This Week in Geekdom

Here's hoping that today's post makes a lick of sense, as my brain is adrift on a puffy cloud of antihistamines and cough suppressants. Apparently my immune system has finally run out of steam after what was probably a very difficult winter, but more time spent indoors just translates into more links for This Week in Geekdom. So, without further ado, let's get down the highlights of the past seven days.

Books

$20,000 USD can buy you a lot of things. It can buy you a nice new car, potentially serve as a down payment on a house, or, if you were quick to click earlier this week, could've bought you a role in Winds of Winter. George R.R. Martin is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to benefit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe and all the rewards associated with the campaign stem from George himself. While the 2 customized roles in Winds of Winter have already been purchased, there are still dozens of interesting rewards still up for grabs and all donors are entered in a lottery to win a helicopter ride with Mr. Martin. Check out the fundraising page for more details.

When George wasn't drumming up support for his favorite charitable organizations, he was combating the rampant rumors that he planned to extend his A Song of Ice and Fire series to span eight books instead of the previously established seven. While Mr. Martin's response to said rumors wasn't exactly clear, he did confirm that his work The World of Ice and Fire: the Untold History of Westeros is still on schedule to be published in October.

Movies

In a surprising last minute move, the Wachowski siblings' sci-fi epic Jupiter Rising had its release date moved from July 18th to February 6th of next year. While Warner Bros claims that the delay spawned from a need for additional special effects, industry professionals fear that heavy re-shoots were required.   

How does a character who utters a mere four lines of dialogue over the course of two films end up with his own movie? Behold, the 'cult' of Boba Fett

Comics

Hermetic Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson returned to the world of newspaper comic strip publication this but, if you didn't look closely, you might have missed it.

Who is faster: the Flash or Quicksliver? Here comes the science.

Games

On Friday, Tetris turned 30 years old. In celebration of this milestone birthday, here are 30 facts about this beloved Soviet spacial awareness game.

After nearly 10 years in the global marketplace, the Sony PlayStation Portable (a.k.a. the PSP) is being sent to that Great Basement in the Sky

If you are an Xbox One owner who has noticed that your machine seems to experience a dip in performance when you plug in your Kinect your suspicions are justified. On Thursday, Microsoft confirmed that its Xbox One consoles can lose up to 10% of their GPU performance when paired with a Kinect, despite initial claims that combining the two would have no adverse effects.

Science/Technology

Back in March, the astrophysics community cheered en masse at what appeared to be the discovery that confirmed the theory of cosmic inflation and opened the possibility for a multiverse. Now, the latest edition of Nature provides information that indicates this release of this information to perhaps have been premature.

While one set of celestial waves seems to retreat back into the realm of theory, another inches towards confirmation
An artist's impression of the 'Godzilla of Earths'

On Monday, scientists in attendance at the American Astronomical Society meeting discussed the 'Godzilla of Earths'. This mega-planet, officially known as Kepler-10c is interesting not just for its enormous size, but also because, according to our current body of planetary knowledge, it shouldn't exist.

Conversely, a concept that was theorized to exist for over 40 years was finally confirmed with physical proof. The latest edition of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters details the findings of a research team out of the University of Colorado Boulder, who identified this embodiment of Thorne-┼╗ytkow theory or 'a star within a star.' 

Just when we thought we'd recovered from the Heartbleed bug, this decade-old bug goes and screws up internet information exchange all over again.

She may only be 19 years old, but Brittany Wenger is already revolutionizing the way we identify cancer. Read here for the details on her attempts to digitize diagnostics.

The latest edition of the journal Cell includes these findings by a team of Harvard researchers that allowed them to cause mature liver cells of mice to revert to a state similar to that of stem cells. 

If you've ever wondered why you love certain foods, but loathe others, the reason may be hard-coded into your DNA. A team of geneticists from the University of Trieste published these findings linking affinities to certain foods with 17 distinct genomic markers.

Add to the list of things to include in your will: the passwords to all social media that you use.

The algorithm that is the driving force behind Wikipedia reveals the most influential individuals in human history.


General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery


Have you ever wanted to build your own solar-powered rover? Well, here you go.

If you've ever wanted to be a polar bear, this video shot from the bear's point of view tries to bring you the closest possible experience.

The Mountain That Rides is indeed aptly named. Watch here as actor Hafthor Bjornsson proves that he was appropriately cast.

In honor of the 30th birthday of the Transformers, Hasbro will be releasing this limited edition playset starring your favorite transformers in the universe's greatest band, the Knights of Unicron.

Do you love Legos? Do you love movies? Well, this is a list that may very well be relevant to your interests. 

Last year, West Coast Customs built this exact replica of the Bravado Banshee from the Grand Theft Auto series, which was given away as a prize in a competition run by GameStop. This week, the car went up for auction on eBay. The auction is now closed and there's no word if the original owner got her $170,000 USD asking price.

I leave you guys with this video from Thailand Comic Con that features a troupe of cosplayers reenacting a battle scene from Pacific Rim. As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!


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