This Week in Geekdom

It's really Sunday again? Well ok then. The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy here on the blog and hopefully you guys feel that any recent changes have been reasonably good ones. Last week I mentioned that the medium-to-long term goal for all these shenanigans is to turn the Care and Feeding of Nerds into something a bit more sophisticated, or at least more robust, than just my occasional digitized mutterings. Part of getting to that goal will be publishing more content, so we're hoping to get to the point where there are at least 2-3 posts a week in addition to this weekend wrap-up. Obviously, if any of our new features isn't working out, let us know on any of these. The idea is to make the site better, so let us know if we've gone astray. Fingers crossed though that our internet mad sciencing produces some goodness. But enough administrative chat; let's get down to the week in geekdom.


In the bad-but-also-perhaps-good news category is this confirmation that a movie version of Y: The Last Man is officially dead.

It may have had its release date bumped back, but Jupiter Ascending is doing its best to prove that the delay is worthwhile with this new trailer. 

Apparently live TV musicals are going to be a thing. After last year's live production of the Sound of Music, Peter Pan will be getting similar treatment. Bonus: Christopher Walken will be Captain Hook.

As if Pride and Prejudice and Zombies didn't merit enough nerdy anticipation, it has been confirmed that Lena Headley, Charles Dance, and Matt Smith will be joining the cast.

Bryan Singer will be directing the third installment of the new X-Men movie franchise: X-Men: Apocalypse.

William Shatner will have a special cameo in the still-untitled third volume of the rebooted Star Trek series.


After decades of squabbling, Marvel and the estate of Jack Kirby have reached a settlement concerning the intellectual properties of the comic book legend. 


On Tuesday Blizzard announced that, after seven years of development, that they would be cancelling their next-generation MMO Titan. When asked for a reason as to the cancellation, Blizzard responded that they, "couldn't find the fun." Right.

The amusing retelling of live-action Oregon Trail.

Halo 5: Guardians as retold in Minecraft.


It's one of the most beloved features of the reading experience: a deep waft of book smell. But where does that storied smell come from? Here comes the science.

Researchers from Oxford University believe that the roasting process may be the culprit behind severe peanut allergies.

On Wednesday, Okayama University Hospital announced that it successfully completed a novel procedure that allowed a mother to donate segments of her lungs to her ailing son.

Wednesday also produced exciting new developments for India's space agency as their Mars Orbiter Mission (a.k.a. MOM) successfully entered the Red Planet's orbit.

Anthrax has a long-held reputation has a weaponizable bacterium. Now a group of MIT researchers hope to give the much-feared ailment a new, more positive role as a potential vector for chemotherapy drugs.

Robot butlers are not only becoming a reality, but may be available in a store near you in as little as one year's time.

It's only mere molecules in breadth, but a team from Penn State University believes that their research has produced in the strongest material in the world.

The latest edition of Physical Review Letters contains a description of what may be the closest we've come to producing significant amounts of energy from a fusion reaction.

The entire history of the universe in 10 run-on sentences.

However, there may be a challenge to that universal history. This alleged new theory posits that our universe may have been the offspring not of a Big Bang, but of a hyper-dimensional black hole.

Conversely, a physics professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has produced this research indicating that it is mathematically impossible for black holes to come into existence. Make up your minds people!

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union handed down one of the most controversial verdicts of our time: that Pluto was no longer a planet. Eight years later, the debate over Pluto's Fate has new life and may result in reclassification for the 'dwarf planet'. 
Poor unloved Pluto
The latest edition of Science features this research from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy that indicates the discovery of complex organic molecules in deep inter-stellar space.

What do the current crew of the International Space Station and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy have in common? The number 42.

Have you ever wanted to go to space? Perhaps pioneer the celestial bodies beyond our exosphere? Cyanide and Happiness has just the video for you!
If you're convinced that staying on Earth might be a good idea, then a team of chemists from the University of Pennsylvania have good news for you. The researchers claim that they have been able to observe and study the chemical reaction that keeps our atmosphere clean. 

A new DARPA program called Electrical Prescriptions, or ElectRx, aims to give participants in the program highly advanced healing abilities via microscopic implants. There's been no word on the construction of implants that will provide the bearer with adamantium claws.

 General Awesomesness/Feats of Nerdery

Members of the US Fox Valley Composite Squadron have captured the Guiness World Record for Highest Paper Airplane Flight (from a High Altitude Balloon). The paperboard aircraft bore a 14" (35.56 cm) wingspan and was able to cover a distance of 82 miles (131.97 km) after being released from a weather balloon.   

This is what happens when the good people behind Cirque de Soleil get their hands on some drones
Crowdfundables for Your Consideration

Woot for new feature! As the name suggests, every week we're going to provide brief descriptions for a handful of fun, innovative projects that are in the active crowdfunding phase and the corresponding links for you to find more information and/or offer your support. If you have a project that you'd like to bring to our attention, let us know.

First up is an unorthodox-looking game from the trio of minds behind Big Potato. Their project, Bucket of Doom, is a fast-paced, think-on-your-feet party game for terrible people in the vein of Cards Against Humanity. It aims to merge the absurdity of Cards with the storytelling aspects of other excellent party games like Snake Oil. There are only 9 days left on the Kickstarter, so don't delay if you want in on this fun!

That Which Sleeps has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal, but you may want to give this project a look anyhow. This offering by King Dinosaur Games bills itself as a re-imagining of the Black and White style god game. Players take on the role of a Cthulhu-esque Old One and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting populace all which avoiding being forcibly returned to their demonic slumber. The game will be available on all operating systems (yes, including Linux) and aims to be distributed through both Steam and the Humble Bundle Store. Check out their Kickstarter page for more details or vote here to get the game greenlighted on Steam.  
As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!

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