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Massive Florida 'dinosaur' gator creates buzz

NEWS 6
LAKELAND, Fla. - And you thought dinosaurs were extinct.
Video of a massive alligator spotted in Lakeland was posted to Facebook on Sunday, raising the eyebrows of many.

Kim Joiner told News 6 that she captured the video at the Polk Nature Discovery Center. 

"It looks like a dinosaur," News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth said.

"Is that real?" News 6 anchor Kirstin O'Connor asked upon first viewing the video. 

"Yes, it's real," Joiner told News 6 social media producer Shannon McLellan.

Joiner estimated the gator to be at least 12 feet long. When asked about the beast's weight, Joiner said, "Huge!"

"It seems too big to be real. That's crazy," O'Connor said.

"Nature at its best," Joiner posted on Facebook.

Perhaps it should have said, "Nature is a beast."

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Last year, a gigantic gator roaming a Lakeland golf course created headlines after a 10-year-old boy snapped photos of the creature.

Snuggle time! Tom Brady embraces wife Gisele Bundchen at Boston hockey match

By Cassie Carpenter
Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bündchen found an affectionate way to stay warm at a Boston hockey match on Sunday.

The 39-year-old NFL star sweetly enveloped the 36-year-old IMG Model from behind within his fur-trimmed black Canada Goose parka.

Tom - sporting stubble and a black beanie - embraced and spooned Gisele, who was bundled up in an olive coat with grey knit accessories.

It was the first sighting in months of the New England Patriots quarterback and the sixth-generation Brazilian bombshell together.

Brady and Bündchen - who met on a blind date - will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary on February 26.

I'm blessed to find this life partner that we all kind of seek at different times in our life,' Tom gushed to Access Hollywood last May.

'We found each other at the right time. We've been through a lot of ups and downs together, and in so many ways, that's kind of built our relationship so strong.'

Jimmy Iovine Addresses Apple Music Expansion Reports

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Days after the Wall Street Journal's report that Apple plans to expand into original TV series and movies, Apple executive Jimmy Iovine hinted at what that might look like.

"At Apple Music, what we're trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience and that happens to include audio and video," he told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

"If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you're not musicians, you know?" Iovine continued when pressed about the report. "We're going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We're going to try."

Iovine appeared Saturday to promote his upcoming HBO documentary The Defiant Ones. The project centers on his relationship and partnership with Dr. Dre. Among their many collaborations, the two teamed together on Beats Electronics, which Apple bought for $3 billion in 2014, a deal that gave both Iovine and Dr. Dre senior titles at the technology giant.

Iovine said the hope for Apple is that it will be better compete with streaming music competitors like Spotify and Pandora, which are largely free for users. "We're fighting free. So a simple utility where, here's all the songs, here's all the music, give me $10 and we're cool, is not going to scale."

Apple Music, which allows users to stream select music to their devices on-demand and also listen to curated playlists, launched in June 2016 and has more than 20 million subscribers as of December.

Apple Music has already stretched into original programming, with the 2016 acquisition of the Carpool Karaoke series, based on the wildly popular Late, Late Show segment from James Corden and produced by CBS Television Studios.

Back in February, The Hollywood Reporter broke that Dr. Dre is exec producing and starring in a top-secret scripted series financed by Apple and made for Apple called Vital Signs.

The series was being eyed for Apple Music distribution, but as of February, it was unclear if Apple TV, the iTunes store or other Apple platforms (or even a traditional television distributor) would be involved. Apple and a rep for Dre declined to comment at the time of the initial report.

The half-hour series, which is described as a dark drama, is said to consist of six episodes. Veteran music video director Paul Hunter is attached as a director on Vital Signs, which is also being produced under his Eye Candy banner along with producers Aaron Ginsburg and William Green. Empire co-exec producer-writer Robert Munic wrote all six episodes and will also exec produce. The first season will likely roll out all at once similar, taking a page from Netflix and Amazon's release strategy.

While the company has experimented with video on Apple Music in the past, most notably streaming a Taylor Swift concert video and a Vice docuseries called The Score among other unscripted efforts, Vital Signs would mark the company's first investment in scripted television. 

In March, Apple announced that it had teamed with exec producers Ben Silverman, musician Will.i.am and Howard Owens’ Propagate for a forthcoming unscripted series about the Apple app ecosystem.

Mark Zuckerberg's Net Worth Jumps $5 Billion In First Weeks Of 2017

Mark Zuckerberg's net worth has risen by nearly $5 billion in the first two weeks of 2017. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Happy New Year, Mark Zuckerberg.

In the first two weeks of 2017, the Facebook founder's net worth has soared by nearly $5 billion, by far the biggest gain of any person in the world. Bolstered by climbing revenues and a series of bullish analyst reports, Facebook's shares are inching closer to October's all-time high.

As a result, Zuckerberg, who owns 410 million company shares, has more than recouped the losses he suffered in the weeks following Donald Trump's election, when his net worth fell 7% to $49 billion. 

He is now worth an estimated $53.8 billion, according to FORBES' real-time rankings of the world's billionaires, and clocks in as the planet's fifth-richest person; Zuckerberg trails only Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Amancio Ortega of Spain, each of whom holds a fortune of more than $70 billion.

Zuckerberg’s $5 billion surge vastly outpaces the gains of any other individual on the FORBES billionaires list, based on data compiled between the start of normal trading hours on January 3 and the end of normal trading at 4:00 P.M. EST on Friday, January 13.

