Solve a Jurassic mystery, listen to Mars, a Dune interview, and Nia DaCosta is “Marvel Trash”
Plus: Happy birthday to Aragorn!
Today, we’re going to solve a Jurassic mystery and offer you the sounds of Mars before wrapping up with two stunning interviews. It’s a real bumper email, folks!
I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse. Thanks for being with us today.
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This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️
Lasers help scientists solve a Jurassic mystery — In a new study, researchers have used laser beams to help them better understand the anatomy of an ancient Jurassic reptile:
Millions of years before the Wright brothers ever conceived the first airplane, a late Jurassic flying reptile was already soaring through the skies with mechanical-like precision.
With a maximum wingspan of over 30 feet — just shy of the Wright brother’s first flyer — the pterosaur was a sight to behold in the ancient skies and was the first vertebrate to use powered flight. However, while the skeletal remains of these flyboys have helped scientists piece together some idea of how they achieved flight, there are still many unknowns.
Listen to the eerie sounds of Mars — Five hours of audio taken on the Red Plant by the NASA rover Perseverance reveals the thick sounds of wind, the rover's own tires, and Ingenuity in the distance:
Mars, it seems, is all about the bass. Scientists have long known that the Red Planet’s cold, thin atmosphere acts like a low-pass filter, muffling higher frequencies and giving sounds a fat low end.
But with five hours of new recordings taken by NASA’s Perseverance Rover, you can hear the sounds of Mars itself as well the rover as it ranges over the Martian surface. As NASA explained in an article on Monday, Perseverance is the first vehicle to record the Martian soundscape with dedicated microphones.
Director Denis Villeneuve reveals his Dune changes — Denis Villeneuve, the 54-year-old French Canadian director, describes his teenage introduction to Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi story as a “visceral experience.” In an exclusive interview with Inverse, he talks about his vision for the sci-fi classic. Here’s one question and the answer (read the full interview here):
Inverse: Speaking of a five-hour movie, was there a lot left on the cutting room floor for Part One?
Villeneuve: What is on the screen right now is the director's cut.
There are scenes that are not in the movie that I loved, but it was not possible to include them. When I read the book at 13 or 14 years old, it was a very visceral experience.
It's an intellectual book, but for me, it was a visceral experience to follow Paul in his journey in the desert. I wanted to recreate that visceral experience. That is why I had to make difficult choices.
For instance, there's a song sung by Gurney Halleck, played by Josh Brolin, that was absolutely beautiful that I had to take out of the movie. I'm very sad about it.
If I know that if Part Two is coming, I hope that I will be able to use it.
Director Nia DaCosta talks with Roxane Gay — The talented director Nia DaCosta talks The Marvels (she’ll be the youngest-ever director of a Marvel movie), her work on Candyman, and her wildest MCU fan theory, all in an exclusive Inverse interview with the writer and editor Roxane Gay. Here’s a snippet:
Now, DaCosta is working on her third film, The Marvels, a sequel to Captain Marvel, the 2019 film that introduced the moviegoing public to astronaut, test pilot, and superhero Major Carol Danvers. The Marvels, like all Marvel projects, is hotly anticipated, but DaCosta is rising to the occasion. The native New Yorker is currently in England where she is hard at work on her current project. We spoke by telephone as she drove home after a full day of filming about what it’s like to work on a really big film, how she empowers women characters, and the limits of collaboration.
Read the full conversation here.
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- Birthdays: Kamala Harris (57), Viggo Mortensen (63; shown above playing Aragorn in Lord of the Rings), Snoop Dogg (50), John Krasinski (42), NBA YoungBoy (22)
- Song of the Day: “I Turned Into a Martian” by the Misfits.