Showing posts with label Harry Potter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harry Potter. Show all posts

This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone. Hope you had wonderful holiday if you were among those celebrating Thanksgiving this past Thursday. Now with November nearly behind us, it's onward into the holiday crush. In fact, right after I finish publishing this I'm going to hang up all our decorations and start doing the math to see how much we'll need in the way of ingredients for this year's cookie-baking season. Woo spreadsheets! Ok, yes...I'm entirely too excited about that. Anyhow, decorations and math aside, let's get down to the Week in Geekdom.


Arugably the biggest story of the week was Friday's release of the 88-seconds-long teaser trailer for Episode VII. If you've gotten your fill of next-generation X-Wings and desert planets, check out this shot-for-shot breakdown of what footage Abrams has graced us with. Also, if you were wondering who the narrator of the trailer is, that would be Andy Serkis.

While we're gushing about the Episode VII trailer, here's a fan-made version shot entirely in Lego (took the dude 12 straight hours to create!)
The Episode VII trailer may have gotten the lion's share of attention this week, but it was not the only trailer to hit the interwebs. We also got our first glimpse of Jurassic World.

Whovians have have spent much of the current season debating just how long the Doctor's current companion will be featured. The BBC has confirmed that the upcoming Christmas special will address the future of the character.

While Thursday may have been Thanksgiving for some of us, it was also the 50th anniversary of the first days of filming for a little show called Star Trek.

We still have about a month left in the year, but the 'best of 2014' lists are already popping up. Check out this compilation of the best movie bloopers from the year in film.

JK Rowling has confirmed that she has finished the script for a Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters in November of 2016.


The apparent dearth of life in what we can see of the universe has perplexed researchers for decades. Now the latest edition of Science postulates that one of the reasons for our cosmic loneliness may have a lot to do with the high levels of radiation out there in space.

We may be effectively alone in the universe for the time being, but data from the Philae lander may provide us with clues as to the origins of life on Earth.

Cooling down a building generally takes an enormous amount of energy, even with the most efficient of air conditioners. Researchers at Stanford University feel they have a better solution in the form of this ultra-thin material that beams excess heat into space.

We may be looking to beam stuff out into space, but it turns out that Earth may also have a previously unknown way of shielding itself.

Bridgmanite was allegedly the most abundant mineral on Earth, but pure samples are now quite difficult to come by. So how to scientists obtain specimens? Meteorites.

The world's oldest computer may be a century or more older than previously thought.

Waiting while a loved one undergoes a surgical procedure can be very nerve-wracking. To assuage this anxiety, a group of Florida physicians have developed a smartphone app that provides friends and family members with real-time updates of a given operation.

What do Blu-Rays featuring Jackie Chan and solar panels have in common? Answer: one was used to increase the efficiency of the other by 22%.

Google is reinventing the spoon Parkinson's patients?

How to survive a spaceship disaster.

Do you have a knack for developing deep-space capable communications and could do with an extra $5 million USD? NASA has just the contest for you.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

Samuel Sevian is about a month away from turning 14. He's also the youngest-ever American Grandmaster of chess.

These are 12 board games that are purported to make their players into better people.

For the past five years, the Vulcan Institute for Cultural Anthropology has helped put on a performance of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol entirely in the Klingon language. This year will be the final time the production graces the stage.

Crowdfundables for Your Consideration

For most of us, space travel is something reserved for thought experiments and daydreaming. If you've always wanted to go to the moon, Lunar Mission One would like to make your celestial musings at least a partial reality.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone. November has decided to introduce itself by giving us our first snow of the season and I'm in no way ok with that. Fortunately, we have plenty of ways to get you past this initial glimpse of winter, namely this contest. We're also giving away a Thanatos skin today, so all you Smite players shouldn't be shy!

Besides Halloween goodness, there was plenty going on this past week. So let's get down to it!


While we're on a Halloween kick, check out the picture below of the offerings from the new Ultra Street Fighter IV costume pack
Image credit
Nintendo has been talking up a host of upcoming features in Super Smash Bros, including the ability to play with eight players simultaneously.

On Thursday, GOG announced that it will carry special digital releases of classic Star Wars games including Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.


In the latest bit of fallout from the Jack Kirby settlement is a new, retroactively applied credit for Mr. Kirby.

It's no secret that Marvel is pretty much housing its comic competition in the world of multimedia right now, but that wasn't always the case. Here's an excellent synopsis of the past 75 years in Marvel history.