NBA will consider shortening games due to millennial attention spans

NBA commissioner Adam Silver (Photo: Steven Flynn, USA TODAY Sports)


A 2015 study by Microsoft revealed that the average person's attention span in this wild world of technology and social media is down to eight seconds — which is less than that of a goldfish. 

If you're an NBA fan and you're still reading this (and kudos to you, if you are) ...  there's no need to worry. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has it covered.

You know those late-game situations, where timeout after timeout make the final 30 seconds last 10 minutes? During a press conference in London before the Denver Nuggets' 140-112 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, Silver noted that the league tracks the end of games — specifically the number of timeouts that are allowed — "very closely" and said the NBA's competition committee will likely take a "fresh look" at game length at the end of the season.

"It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said. “Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to. ... When the last few minutes of the game take an extraordinary amount of time, sometimes it’s incredibly interesting for fans, other times it’s not."

Well done, commissioner Silver. Well done.

Follow AJ Neuharth-Keusch on Twitter @tweetAJNK

Ringling Bros. closing ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ after 146 years


By Michael Hechtman

Send home the clowns.

After 146 years, the curtain is coming down forever on “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Its last performance will be May 21 at the Nassau Coliseum.

The show stoppers included high operating costs, declining attendance and changing public tastes.

Not to mention a long and costly legal battle with animal rights advocates, which ended with its hugest stars — the elephants — being pink slipped. Elephants had been the symbol of the circus since an Asian pachyderm named Jumbo joined the show in 1882.

Employes were told the sad news Saturday night in Orlando.

The circus will perform 30 more times. Besides the show on Long Island, there will be one in Brooklyn. Other stops on its last tour include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and Boston.

With its exotic animals and death-defying acrobats, the big top had been a huge draw from the mid-1800s to the mid 1900s.

Phineas Taylor Barnum had made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born.

Its clowns, acrobats, horseback riders — along with their animals — were transported across the country in special cars on extra long trains.

New York staged its own yearly spectacle. When the circus came to town, the performers, along with invited guests, rode elephants from the Sunnyside rail yards through the Queens Midtown Tunnel and then along Manhattan streets to Madison Square Garden.

In its heyday, the circus attracted huge crowds. It had such a glamorous image that kids famously dreamed of running away from home to join.

But as years passed, children grew less enchanted.

First blockbuster movies, then television and finally, video games and the Internet captured the circus’ core audience — both the youngsters and their parents.

“The competitor in many ways is time,” said circus owner Kenneth Feld, adding that transporting the show by rail and other circus quirks — such as providing a traveling school for performers’ children — are throwbacks to another era.

When the Feld family bought the circus in 1967, the show was just under three hours. Today, it’s 2 hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment — a tiger act — clocking in at 12 minutes. “Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” Feld said.

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged another reality that led to the closing, and it was the one thing that initially drew millions to the show: the animals.

In May of 2016 the company removed the elephants from the shows and sent them to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida.

In 2014, Feld Entertainment won $25.2 million in settlements from groups including the Humane Society, ending a 14-year fight over allegations that circus employees mistreated elephants.

Attendance has been dropping for 10 years, said Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. While many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, 
many others refused to attend a circus without them.

The Felds said their existing animals — lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas — will go to suitable homes.

In recent years, Ringling Bros. tried to remain relevant, hiring its first African American ringmaster, then its first female ringmaster, and also launching an interactive app.

“We tried all these different things to see what would work,’’ said Kenneth Feld. “We weren’t successful in finding the solution.”

With Associated Press

Flying River Taxis Eye Customers From the Seine to San Francisco

SeaBubbles’ river taxi Source: SeaBubbles
by Marie Mawad 
The egg-shaped flying river taxi is gaining support, as SeaBubbles seeks to close its third funding round in under a year and aims to firm up interest from potential customers, including the city of Paris and companies in the San Francisco Bay.

To build the first battery-powered bubble-shaped ships that hover a few inches above the water and transport as many as six people at a time, founders Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal last month raised 3.45 million euros ($3.6 million) from French insurer Maif and venture-capital fund Partech Ventures. 
SeaBubbles is eyeing around 10 times that amount in the next round, and is talking to investors in France and the U.S. to raise it by the second quarter, Thebault said in a phone interview.

“Every city is getting more and more crowded, with traffic jams on land, whereas waterways are abandoned,” Bringdal, who together with Thebault broke the record for speed on a floating sailboat they’d designed in 2009, said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television. “In San Francisco we can save people an hour a day going from downtown to the Silicon Valley and back.”

San Francisco is one of the key places the entrepreneurs have pitched to potential customers over the past weeks. SeaBubbles is also discussing items like autonomous driving and battery-charging with potential partners as it seeks to evolve its cabs. The boats, recharging docks and a taxi-hailing app will be ready to demonstrate in Paris in June.

SeaBubbles raised an initial 500,000 euros in July from backers including the founder of drone-maker Parrot SA, Partech Ventures and the French government-backed BPI fund. 

The river taxis rely on reducing the amount of drag on the water, thanks to a similar technique to the one that propelled Thebault and Bringdal’s record-setting Hydroptere sailboat in the air

The Hydroptere hosted guests including Alphabet Inc. co-founder Larry Page, Prince Albert of Monaco and solar-powered plane aviator Bertrand Piccard.