This Week in Geekdom

You can probably guess as to why there's been a gap in posts during the past week. With only 18 days remaining until PAX East, the costuming engines are running at full throttle! A LOT of progress has been made over the course of the past few days and everything is starting to come together. If all goes well, we'll have that Transistor sword post in the next week or so. Woot! And now, on to the week in Geekdom!


The eyes of the video-gaming world were on the Game Developers Conference this past week, largely in the hope of obtaining updates regarding the Oculus Rift. On Wednesday, those eager onlookers got what they were hoping for with the public release of the second developer's kit.
$350 USD will get you much closer to virtual reality

*Mic feedback.* Activision is pulling the plug on the DLC associated with the various Hero franchises. Beginning on April 1st, DLC for Band Hero, Guitar Hero, and DJ Hero will no longer be available for purchase. This decision is not supposed to impact any DLC that has already been purchased for any of the three games.

It only took months of successive calamities, but EA finally released offline mode for Sim City this past Tuesday.

Tuesday must have been some sort of Purge the Hated Game Features Day, as Blizzard enacted the official closure of the much-loathed auction houses feature in Diablo III

Canadian console gamers got a bit of an unpleasant news from Sony this week as the hardware maker announced that its wares would be the subject of a price hike. Sony claimed that a weaker Canadian dollar was to blame for the increases.

In an effort to promote civil, decent behavior on Xbox Live, Microsoft released this plan to bribe reward players who don't throw tantrums and spew vitriol. Best of luck getting that to work guys.


The biggest scientific story of the week was the purported discovery of gravitational waves stemming from the incept of our known universe. Akin to what we saw with the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking was quick to disclose just how the scientific community regarded the subject.

The research station on the South Pole that hosted BICEP2
Speaking of that revelation pertaining to the now not-theory of cosmic inflation, here is the video of the 'father' of this concept being told of the results from BICEP2: 

Now that we have new potential evidence of the Big Bang, it's especially interesting to see what some of humanity's greatest minds were able to conceptualize prior to the proliferation of the Big Bang. Einstein proffered these thoughts on the matter, though a simple error in his arithmetic renders it incorrect.
And, in a melding of the recently-passed St. Patrick's Day holiday and the above entries, I offer this discussion on the physics of beer tapping and subsequent foaming. (Results appear valid even if beer is green)

Correlated Magnetics Research would like to throw a wrench in your attempt to answer "Magnets. How Do They Work?" with their programmable magnets that can not only change strength, but also polarity at a moment's notice.

In a tribute to the forthcoming release of Captain America: Winter Soldier, check out this explanation of just how heavy Cap's famous shield actually is.

General Awesomeness

Fans of JRR Tolkien and epic Dark Ages Anglo-Saxon sagas rejoice! On Wednesday, publisher HarperCollins announced that it would be releasing Beowulf as it was translated 90 years ago by the inimitableJRR Tolkien. Said publication will be available in both physical and digital bookstores on May 22nd.

File this one under Things I Wish I'd Had as a Child: hobbyist and sometime war game designer Jim Rodda (aka Zheng3) has launched this Kickstarter for those in the 3D printing community who wish to arm Barbies. I would have killed for the Joan of Arc-esque models featured on the Kickstarter page! 

10 extremely unlikely comic-based movies that actually made it onto the big screen.

Consequence of Sound claims that these are the greatest nerd rock records OF ALL TIME.

Finally, I leave you guys with this video of Cubestormer 3, the rubik's-cube-solving robot made entirely of Lego, destroying the world record for solving the infamous puzzle:

As always, best wishes for an awesome week ahead!

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