The Wonder Woman movie is still in the earliest stages of development, but the newest round of rumors indicates that the film will be set in the 1920s.

Marvel was not without its own cinematic announcements this week. Here are the next films that will (eventually) be coming our way.


The newest edition of Physical Review X includes this speculation from Griffin University concerning the possibility of parallel universes.

Ever wonder where the equals sign came from? Well, here you go.

What is the oldest star in the universe?

Earlier this week NASA deliberately detonated an Anteres rocket that was supposed to carry supplies to the International Space Station. While the reason behind the rocket's last-minute erratic behavior remains unknown, NASA is glad to share why it decided to abort the mission.

Quantum entanglement 'haunted' Albert Einstein throughout most of his life.

Crowdfundables for your Consideration

New from the maker of Thrash-Car is Dumpster Brawl, a fast-paced strategy game that aims to be a fun new addition to your party game collection. Check out the Kickstarter here.

General Awesomeness

For many years, citizens of the UK could list 'Jedi' as their religion. Now those who select Jedi may have even more options available to them.

JK Rowling describes the origins of the witch Potter fans love to hate.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone! The countdown to Gen Con now stands in the single digits. Single digits! That fact alone is making me do a little anticipatory dance in my chair as I type this. Alternatively, remembering that the Best Four Days in Gaming begins just over one week from now invariably results in this feeling:

If all goes according to plan, next week should feature at least the tutorial for how to make the Dr. Mrs. the Monarch costume, but there's a decent chance that there will be bonus entries on top of that. Fingers crossed that all the last minute preparations go reasonably well! In the meantime, let's get down to the Week in Geekdom!


Marvel is trucking along with their campaign of inclusion with the latest edition of Hawkeye which features the titular hero struggling with hearing loss and learning American Sign Language.

The end of this year will also be the end of custody of the Star Wars licenses for long-time publisher Dark Horse. Marvel is already hard at work planning the release of its Star Wars related titles, including this forthcoming Vader-centric release. 

Do you love Batman? Do you also happen to have a couple hundred thousand USD lying around? If you answered yes to both of those, feel free to participate in this auction of original file copies of the origins of the Dark Knight owned by Batman creator Bob Kane.

The Walking Dead is one of the most popular graphic novels on the market right now, but did the series have a medieval predecessor? The British Library believes it has found the forerunner of Kirkman's blockbuster property.

Hot off the success of last weekend, San Diego Comic Con has declared that there shall be no others to bear that suffix. The mega-convention has served its Rocky Mountain Rival, Salt Lake City Comic Con, with this cease and desist letter.

On a final comic-based note, Happy 40th birthday to Wolverine!


The most recent edition of the Journal of Applied Social Psychology contains this study detailing that participants in said experiment who read the Harry Potter series exhibited reduced levels of hostility and prejudice against historically marginalized groups when compared to their peers who had not read the books. In short, reading Harry Potter apparently makes you a better person.


This is Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon immediately after the former read the script for the Avengers for the first time.

There has been a fair amount of buzz surrounding the still-in-production Ant-Man movie. The latest rumor: that Ant-Man's wife, Janet (a.k.a. the Wasp) will not be included in the new Marvel cinematic canon.

While we're on a Marvel movies kick, this is a the Lego-ized version of the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.


All 30 playable characters in Mario Kart 8, reviewed.

Industry insiders concede that PC games are 'decimating' their console competition. PC gamers are too engrossed to feign surprise.


The concept of manufacturing a microwave-based drive for spacecraft has long been dismissed by NASA as an impossibility. On Friday, they recanted that stance and confirmed exactly what a microwave drive can potentially do.

What a microwave drive could look like
On Thursday, NASA provided a detailed list of exactly what will be headed up to Mars on the forthcoming Mars 2020 mission. This list gives us public viewers a reasonably good idea of what the priorities are for this next sojourn to the Red Planet.

Tuesday was the 99th birthday of Charles Townes, inventor of the laser. This is what the University of California at Berkeley and the town of Greenville, South Carolina did to honor their Nobel laureate progeny.

Chemical engineers at the University of Tsinghua may have a new offering in the push for renewable energy sources with their lithium-sulfur powered batteries.

Quantum Cheshire cats. Yes, they are real and here they are explained.

From Nature Communications
General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

Some parents build treehouses for their children; other parents build fully interactive space modules in their kids' bedrooms.

Forget tents. Check out these portable shelters inspired by origami.

This intrepid graphic designer has re-imagined the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams as Star Wars insignia.

As always, best wishes for an awesome week ahead!
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