the jubilation of humanity was short-lived. Those left behind fell into a violent struggle over the quickly-diminishing resources on their barren home world. From this tumultuous time, four new factions arose. These newcomers were grounded not in the idealism of their predecessors, but on opportunism, resilience, ruthlessness, and above all a commitment to their own survival.

Now, many decades after their first landfall on a new planet, the proud survivors of the first expeditions beyond Earth look up to see the skies darkened by a new breed of pioneers.

Beyond Earth extended the Civilization franchise from its historical setting into the possible futures of science fiction. Rising Tide extends Beyond Earth to new frontiers on the planet’s surface and beneath its seas, adding even more choices and diplomatic options as you continue to build “just one more turn” toward a new vision for the future of humanity.


• Colonize the Ocean: Build floating settlements and access natural resources hidden beneath the seas of the alien planet. Alien beasts with unique abilities inhabit the water and challenge the player in new ways. The ocean provides a fully replayable map, new gameplay mechanics and strategic possibilities for players to reign supreme on their new world.

• Dynamic Leader Traits: Players and AI Leaders alike unlock new Traits through gameplay and activate different combinations to respond to the changing world. These dynamic sets of Traits also provide benefits and add to the new Diplomacy system, governed by the new Fear and Respect attributes.

• New, Enhanced Diplomatic Options: Shape the diplomatic landscape by using political capital to upgrade your traits, change diplomatic relationships, and leverage the benefits of your allies’ traits.

• New Sponsors: Four new factions have been added to the game including Al Falah, nomad explorers descended from wealthy and resilient Middle Eastern states that possess a rich cultural and commercial heritage.

• New Artifact System: Collect and combine powerful relics to unlock new perks, unit upgrades, and buildings for your faction on the new world.

• New Hybrid Units: Affinities are competing visions for the future of humanity. By investing in multiple Affinities, rather than specializing in just one, players can unlock special hybrid Affinity units and upgrades.

• New Biomes: Two new world types have been added. Primordial worlds are rife in volcanic activity and the chaotic landscape of a world still forming. Frigid worlds have cooled in their great age, their surfaces covered with icy oceans and frozen tundra.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide will be available for Windows PC in fall 2015 for $29.99. For more information on Rising Tide, please visit, become a fan on Facebook, follow Civilization on Twitter and subscribe to Civilization on YouTube.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Set in the 28th century, the film’s central plot involves two spatio-temporal agents who travel the universe through space and time to protect the interests of the human species. They perform all kinds of tasks: space rescues, interplanetary exploration, diplomacy and galactic aliens negotiations. But one particular rule must be respected: never change the course of events.

By Luc Besson, set be released July 2017

AST-05-298 - Apollo Soyuz Test Project, Slayton and Leonov in Soyuz

From the series:  Photographs of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 2005 - 2012.  Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006.

Cold War rivals met in Earth orbit on July 17, 1975, when the Apollo command and service module docked with a Soyuz spacecraft orbital module. During the approximately two days in orbit, the three U.S. astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts performed joint experiments, shared meals in each others’ capsules and exchanged commemorative items.

In perhaps the most iconic image from the flight, astronaut Deke Slayton and cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov are seen together in the Soyuz spacecraft.

via  Ford and the U.S. Space Program

Happy #BigBlockOfCheeseDay - In Space!

″Mir 22 commander Valeri Korzun uses a meat clever to carve a piece of cheese while STS-81 mission specialist John Grunsfeld takes a sip from his drink packet.”

STS081-343-026 - STS-081 - STS-81 and Mir 22 crew share a meal in the Base Block module.
File Unit: STS-81, 4/12/1981 - 7/21/2011Series: Mission Photographs Taken During the Space Shuttle Program , 4/12/1981 - 7/21/2011Record Group 255: Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006 

While the @whitehouse celebrates Big Block of Cheese Day down on Earth, @nasa​ crewmembers from STS-81 share a big block of cheese with their Russian Space Agency colleagues aboard the Russian Space Station Mir in 1997.