Within the Deeply Nerdy—and Insanely Expensive—realm of Hollywood Prop Collecting

“Previous generations purchased Renoirs and Cézannes,” Dan Lanigan states. “We’re buying stormtrooper helmets and Ghostbusters proton packs.” The burly television producer is referring to the obsessive (and high priced) quest for prop collecting. “This may be the art work of my generation.”

It was previously an underground pastime. Individuals achieved it, but no one discussed it—not only because it was embarrassing to admit you coveted Charlton Heston’s servant collar from Planet of this Apes but also due to the fact, since might be found were studio home, it had been illegal your can purchase them. Shady studio insiders plus cabal of enthusiasts struck discounts in private. That most changed in 1970, when MGM cleared some clutter from its soundstages with a three-day auction. Among The List Of frayed costumes and antique furniture that hit the block had been two of the most extremely important sci-fi props ever made: the proto-steampunk contraption through the 1960 film adaptation of H. G. Wells’ enough time Machine, and miniature model of the United Planets Cruiser C-57D, better known as the Forbidden Planet traveling saucer. Enough time device sold for almost $10,000, although there’s no record of exactly what the silver saucer went for then, it changed fingers eight years back for $76,700. Since MGM’s auction, charges for the most effective sci-fi props have actually regularly struck six-figures. In October 2015, the miniature Rebel blockade runner ship from Star Wars: Episode IV pulled straight down $450,000.

This very costly hobby is mostly about significantly more than snatching up the coolest specimens. it is about lost youth, self-identification, preserving the past, and—though many enthusiasts won’t admit it—hero worship and secret cosplay. There are numerous things in life more thrilling than watching your chosen film later through the night while clutching a screen-used prop from exact same flick in your trembling, sweaty palms, nonetheless it’s a tremendously brief list.

Prop: Deckard's PKD blaster | movie: Blade Runner (1982) | developers: Terry Lewis and Ridley Scott | Materials: .222 caliber Steyr-Mannlicher SL rifle, Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Unique, six LEDs (four red, two green) | Most Recent value: $270,000 Prop: Deckard’s PKD blaster | Film: Blade Runner (1982) | Designers: Terry Lewis and Ridley Scott | Materials: .222 caliber Steyr-Mannlicher SL rifle, Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Unique, six LEDs (four red, two green) | latest price tag: $270,000 Dan Winters

if the Blade Runner weapon surfaced, it was a big deal for the sci-fi prop community. After 24 years with out a sighting, enthusiasts had resigned by themselves to the proven fact that Deckard’s hand cannon had been lost forever, like tears in rain. Then abruptly there it absolutely was, on 2006 Worldcon, exhibited under cup in every its off-world glory. Using 170 forensic photographs documenting every screw, scratch, and rust spot, hardcore enthusiasts regarding the RPF hobbyist website could actually make a positive ID. Not just ended up being this an authentic BR weapon, it absolutely was the authentic “hero” blaster—hero being prop lingo for the step-by-step model utilized in close-ups—the exact same tool Harrison Ford regularly blow away replicants. 3 years later, Deckard’s PKD (a sly nod to Philip K. Dick, the writer of Blade Runner’s source material) sold at auction for $270,000. The winning bidder was Dan Lanigan, a burly TV producer understood for bidding up lots that pass the “mom test,” props so indelibly iconic that even your mother would recognize them. The attraction of the hero blaster is the fact that, unlike countless sci-fi heaters, it appears and is like a genuine gun. That’s as it’s made out of real gun components. The steel slab atop the barrel additionally the magazine below are from the .222-caliber Steyr-Mannlicher SL bolt-action target rifle (the factory serial number is actually visible: 5223). Others primary donor organs had been pulled from the Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Unique. This inspired mix of high- and low-tech components strikes the right balance between dystopian sci-fi and gumshoe noir.

Prop: ED-209 VFX miniature | Film: RoboCop (1987) | Designer: Craig Hayes | Materials: Resin, wire, rubber, and foam over a metal armature | believed Value: $60,000 to $80,000Prop: ED-209 VFX miniature | movie: RoboCop (1987) | Designer: Craig Hayes | Materials: Resin, wire, rubber, and foam over a steel armature | calculated Value: $60,000 to $80,000Dan Winters

