When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Let's Rush to Judgment: 'Man of Steel'

Dec 11, 2012

Last summer, the first trailer for Zack Snyder's upcoming big red reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel, was all about hiding its light under a bushel. Of crabs.

It looked a hell of a lot more like Deadliest Catch than you'd expect, is my point. So much so that you'd be forgiven for wondering if the film's villain might turn out to be a malevolent Alaskan snow crab. ("Kneel before Zod!" it would hiss, extending the claw of his right cheliped for the President to plant one on.)

Look, it's Snyder. It could happen. You saw Sucker Punch? You didn't? Well just trust me: you can't put even despotic Kryptonian crustaceans past this guy.

Plus, the only glimpse we got of our hero in all his primary-colored glory was from a great distance, a tiny figure streaking up through the atmosphere.

On the surface, a pretty weak (tartar) sauce, that first trailer.

And yet ... There was Jor-El's dialogue ("You will give the people an ideal to strive towards...") closely paraphrasing Grant Morrison's incredible and indelible All-Star Superman mini-series.

And there was that brief image of Clark as a young boy, running through his back yard with a towel wrapped around his neck. Then, in a tighter shot, we saw him standing with his feet apart. And resting his fists on his hips.


That was it. That was The Shot. That was the pose millions of kids have been striking for 74 years. It was the character reduced to his essence. It was a madeleine cookie of nerddom, packed with a potent, iconic, pre-verbal power to send a certain subset of the population caroming back to our own childhood backyards, our own poorly tied bathtowels. That fleeting glimpse was enough for hope to persist.

Now yes, granted, it was a wild, desperate hope. A hope capable of facing down Sucker Punch, which let's just agree is some strong-ass hope indeed.

And now comes the second trailer.

"The World's Too Big, Mom"

We see an adult, beardy Clark floating underwater, remembering his mother's advice to him when he was a boy as he struggled with what seems to be the sudden onset of his super-senses. The voice of Diane Lane's Ma Kent proves to be his lifeline out of the riot of sounds and color - a human connection strong enough to help him contain and control his alien abilities.

Superman's writers have historically depicted him coming into his powers gradually, as he ages. (Both Smallville and Geoff Johns/Gary Frank mini-series Superman: Secret Identity followed the X-Men "super-powers as secondary sex characteristics" conceit. Though of course Clark can't just hide the heat vision that suddenly manifests upon kissing Lana behind his Mead Trapper Keeper, if you follow me.)

"He Saw What Clark Did"

A slightly older Clark saves a schoolbus from going all Sweet Hereafter, and we hear the mother of one of his schoolmates trying to keep it together even as her voice frays with fear - a nice touch there, I think.

Enter: Parental concern over Clark's future. For decades, it's been handled as a mere plot point, a box to be checked, the inciting action that gets him to develop the Superman persona.

But here, in a move that will likely prove controversial among die-hard fans, Kevin Costner's Pa Kent is visibly shaken by the terrible FACT of his adopted son, and the prospect of what will happen to him if he is exposed.

"What was I supposed to do," Clark asks, "let them DIE?"

"...Maybe," Pa says.

Okay, whoa. Let's stop here for second.

For decades, Pa and Ma Kent have been portrayed as salt-of-the-earth types, fonts of homespun wisdom, simple country folk whose Midwestern values shape Clark into the man he becomes. They were roles, touchpoints, spouters of homilies that teach humility and forbearance. They were the flat characters, and that's fine: all stories need flat characters who exist to delineate and define the main character.

But ... what if they weren't?

And what if the story didn't summarily dispense with them once they'd inculcated Clark with their aw-shucksian worldview? What if instead they struggled with conflicts of their own, conflicts that continued to color Clark's perceptions into his adulthood?

And what if Clark's decision to face the world despite his father's fears and misgivings (which seem to be vindicated, by all those shots of the military targeting him, handcuffing him, etc.) wasn't simply a part of the character's backstory, but the question that drives the action?

It's an area the films have avoided, though the comics have addressed it in various ways. In Jeph Loeb/Tim Sales mini-series Superman: Man For All Seasons, Pa Kent struggles with his fear about what his son would become, and both Mark Waid/Leinil Yu's Superman: Birthright and the Johns/Frank Secret Origin, as well as Smallville, all toyed with the notion that Pa Kent, at least, might feel paternal jealousy about his son's Kryptonian heritage.

So seeing Costner's helpless "...Maybe" in the trailer? Is at the very least interesting, and perhaps even ... that rarest of commodities, when one is dealing with the 6th cinematic treatment of a character who's saturated the planet's collective consciousness over the course of his 74-year lifespan — dare I say it? --


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