Weekly Nerd News: February 4


by Britt Franklin

Have you fallen behind on your nerd news? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are a few stories to bring up at the water cooler this week:

The long-lost remains of King Richard III have “beyond reasonable doubt” been found buried under a parking lot in Leicester. Tests conducted by researchers on the battered skeleton are said to have proved that it’s the king, who died in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. The remains that had been missing for centuries matched a DNA sample of a living descendant of King Richard III’s family–his 17th great-grand-nephew, a carpenter living in Britain.

Researchers in Japan have captured the first video of a developing thought. Using a technique that detects neuron activity with a florescent probe, it makes visible the cell’s response to a stimulus, which causes a spark (much like fireworks) in the brain. The test subject was a zebrafish about to eat, and although the fascinating clip is only a few seconds long, it’s a definite advancement for future studies of the mind.

There’s a mystery Sony meeting on February 20th. Could that mean the next generation of the Playstation console is on its way? Investors and media were invited to the event, which game industry analyst Michael Pactner tweeted, “…that means console announcement.” When reports of Orbis, the heavily-rumored development name for the new console, broke last year, it was stated that it was on the path for a holiday 2013 release. Microsoft is supposedly dropping news of their newest gaming device (codenamed “Durango) soon, so this announcement could be right on time for Sony to get the upper-hand leading into E3 this summer.

With the popularity of archers in the past year, it should come as little surprise that Apple users wanted in on that. At MacWorld 2013, the BowBlade was introduced, a gadget that allows you to use your iPhone as an exercise tool a la Hawkeye. Once you plug in your phone, it becomes compatible with the thirty-five iOS games, even allowing you to sight real-world targets with the camera. Coming in three sizes and available for pre-order now, the device will run about $200, shipping out later this spring.

What’s to come for The Incredible Hulk? Rumor has it that he may live long enough to become the “villain” of Avengers 3. Events at the end of Avengers 2 are said to set the fate for Bruce Banner, and could possibly lead to another standalone film for the green giant based on Planet Hulk that will segue into an adaptation of World War Hulk for the third Avengers title. Marvel hasn’t confirmed anything, so it’s all speculation for now, but there’s no denying it sounds pretty cool!

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