The protagonist of Paul Verhoeven’s sleeper hit is Officer Murphy, the titular cyborg tasked with cleaning the mean roads of Detroit. Nevertheless the character that really steals the show is the dysfunctional and heavily armed homicidal bot known as ED-209. Whether blowing away a brown-nosing junior executive with 20-mm cannons or tossing a big-baby tantrum after dropping down a journey of stairs, ED’s display screen existence actually paragon of stop-motion animatronics. Collector Dan Lanigan bought his ED-209 model directly from RoboCop’s VFX supervisor, Phil Tippett. It’s certainly one of only two fully articulating ED-209 miniatures created for this underrated cyberpunk satire, while the only 1 reused for Robocop 2 and 3. A cross from a Bell UH-1 Huey gunship plus DARPA black colored task, this 8-inch-tall maquette is definitely an exact dupe of this full-size (7-foot-tall, 300 lb) but mostly fixed fiberglass ED-209 that Verhoeven employed for the live-action scenes. An obsessive focus on detail—from the four hydraulic rams controlling each leg on temperature exchangers, intake/exhaust vents, and radiators (homages to ED’s Motor City origins)—was necessary so your lighting would reflect at the identical angle and strength on the puppet therefore’s full-size counterpart. If the metrics were slightly off, the stop-motion and live-action footage wouldn’t complement perfectly in post-production. Hinged and ball-and-socket joints help the numerous slight and accurate human body movements necessary for persuading stop-action photography. it is not only the historic importance, though, that gets enthusiasts excited. “ED actually badass Corvette with legs,” Lanigan says. “He’s a villain, but in addition likeable because he’s this kind of comical idiot.”

Prop: Lightsaber | movie: Star Wars: Return of Jedi (1983) | Designers: Norman Harrison and Norank Engineering | Materials: Resin casting of original | Value: $30,000 Prop: Lightsaber | movie: celebrity Wars: Return of Jedi (1983) | Designers: Norman Harrison and Norank Engineering | Materials: Resin casting of initial | Value: $30,000 Dan Winters

In the world of vintage collectables, there’s always a marquee brand that demands insane rates. Within the sci-fi prop world, that brand is celebrity Wars. The prices for production artifacts having a Lucasfilm provenance produce a mockery of presale quotes. A TIE Fighter miniature from celebrity Wars: a brand new Hope offered for $402,500, almost two times the anticipated price. More impressive, back in 2005, a lightsaber utilized by Mark Hamill in identical film offered for $200,600, three times its estimate. That first-gen gun (the main one lost and the majority of Luke’s forearm inside showdown with Vader at Cloud City) had been fashioned by set decorator Roger Christian from a classic flashgun handle for Graflex digital camera, along with other doodads. This one, Luke’s green-bladed Excalibur, was a brand new design crafted for Jedi. But this saber wasn’t built piece by piece—it’s a casting. In this process, a silicone mold is made of the initial prop, then that mildew is used to produce identical copies in hard rubber, resin, as well as metal. Castings are often used in host to hero props in stunt scenes so that the detail by detail initial doesn’t get damaged. This resin casting ended up being used in the Sarlacc series within Great Pit of Carkoon.

Prop: T-800 | movie: Terminator 2 (1991) | Designer: Stan Winston | Materials: vinyl, copper paint, nickel and chrome electroplating | Value: $488,750 Prop: T-800 | Film: Terminator 2 (1991) | Designer: Stan Winston | Materials: vinyl, copper paint, nickel and chrome electroplating | Value: $488,750 Dan Winters

Every generation has its youth demons. The production of The Terminator in 1984 introduced a new bogeyman on silver screen (and VHS): the T-800. Seven years later on, the film’s sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, cemented the standing of the crimson-eyed grim reapers. Only four among these “puppets” had been made for T2: two articulating heroes (capable of gross human anatomy movement, plus head and facial movement), and two “stunts” (nonarticulating, but designed to simply take more punishment). An authentic, full-scale T-800 endoskeleton sold at auction in 2007. Bidding started at $80,000 and topped down at $488,750, crushing the pre-auction high estimate of $120,000. Why so much for the shiny puppet? Since it was a screen-used hero T-800, among the models that saw action whenever cameras were rolling. Additionally, the T-800 is Stan Winston’s Mona Lisa. The belated designer’s FX wizardry is element of Hollywood lore: Jurassic Park III, Aliens, Predator, Predator 2, A.I., Edward Scissorhands. One of his four Oscars (most useful artistic Effects, 1992) is as a result of this 6′ 2″ animatronic skeleton. The second-gen T-800 is created mostly of plastic that’s been electroplated. How can you electroplate a nonconductive product like synthetic? By spraying the synthetic having a high-particulate, conductive copper paint, then submerging the pieces within an electroplating bath, very first nickel, then chrome. Even though this added more excess body fat to the puppets, it made the finish stronger. Huge weight cost savings were recognized elsewhere—50 pounds’ worth—because the harder exterior eradicated the necessity for internal metal supports. This light and nimble design permitted a puppeteer to crash a stunt T-800 through a breakaway wall or wreak havoc on the Future War battlefield and never have to worry about items of chrome flaking down. Sweet goals, puny humans.

