44 of the most impressive tiny homes you’ve ever seen

Ellen Sturm Niz & Country Living Staff, Country Living Published 1:43 pm, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: Continue Reading

To Her, With Love

I like a filmmaker who walks you into a story. Some directors, rushing to get started, prefer to fly you in by helicopter–a popular choice for stories set in New York or Miami, where the camera can come skimming in over the water. Other filmmakers float you down on a crane, so you can survey the scene while a car pulls up to the suburban house, a train to the country station. Maybe you come into the picture by riding along with the characters (by rocket, if George Lucas is in charge); or maybe, if Spielberg is running things, the early shots reveal that you have no need to travel, because you were already inside the movie. You discover that your nose is somehow pressed against Liam Neeson’s torso as he’s getting dressed; or you realize that your eye is really the eye of Tom Hanks, who is watching how his hand shakes during the boat ride to Omaha Beach. Nothing’s wrong with any of these ways of entering a movie–but if you want to feel the world wrap around you, the way to go is on foot, as Zhang Yimou does at the start of Not One Less. Two figures, seen from behind, walk through farm country into a tiny village in China’s Hebei Province. Fields, hills, animals and people all share in the earth tones of the dusty road. Everything is muted, and everything’s in bad repair. When the pedestrians reach their goal–a one-story building, set in a gravel-surfaced yard–you see the plaster has chipped off the facade, exposing the bricks beneath. This is the village school. Its little desks, all in rows, are clean. But the classroom walls are cracked–and so, it seems, is the system that has brought Wei Minzhi here, to serve as a substitute teacher. Now that you get a view from the front, you can see she’s 13 years old. Impossible, says the regular teacher. (He needs a month’s leave to care for his dying mother.) The only possibility, shoots back the mayor. Nobody else was willing to come out to the Continue Reading

Injustice 2 raises the bar for fighting video games: review

Is that a video game, or the latest DC Animated film? It’s the double-take you won’t be able to help as you play through (and watch) Injustice 2, as you watch Batman and Superman and the massive cast of DC characters coming to video game life you never thought possible. The latest fighting game from Netherrealms Studios takes you on a stunningly immersive DC Comics ride, with a terrific story and some of the finest animations you’ve ever seen. That it comes in a game that elevates fighting games to new heights only makes it that much more landmark. Simply put, you’ve never played a DC Comics game this good. The roster is deep, and the fact that nearly every character is decently well-known is a reminder of the potency of DC. Still, Injustice manages to pack in a few lesser lights, such as the Red Lantern Atrocitus and Captain Cold (of “Flash” fame, most recently, on the CW). Most of the characters get face time in a terrific story that never loses momentum. Continuing the arc set forth in the original Injustice: Gods Among Us, a rift has grown among the heroes, with Superman turning ruthless (albeit with personal motivations) and Batman remaining to oppose him. But when a new threat arrives, members of both sides must reevaulate things. The story blurs concepts of good and evil, even as its cutscenes look crystal-clear. Never have DC characters looked this lifelike in a video game, with stunning facial expressions and flawless movements. When Wonder Woman growls, you see (and believe) the expression on her face, and everything about the Joker’s cameo appearance is perfect. The lone disappointment here is in all that lifelikeness, a few character looks simply miss the mark: Superman’s face in particular just doesn’t look like . . . you’d imagine. Still, it’s easy to forget once you’re caught up in the tale, which features terrific writing. And if that doesn’t grab you, the Continue Reading

Producing our ideal list of six possible directors to spearhead Ben Affleck’s ‘The Batman’ movie

