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Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit Post-Production

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Readying a film for theatrical release is a lengthy process that involves completing special and visual effects, editing scenes together, and even creating sequences from scratch—so it's no surprise that the process often goes down to the wire. With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson and his crew are taking that to the extreme: If all goes according to plan, this first installment of a planned trilogy will be finished a mere two days before its premiere. In the video below, Jackson takes audiences behind the scenes of the post-production process. It looks stressful.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters December 14.

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Ten Years Ago
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Design
Dive Into What the Web Looked Like 10 Years Ago With This Site
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Ten Years Ago

When it comes to the internet, our memories can be short. It’s hard to imagine life without reddit or YouTube, which didn’t come around until 2005, or Gmail, which was technically a beta product until 2009. And responsive web design wasn’t really a thing until 2012. The internet of a decade ago looked a lot different than it does now.

New website Ten Years Ago makes it easy to look back into the weird world of mostly forgotten web history, as The Next Web reports. The site peers into the World Wide Web as of July 28, 2007, showing the now-simplistic-looking early designs of sites like YouTube, Amazon, The New York Times, and reddit. And old-school web design isn't the only retro treat. You also get to enjoy the advertising of 2007, back when John Mayer was enticing people to watch Live Earth and fans were eagerly awaiting The Simpsons Movie.

The site is powered by the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine, which captures web pages as they appear now so that they can be used as citations later. Ten Years Ago is a useful tool in that it gathers together sites captured on the same day, so you can recreate what you might see if you were trawling the web on that day in July 2007. Back when even Apple, one of the most design-obsessed companies around, had a website that looked a little clunky.

Chances are, the web will look even more radically different a decade or more in the future. Will we still remember what YouTube looked like now? Probably not. Enjoy thinking of the web design of 2017 as cutting-edge while you can. Someday, it will seem ridiculously outdated.

[h/t The Next Web]

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Neil Burger
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technology
A New Chicago Cocktail Comes With a Side of Virtual Reality
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Neil Burger

At Baptiste & Bottle, a new cocktail offers way more than just a tasty buzz. Before you even start drinking the cocktail served up at this Chicago bourbon bar, you'll have to enter virtual reality, as we learned from Time Out Chicago.

The Macallan Rare Journey cocktail, which costs $95, involves a long process of smelling plants, tasting sherries and whisky, listening to a brief history lesson, and donning an Oculus Rift.

First, the bartender comes to your table, presenting a wooden tray with three empty glasses surrounded by moss and vegetation meant to evoke the oak forests from which the wood for Macallan's casks is sourced. Then you get tastings of sherry (the casks are used for sherry before becoming whisky barrels) and Macallan Rare Cask Scotch, a single malt Speyside whisky that retails for more than $200 a bottle.

Then you strap on your Oculus to enter a virtual reality journey recreating the whisky-making process, taking you from oak forests, vineyards, and sherry warehouses to the Macallan estate in Scotland. When you take off the goggles, the bartender has finished pouring your final cocktail.

By the time it's over, you're basically a Scotch expert. That means you can justify spending $95 on one drink, right?

[h/t Time Out Chicago]

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