Prop: Proton pack | movie: Ghostbusters (1984) | developers: Stephen Dane and Ivan Reitman | Materials: Fiberglass, aluminum, lights, rubber tubing, andcomputer parts | latest price tag: $169,900 Prop: Proton pack | movie: Ghostbusters (1984) | Designers: Stephen Dane and Ivan Reitman | Materials: Fiberglass, aluminum, lights, rubber tubing, and computer components | newest Selling Price: $169,900 Dan Winters

There’s no denying the social need for Ghostbusters. Now more than three decades old, the original movie still resonates such as a giant tuning fork. Which goes a considerable ways toward explaining why the proton pack can be so revered by prop enthusiasts. In the end, that wouldn’t wish unique portable unlicensed nuclear accelerator? Influenced by a military-issue flamethrower, “hardware consultant” Stephen Dane bought a backpack framework from an military excess shop in Hollywood and made a rough model. After manager Ivan Reitman added his tweaks, a cinematic legend was created. The molded fiberglass shell is attached to an aluminum backplate, that has been then bolted up to a US Army–spec backpack frame. Dane added paint, aluminum caution labels (“Danger: tall Voltage 1KV”), flashing lights, crank knobs, and sufficient electronic components to make the thing pop onscreen. The majority of those elements are identified as a result of hi-res photos on prop websites: Sage and Dale resistors, Clippard pneumatic tubing, Arcolectric indicators, and Legris banjo bolts (in the neutrona wand). It’s since hefty as it looks—with the battery, a hero weighs more than 30 pounds. To relieve the load regarding the actor’s arms, two lighter variations were readily available for use during shooting: a gutted “semi-hero,” with cast area details (for wide shots) and a bantam-weight “stunt” made of foam plastic (to use it scenes). Four years back, a screen-used hero proton pack had been put into the Lanigan collection. Price: $169,900. Congrats Dan, but remember: Don’t cross the channels. It might be bad.

Prop: Aries 1B Translunar aircraft | Film: 2001: an area Odyssey (1968) | Designers: Harry Lange, Fred Ordway, yet others | Materials: Wood, plexiglass, acrylic, steel, brass, aluminum, plastic | Most Recent Selling Price: $344,000Prop: Aries 1B Translunar space shuttle | movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) | Designers: Harry Lange, Fred Ordway, among others | Materials: Wood, plexiglass, acrylic, steel, metal, aluminum, synthetic | Most Recent Selling Price: $344,000Dan Winters

Stanley Kubrick’s masterful story of peoples evolution catapulted the modest sci-fi genre from B-movie fodder to severe art, thanks mainly toward groundbreaking visuals pioneered by the auteur director and his FX master, Douglas Trumbull. The miniature models found in the eerily realistic space travel scenes are of specific interest to collectors because of their intricate design—aerospace designers were consulted in the manufacturing of each and every model. All of the initial props had been damaged, but one of many 2001 miniatures survived: the screen-used Aries shuttle that transports Dr. Heywood R. Floyd from space station towards Clavius excavation site regarding moon. In 1975, the prop discovered its method to one of Kubrick’s next-door neighbors, a Hertfordshire general public college teacher, whom used it as show-and-tell display for art students. When the prop ended up being eventually consigned to auction in 2015, the last paddle cost significantly exceeded the expected high mark of $100,000. The winning bid, at $344,000, had been the Academy of movie Arts and Sciences. It’ll be restored before being shown during the new Renzo Piano-designed Academy Museum, which opens in 2018. The hulking Aries model—it weighs about 100 pounds and measures 94 inches in circumference—is manufactured from timber, blown plexiglass, as well as other metals, finished with synthetic bits cherry-picked from off-the-shelf scale-model kits. These hobby-model parts give you the information, texture, and depth required for close-up FX photography with large-format digital cameras. Look closely and you’ll also see wires, tubing, versatile metal foils, decals (“Battery Location Point Here”), and plenty of heat-formed plastic cladding. Even though interior mechanicals were eliminated many years ago, the gears that control the four landing feet nevertheless work flawlessly. The virtuosic scene in 2001 featuring this long-lost orb is the reason Mission Control still has The Blue Danube Waltz in hefty rotation on its wake-up playlist for ISS astronauts.