Who will help steer the Batmobile? With Ben Affleck stepping away from the director’s chair for the hyped “Batman” standalone film, we are beyond curious as to who will grab the torch. Here’s six directors we think would fit the bill. Fuqua, 51,would in theory be a newcomer to the superhero genre. However, some of the high-concept credits on his filmography include “King Arthur,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Equalizer” and “The Magnificent Seven.” He has an unmistakable visual style with busy frames, well-crafted stunts and, in general, just a lot of flavor. His touch might be welcomed for a gritty but still narrative-heavy Batman film. Fuqua is said to have just left the “Scarface” remake in favor of making a sequel to “The Equalizer.” Bigelow, 55, is known for her directorial contributions to films like “Point Break,” “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” She is, to date, the only woman to win an Oscar for Best Director (for “Hurt Locker”). While these films — the two war-related — are much more poignant than fans may be used to seeing in the superhero realm, her wholehearted touch would no doubt be an enhancement to the DC Cinematic Universe. This is especially true, considering Affleck gave a deep, complex and rather poignant performance in his portrayal of Bruce Wayne in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Bigelow is currently attached to a historical crime drama set in Detroit, aimed at an August release. The nod to Berg here is another attempt at lassoing in another true crime/gritty war film director. Berg, 52, has an impressive filmography that now spans decades. His work includes “Patriots Day,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “Lone Survivor,” “Battleship,” “Hancock,” Continue Reading

First Look: Lexus takes renewed aim at the flagship luxury fleet with the redesigned 2018 LS 500

The 2018 Lexus LS has been a long time in coming. Last redesigned for the 2007 model year, the LS serves as the company’s flagship sedan, but as of late has proved no more responsible for setting the design, dynamism, and technological standards for Lexus than Queen Elizabeth has the politics and policies of Great Britain. For too long, the Lexus LS has been more about pomp, circumstance and tradition and less about charting a course for the company. That changes with the introduction of the new 2018 Lexus LS 500. In creating this car, Lexus says it reimagined what a flagship luxury car should be, approaching the project as if the company were re-launching the brand. The goal, according to Lexus, was to exceed the expectations of global luxury customers. “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. Given that it faces no serious competition from Acura or Infiniti, this shouldn’t be too difficult a task. Instead of planting roots in Japanese tradition and culture, Lexus needs to convince Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz buyers that the LS is a contender while running offense against upstart Genesis. It also needs to put more distance between its styling philosophy and parent brand Toyota’s. Are good looks more important than derivative design? The new Lexus LS 500 is a good-looking car, wide, squat and visually tapered to the rear. Like the sexier LC 500 coupe with which it shares its platform, it wears its signature spindle grille in a natural rather than a tacked-on manner, and while certain details appear dramatic for no other reason than to create drama, the car’s appearance is balanced and cohesive. However, after a few cocktails, if someone put a picture of the redesigned 2018 Continue Reading

Long Island Rail Road train plows into the rear of another, killing more than 70 people in 1950

(Originally published by the Daily News on Nov. 23, 1950. This story was written by Harry Schlegel.) Approximately 75 persons were killed at 6:30 last night when a crowded eastbound Long Island Rail Road train plowed into the rear of another crowded commuter express on an overpass at Metropolitan Ave. and 125 th st., Richmond Hill, Queens. The number of injured was placed at 130. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Cullen said that “obviously the operator of the second train passed a signal.” The first train, authorities were told, had stalled because of brake trouble. The number of dead was set by Assistant Chief Inspector Joseph Curry, in charge of Queens uniformed men, shortly before 1 A.M. today. Curry, in command of cops at the scene of the wreck, announced the death toll of 62 bodies had been removed. His estimate was borne out by a LIRR official who was one of the first on the scene at the Rockville Centre tragedy last Feb. 17, in which 32 lost their lives. He said “this has to be much worse because here we have standees.” The trains were the 6:09 from Penn Station to Hempstead, and the 6:13 from Manhattan to Babylon. Both 12-car trains were jammed with homeward-bound commuters on the holiday eve. The front car of the 6:13, the Babylon express, ripped into the rear car of the other train, the Hempstead express, with such force that the latter car rose and virtually engulfed the first car of the second train. With minutes after the collision, disaster units were rushed to the scene from Queens General, Kings County, Bellevue and Fordham Hospitals. Ambulances were sent from all Queens hospitals. After rescue crews cut their way into the wrecked cars, doctors performed a number of emergency amputations. In addition, 200 physicians from all parts of the county were summoned to Queens General Hospital to attend the injured. All detectives in Queens were assigned to the wreck, and all patrol wagons in the Continue Reading

