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Pop Culture

Someone added J.R.R. Tolkien's narration to epic Lord of the Rings battle scene

'The Ride of the Rohirrim' has never looked and sounded so good.

Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien narrates the famous scene alongside Peter Jackson's film.

John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien is widely considered the father of modern fantasy. Way back in the 1950s, Tolkien wrote a trilogy of books that has gone on to sell more than 150 million copies. If you haven’t put it together yet, that’s a lot of reading (and movie watching) from one collection of source material.

A video has surfaced that mixes an audio recording of J.R.R. Tolkien himself reading an excerpt from his books mixed with the Ride of the Rohirrim scene from the 2002 "The Two Towers," the second film of the trifecta.


The audio of Tolkien is most definitely old-timey and yet you can’t help feel the enthusiasm of what’s been unsheathed from his words and splashed across the screen in a visual feast of color and action.

Tolkien narrates the Ride of the Rohirrim

Maybe you waited in line and joined the millions of people who rushed to the theaters to witness the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy of movies Maybe you completely avoided Director Peter Jackson’s massively successful series of films, which garnered 17 Oscar wins and a staggering $3 billion in box-office sales. Nevertheless, it's hard to deny the lasting influence of this artistic endeavor, which has delighted generations the world over.

The story behind the audio recording is interesting too. In 1952, George Sayer presented his good friend Tolkien a curious new technology called a recorder. Apparently Tolkien wasn’t immune to the magic of one’s own voice and so he recorded excerpts from the then unpublished manuscript of "The Lord of the Rings."

Why the sudden interest in a fantasy writer from long ago and some audio tapes?

The empire that is Amazon is releasing a new online series “The Rings of Power” as a prequel based on Tolkien's epic fantasy books. Amazon Prime has invested a record budget into the show, which premieres online September 2, 2022.

If you enjoyed listening to one of the most successful fantasy writers in modern history, find more audio recorded outtakes here.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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