Show: celebrity Trek (1966-1969) | Prop: Phaser | Designer: Wah Chang | Materials: Aluminum, metal, popsicle sticks, acrylic pipe, fiberglass, cast resin | Value: $200,000 Prop: Phaser | Show: Star Trek (1966-1969) | Designer: Wah Chang | Materials: Aluminum, metal, popsicle sticks, acrylic pipe, fiberglass, cast resin | Value: $200,000 Dan Winters

There are plenty of bogus or knockoff Star Trek props in blood circulation, but there’s absolutely nothing fake about it original show phaser. The provenance is stellar: bought by way of a prop artist straight from Paramount in the 1970s. It’s an ultra-rare hero constructed mostly of aluminum, fiberglass, and cast resin. The handle is really a hand-painted brass tube adorned with popsicle sticks. (Yes, really. Look closely.) There were other phasers made, including midgrade fiberglass models for longer shots and VacuForm synthetic people for Kirk to utilize whenever clubbing Klingons. But this is the many intricate variant used for close-ups. Only two were made, which means this specimen is worth a bundle. The master isn’t attempting to sell anyhow. It’s section of a huge sci-fi prop collection that includes classics such as for instance a prized room suit from 2001. In the event that you should have a phaser of your personal, there’s always the forgery market.

Prop: The Samaritan | movie: Hellboy (2004) | Designers: TyRuben Ellingson | Materials: Painted urethane | expected Value: $10,000 to $15,000Prop: The Samaritan | movie: Hellboy (2004) | Designer: TyRuben Ellingson | Materials: Painted urethane | predicted Value: $10,000 to $15,000Dan Winters

Some props are sketched by way of a conceptual artist and painstakingly assembled by union craftspeople piece by piece. Additional, though, are simply just castings. This might be especially true of movie prop firearms. Matt Damon can’t pistol-whip a poor guy with a real Sig Sauer 9-mm hero weapon in The Bourne Identity. A “live gun” can be used strictly for close-ups and shooting blanks, where filming anything but a real Sig just won’t do. To pull off a pistol-whip scene, the prop division must throw a Sig Sauer stunt gun away from soft rubber. Firearms may also be cast in hard plastic, resin, and even metal based on just what function they have to serve in movie. Within the prop gathering community, castings and recastings (castings of castings) are extremely contentious topics. “If you appear for cheap movie prop kits or ‘raw castings’ on e-bay, you’ll find hundreds of people all over the globe whom purchased some shitty plastic prop and made it shittier by recasting it,” says previous Lucasfilm VFX designer and MythBusters host Adam Savage. “Because each time you cast something, each successive generation gets crappier.” When Savage chose to add the comically oversized Samaritan handgun to his prop collection, he went straight to the foundation: Guillermo del Toro, manager for the Hellboy franchise. Unlike countless iconic props, there aren’t numerous genuine Samaritan castings available. Del Toro owns the only real hero Samaritan, which was cast in aluminum by the famous Weta Workshop in New Zealand. He additionally had a spare screen-used hard rubber Samaritan casting, which he traded upright for casting of Adam Savage’s immaculate scratch-built Blade Runner PKD blaster. An ideal clone of visual designer TyRuben Ellingson’s initial concept the film, the Samaritan is amongst the heaviest stunt handguns ever cast. “My Samaritan weighs 5 or 6 pounds,” Savage states proudly. “Guillermo had the stunt guns cast in hard rubber because he desired them to feel hefty whenever [Hellboy star] Ron Perlman picked them up.” The Weta detailing is so accurate this thing could pass for the hero Samaritan in a super taut shot. “The gravitas and veracity with this prop is exceptional,” Savage states. “It feels luxurious to put up.”

Rene Chun is just a frequent WIRED factor. He composed about the SFMOMA redesign in problem 24.05.

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How to Minify CSS / JavaScript Files in WordPress

Do you want to minify files on your WordPress site? Minifying your WordPress CSS and Javascript files can make them load faster and speed up your WordPress site. In this guide, we will show you how to minify CSS/Javascript files in WordPress to improve performance and speed.

How to Minify CSS/JavaScript Files in WordPress

What is Minify and When Do You Need it?

The term ‘Minify’ is used to describe a method which makes your website file size smaller. It achieves this goal by removing white spaces, lines, and unnecessary characters from the source code.

Usually it is recommended to be used only for files that are sent to user’s browsers. This includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. You can minify PHP files too, but PHP is a server-side programming language and minifying it will not improve page load speed for your users.