The weirdest things stolen by people in North Jersey

In the quirky state where you can't pump your own gas, locals feud over the name of a salty processed breakfast meat, and the names of the Monopoly properties are found on real street signs, it makes sense New Jersey would also have some interesting criminals.From panty snatchers to art heists and a disappearing act of the beloved Taylor ham, here are the weirdest things people have stolen in North Jersey.Women's undergarmentsA College Point, N.Y., man was arrested on charges of stealing a total $2,500 in underpants from Victoria's Secret. First he grabbed $945 of underwear (roughly 90 pairs' worth) before going back for an additional 145 pairs the following month from its location in Wayne at Willowbrook Mall. When he came back for a second helping, loss prevention officers matched him with surveillance footage from the previous theft.That same month, two women from Paterson were charged with stealing more than $1,100 in undergarments from the store, and one of the women was held in Passaic County jail for the theft. Another woman, this one from Newark, was charged with stealing another $600 in undergarments from Victoria's Secret.What one does with all that pricey underwear seems to be the biggest secret of all.Good 'ol pork rollThose of us to the north know it by the brand name Taylor ham, though the southern part of the state likes to call it pork roll. As if the name debate alone wasn't enough to raise the hackles of New Jerseyans, accusations someone had swiped the meat sparked a fist fight in Hackettstown. It left a man with red abrasions and swelling on the left side of his face, according to police.As a result, 19-year-old Christian Guerra was charged with assault after punching the other man in the face repeatedly. According to police records, the dispute was over the meat and beer. It is not known if the meat was recovered or what the men referred to it as.Cell tower batteriesThe batteries are used as a backup to provide Continue Reading

Christian Bale jostled by Chinese government guards while trying o visit activist’s home

Chinese government guards roughly stopped "Batman" actor Christian Bale from visiting a blind activist under house arrest — with a TV news crew there to record it.Chen Guangheng.Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun."Christopher Nolan's trilogy, is due in July.Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern"), is set during Japan's 1937 invasion of China.With Joe Neumaier Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

China blasts Christian Bale; says ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ star  should feel embarrassed for trying to visit activist

The Chinese government believes "The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale should feel embarrassed by his recent attempt to visit a human rights activist in an Eastern Chinese village.Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights lawyer under house arrest. Government thugs roughly prevented Bale from seeing Chen and a CNN film crew caught the confrontation on camera.Liu Weimin in an official statement. "I think if you want to make up news in China, you will not be welcome here."Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern"), is set during Japan's 1937 invasion of the Chinese city Nanjing and has been criticized by some as Chinese government propaganda. "War" has taken four years and $94 million to get to the screen and opens in New York Wednesday. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Diehard supporters of Yankees, Red Sox are the most passionate in all of sports

Five days after the Titanic hit ice and sunk in the North Atlantic, its maiden voyage turning tragic at the 41st parallel, a far more benign unveiling took place on the coast of Massachusetts. It was a Saturday, April 20, 1912. Following two days of rainouts, the Boston Red Sox finally played a game in their new home, Fenway Park.  The field was built on a patch of former marshland. Boston's star center fielder, Tris Speaker, knocked an 11th-inning single to bring a 7-6 victory. The opponent that day was the New York Highlanders - soon to be the Yankees - and if you don't find that fitting, well, you haven't been paying attention over the last 97 years. The Highlanders/Yankees were on their way to their worst record (50-102) ever, while the Red Sox were about to win the World Series. Soon enough an iconic star, Babe Ruth, would be sold, the clubs' fortunes would reverse, and baseball's oldest, hottest and most chronicled rivalry would be on its way, a hardball border war that has not always been torrid (raise your hand if you spent time in 1966 debating who was better, Steve Whitaker or Jim Gosger), but has given us more great theatre than Broadway, and all manner of psycho-socio subplots for no extra charge. "Long before I knew the word 'conspiracy,' I felt it every August, when the Yankees would get the exact player they needed from the Kansas City A's, and would beat us out again," says Rob Gilbert, who grew up in Boston before becoming a professor and sports psychologist at Montclair State University. From Russell Earl Dent to Aaron John Boone to David Ray Roberts, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has produced epic moments and Ted Williams for the great Joe DiMaggio); some infamous brouhahas (Carlton v. Thurman, Bill Lee v. Graig Nettles, Pedro v. Zim) and ceaseless taunts and retorts. "Got rings?" reads a popular Yankee T- shirt, reminding Sox fans of their 26 World Series titles. "Got rings lately?" reads a popular Sox T-shirt, reminding Yankee fans Continue Reading