The obvious advantage of minifying files is improved WordPress speed and performance. Compact files are faster to load and improve your site’s speed.

However, some experts believe that the performance improvement is very small for most websites and not worth the trouble. The minification only decreases few kilobytes of data on most WordPress sites. You can reduce more pageload time by simply optimizing images for web.

Here is an example of normal CSS code:

body {
margin:20px;
padding:20px;
color:#333333;
background:#f7f7f7;
}
h1 {
font-size:32px;
color#222222;
margin-bottom:10px;
}

After minifying the code it will look like this:

body{margin:20px;padding:20px;color:#333;background:#f7f7f7}h1{font-size:32px;margin-bottom:10px}

If you are trying to achieve 100/100 score on Google Pagespeed or GTMetrix tool, then minifying CSS and JavaScript will significantly improve your score.

Having said that let’s take a look at how to easily minify CSS/JavaScript on your WordPress site.

Minify CSS/Javascript in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Better WordPress Minify plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘BWP Minify’ to your WordPress admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.

BWP Minify settings

On the settings page, you need to check the first two options to automatically minify JavaScript and CSS files on your WordPress site.

You can now click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

There are many other advanced options on this page. The default settings will work for most websites, but you can review and change these options on a case by case basis.

Next, you need to head over to your website. Right click anywhere and then select ‘View Page Source’ from browser menu.

View page source of a WordPress site

You will now see the HTML source code generated by your WordPress site. If you look closely, you will notice that this plugin will load CSS/JavaScript files from plugin’s own folder instead of your WordPress themes and plugins.

These are the minified versions of your original CSS and JavaScript files. Better WordPress Minify plugin will keep them cached and serve the minified versions to browsers.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to minify your WordPress site. You may also want to see our ultimate guide on how to speed up WordPress for beginners.

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28 Best Corporate WordPress Themes for Your Business (2017)

Are you looking for the best corporate WordPress theme for your website? Business websites need a WordPress theme that reflects a professional corporate look. This helps build consumer trust in your brand and boosts your conversions. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the very best corporate WordPress themes that you can use on your business website.

Best Corporate WordPress Themes

Building a Corporate Site with WordPress

WordPress is the most powerful and easy to use platform to build your corporate site. It is super-flexible and integrates with virtually every online tool and platform that you can think of. This is why many big name brands use WordPress to build their websites.

You will need self-hosted WordPress.org site to take full advantage of all the great features offered by WordPress. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs self-hosted WordPress.org site.

To build your corporate website with WordPress, you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. This will be your website’s home on the internet.

You will also need a domain name for your website. This will be your website’s address on the internet (example: wpbeginner.com).

If you are just getting started, then we recommend you to go for Bluehost or SiteGround. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress hosting partner.

Next, you will need to install WordPress. Follow the step by step instructions in our guide on how to start a WordPress blog.

After that, you can pick a theme from our expert selection below and then follow the instructions in our guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best corporate WordPress themes. This list contains both premium and free themes and all of them are fully mobile-responsive.

1. Executive Pro

Executive Pro

Executive pro is a premium corporate WordPress theme built on top of Genesis framework. It comes with an easy to use theme options panel which allows you to get up and running quickly.

It comes with a widgetized homepage, multiple page layouts and color schemes, theme customizer support, prominent call to action banner and a custom email newsletter widget. The home page features a large slider which can be easily setup to showcase your projects and vision.

2. Enterprise Pro

Enterprise Pro

Enterprise pro is an elegantly designed WordPress corporate theme. It is built on top of Genesis framework and is highly optimized for speed and performance.

It features a large featured content area to showcase your company profile. It comes with an easy theme options panel and live customizer support so that you can easily set it up.

3. Ultra

Ultra

Ultra is a modern WordPress corporate theme for business websites. It comes with a built-in drag and drop page builder allowing you to easily create any kind of pages you need.

It also comes with dozens of ready to use templates, custom widgets, and modules. All these features provide a robust environment to build stunningly beautiful website in minutes.

4. Pinnacle

Pinnacle

Pinnacle is a free WordPress corporate theme featuring a beautiful flat layout. It is loaded with features which allow you to customize the site into a unique design.

Pinnacle also supports WooCommerce allowing you to extend your business site into an online store.

5. Landing

Landing

Landing is a stunningly beautiful WordPress corporate theme. It comes with a built-in page builder allowing you to create your own landing pages without writing any code.

It comes with 25+ ready to use builder templates that you can use as an starting point. It has multiple header design options, portfolio management, events, built in sliders, parallax backgrounds, and much more.

6. Digital Pro

Digital Pro

Digital Pro is a corporate theme for digital media companies and businesses. Theme’s home page features multiple widgetized areas, a large header image with call to action, and custom widgets to build your website in minutes.

It comes with a themes option panel and live customizer support. It has multiple layout choices, color schemes, and fully customizable header area with text or image based logo support.

7. Ampersand

Ampersand

Ampersand is a beautiful WordPress corporate theme with a two column layout. It features a large photo header on the homepage and a beautiful display of portfolio items.

It comes with multiple layout options for your project pages, blog, and other pages. The most beautiful feature of theme is its typography which looks great on all screen sizes.

8. Float

Float

Float is a highly customizable WordPress corporate theme with built-in page builder. It comes with several ready-to-use templates to create almost any kind of landing pages for your business website.

It has all the usual premium theme features including parallax scrolling, social media integration, custom backgrounds, unlimited colors, custom widgets, and much more.

9. Potenza

Potenza

Potenza is a powerful corporate WordPress theme with tons of flexible options. It comes with an easy to customize drag and drop homepage builder. It has a beautiful homepage slider to showcase your most important pages.

Potenza comes with beautiful multi-column content widgets, custom widgets, and multiple layout options for your pages. It has unlimited color choices so you can make the theme match your brand colors.

10. Narcos

Narcos

Narcos is a gorgeous WordPress multi-purpose theme suitable for business, corporate, digital agency websites. It features a beautiful large header image, parallax scrolling, and drag and drop home page.

Narcos comes with built-in section to create portfolio, display testimonials, and staff profiles. It has 6 homepage layouts, each with flexible customization options.

11. Enterprise

Enterprise

Enterprise is a multipurpose WordPress corporate theme. It can be used as a multi-page or a one page WordPress theme to build gorgeous landing pages.

It features a widgetized drag and drop homepage builder with beautiful on-scroll animations. It has built-in sections for portfolio, clients, testimonials, and staff bios.

12. Advent

Advent

Advent is a beautiful WordPress corporate theme designed to be used as a landing page theme for apps. It comes with a widgetized homepage builder where you can add features, overview, about and reviews section.

It features beautiful homepage header image, on scroll animations, parallax backgrounds, and tons of awesome features that would make your landing page pop out.

13. Corporate Plus

Corporate Plus

Corporate Plus is a free WordPress corporate theme for business websites. It can be also be used as a single page theme. It comes with powerful features like slider, about section, services, parallax, blog, and contact sections. It is fully widgetized which makes it quite easy to setup.

14. Aesthetic

Aesthetic

Aesthetic is a corporate WordPress theme for companies in creative industries. It features a stylish design that is aesthetically pleasing and breezy.

It comes with a drag drop page builder, custom widgets, multiple layout and color choices, homepage slider, and tons of awesome features. It is also WooCommerce ready and can also be used on multi-lingual websites.

15. Roxima

Roxima

Roxima is a beautiful WordPress business theme with a professional corporate look. It comes with multiple custom widgets and layout choices.

It has built-in about, services, portfolio, client, and team sections which can be easily added to homepage using drag and drop. It is highly optimized for speed and performance and is quite easy to setup with live theme customizer.

16. Moesia Pro

Moesia Pro

Moesia is another gorgeous WordPress corporate theme. It features a large fullscreen image on the homepage with a call to action button.

It comes with a drag and drop page builder with different content blocks. You can add and arrange the blocks to easily build your homepage. It also has slider, page templates, Google fonts, and all the features you would expect from a premium theme.

17. SinglePage

SinglePage

As the name suggests, SinglePage is a free single page theme for corporate websites. It is built on Bootstrap CSS and comes with a gorgeous homepage layout.

The homepage has four pre-designed sections which you can set up to your own requirements. Each section has full screen parallax background support. It is easy to set up and can be used for small business sites or as product site.

18. Angle

Angle

Angle is a WordPress corporate theme with a drag and drop builder. It comes with built-in portfolio section, sliders, visual theme customizer, and multiple layout choices.

Angle is optimized for speed and performance and ease of use. Its layout makes it a perfect choice for a corporate WordPress site.

19. Presence

Presence

Presence is another excellent option for a WordPress corporate theme. It can be used to a build realt estate, business, portfolio, music, or a hotel website. This highly customizable theme comes with ready to use demos for all kind of business websites.

It comes with portfolio, about, team members, client testimonials, multiple custom widgets, and unlimited page layouts. It has 6 built in color schemes and you can also create your own color schemes if you need. It is easy to setup and customize.

20. Venture

Venture

Venture is a WooCommerce ready WordPress business theme. It comes with a widgetized dynamic page builder which allows you to drag and drop items to create your homepage.

It features a featured content slider on the homepage, a portfolio section, testimonials, sub-pages widget, and much more. It is fully customizable with the live preview and allows you to use your own color schemes.

21. The Advisors

Advisors

The Advisors is a corporate WordPress theme suitable for consultants and financial websites. It features a beautiful home page slider with tons of customizable options. The homepage features beautiful animations, slide-in elements, and can be built using drag and drop.

It comes with testimonials, services, about section, mission and vision, and contact form.

22. FinVertex

FinVertex

FinVertext is a corporate WordPress theme for financial and consultancy businesses. It features a large fullscreen slider on the homepage and comes with tons of awesome features.

It has out of box support for WPML multilingual WordPress plugin. Also included is Google Maps and Google Fonts support, contact form, newsletter signup form, beautiful sliders and photo gallery.

23. Vantage

Vantage

Vantage is a powerful free WordPress corporate theme that can be easily used to build almost any kind of website. It is easy to setup and can be used with Site Origin’s free page builder plugin, which allows you to create your own page layouts using drag and drop.

24. Mustache

Mustache

Mustache is a well-crafted WordPress theme for business websites. It comes with a drag and drop homepage that can also be used as a landing page for a single page website.

It has built-in sections to add your clients, testimonials, services, and team members. It looks beautiful on all devices and it is highly optimized for speed and performance.

25. Total

Total

Total is a free WordPress business theme with a clean cut professional look suitable for corporate websites. The homepage can be built using sections. It comes with about us, featured content, portfolio, services, and clients section.

All aspects of theme can be easily customized using the live customizer. It can also be used as one-page theme with a single page menu that allows users scroll to different sections on the homepage.

26. Illdy

Illdy

Illdy is a beautiful and free WordPress multi-purpose theme. It comes with a homepage slider, easy to set up homepage, and live customizer support.

It has sections for testimonials, portfolio items, about us, animated counters, etc. You can also use it as a one-page theme.

27. Ascendio

Ascendio

Ascendio is another well crafted WordPress theme suitable for business websites. It comes with a beautiful homepage slider, easy to setup homepage, and a powerful drag and drop page builder.

It has tons of custom widgets, multiple layout options, and unlimited color schemes. It also has ready to use content modules that you can just drag and drop on your pages using page builder.

28. Atmosphere Pro

Atmosphere

Atmosphere is a WordPress corporate theme built for Genesis theme framework. It comes with beautiful full screen header image with a call to action.

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A lot of Magma Is Lurking Under Taipei

There’s been plenty of volcanic news recently from places you’dn’t consider as having volcanoes. Like, say, Taiwan.

The Tatun Group group of approximately 20 andesitic volcanoes sits just 20 kilometers (about 13 kilometers) or so from Taipei. Above 6.7 million individuals live within 30 kilometer (18.5 kilometers) of the volcanic group, which final erupted around 650 advertising. Researchers from the Academia Sinica’s Institute of world Sciences found seismic evidence for magma about 20 kilometers under the Tatun Group, giving support to the idea that people should consider it potentially active.

The study in Nature Scientific Reports implies that the magma human body actually solitary lens of magma or perhaps a series of sills that may mean the full magmatic system (fluid magma and mush) could be because big as 350 cubic kilometers, based on just what portion regarding the system is molten. But even though this magma happens to be imaged seismically, it willn’t mean an eruption will happen soon. By some estimates, as low as 14 percent of it may be molten, well underneath the well below the limit of approximately 60 % needed before the viscosity for the magma will allow it to erupt.

Eruptions have actually occurred in Taiwan and regional officials established a monitoring system for the Tatun Group given its proximity to Taipei therefore the fact it is been active recently than previously thought. In what could be the understatement regarding the week, Lin Cheng-horng, a geologist from this research, states, “it might happen in a few years, a decade, or numerous years later, it should take a lot more research become better grasped.” Now, we don’t think Lin means an eruption is most likely within the next decade, but that the possibly exists. Maybe it’s hundreds of years before any such thing takes place within Tatun Group, but this research shows there is magma down there today.

Oh, that drone footage of exactly what some called a “submarine eruption” from the coast of Taiwan in 2015 ended up being much more likely steam or gasoline vents off the shore of Kueishantao Island.

India has only one potentially-active volcanoes, within the Andaman water on Barren Island. This remote area is uninhabited, but around 600 individuals live within 5 kilometers of the volcano that has erupted many times throughout the last few hundred years. That makes headlines about the most up-to-date eruption particularly odd, as individuals have called it something of a shock after several years of peaceful, that will be definitely not true.

The area has seen eight periods of eruption since 1991, the most up-to-date closing only one year ago. The current activity is ash emissions and lava moves from a little cone within the bigger volcanic crater, although past eruptions have produced impressive lava fountains. This eruption had been notable just because a research vessel been in the area. However, Barren Island does not pose a lot of a hazard to people and home if you don’t are a bit too near when it has its next eruption.

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Killing Kim Jong Nam With VX Nerve Agent Crossed a ‘Red Line’

Early last week, in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, two women approached Kim Jong Nam—estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un—from behind. They swiped what the victim described to nearby customer service agents as a “wet cloth” across his face, and fled. Shortly after, he was dead.

Now, Malaysian authorities say they’ve identified the substance that took Jong Nam’s life: VX, a nerve agent that the United Nations classifies as a weapon of mass destruction. And while it’s not an entirely uncommon substance—or particularly difficult to produce—its apparent use marks a troubling break from international norms. And if officials manage to link it back to North Korea, it could have serious consequences.

Special VX

If you’re already familiar with VX agent, it’s likely because of seminal 90s action flick The Rock, in which a disgruntled Ed Harris brings over a dozen VX-laden warheads along with him to seize Alcatraz.

VX doesn’t work quite the way The Rock depicts it. Specifically, contact with it doesn’t cause human skin to bubble and sear. But it plays havoc with the human nervous system. Like other nerve agents, VX interferes with the signals that pass between your brain and your muscles. “If you have a nerve impulse that tells a muscle to contract, you have to turn off the impulse. Otherwise the muscle will stay contracted,” says Matthew Meselson, a geneticist at Harvard and member of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation national advisory board. “The one that primarily kills is a spasm of the diaphragm, so you can’t breathe. You die of asphyxiation.”

VX can work through skin contact or respiration, and while it’s part of a broader class of nerve agents that all accomplish roughly the same effect, experts consider it to be especially dangerous, even among banned substances. “It’s heavier than other nerve agents, so it settles on an environment and can be persistent on the ground. If it was used in larger quantities, it could make an area non-usable,” says Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.

As the Kim Jong-nam incident showed, though, smaller quantities are also dangerous. “Even a tiny drop is lethal,” Inglesby says.

And while an antidote exists—atropine, which unlocks the muscles that VX causes to seize up—the nerve agent works so quickly that it’s no use unless there’s a hypodermic needle on scene.

So dangerous is the stuff, in fact, that all but a handful of countries agreed to destroy whatever stockpiles they had of VX as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. One of the handful of holdouts: North Korea.

The Red Line

In 1995, Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult turned the nerve agent on a small number of its members, whom leaders believed to be police informants. On a larger scale, VX was one of the chemical weapons deployed in the Iran-Iraq war. The Kim Jong Nam case, though, would be the first VX assassination on record, and the first time chemical weapons were used to that end since a ricin pellet—fired from an umbrella gun—took Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov’s life in 1978.

“That this particular chemical weapon would be used in a political assassination in a third country is very alarming. It’s a red line,” says Ingelsby. “It should be considered a new threshold that’s been crossed in terms of unconventional weapons.”

Those norms matter. After decades without any nation deploying chemical weapons, Syria used sarin and chlorine gas. If a nation-state such as North Korea uses VX once, they or other actors may well do it again.

‘It should be considered a new threshold that’s been crossed in terms of unconventional weapons.’ Dr. Tom Inglesby, Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security

That’s all conditional for a reason. While North Korea maintains a VX stockpile, and Kim Jong Un may well have considered his half-brother a threat to his rule, there’s no direct link between the VX airport incident and the hermit kingdom. And there may well never be, at least from the weapon of choice.

“It’s not very hard to produce, so it’s doubtful that the specific use can be chemical-traced back to North Korea,” says Sigmund Gartner, director of the Penn State School of International Affairs. Any decent organic chemist can make the stuff.

Meselson also says that it may not have been VX at all; if it was, it’s remarkable that the two women survived the attack as well.

All of which underscores how critical the next several days of investigation will be. If it turns out to be a random or untraceable act, it may at least prove to be an isolated incident. Should a direct link to North Korea exist, the world will find itself in potentially dangerous, uncharted waters.

“The political reaction should be very strong internationally, once all the facts are in,” says Ingelsby. “Responsible countries around the world should make it very clear that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.”

Unfortunately, that’s the thing about red lines. Once you cross them, there’s no going back.

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