Weekly Nerd News: January 21
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:
· Holy dough, Batman! The original Batmobile sold for over $4 million at an auction on January 19 in Scottsdale, AZ. The one-of-a-kind car hadn’t been up for grabs since customizer George Barris purchased it for dirt cheap from Ford in 1965. It was then transformed into the well-known vehicle seen in the television series starring Adam West. The Batmobile was sold for one of the highest bids on a Hollywood car since the 2010 sale of the Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger.
· More details were revealed on Disney’s Infinity platform that combines collectible figurines with a virtual world. Similar to Skylanders, players use a physical representation of the character to enter the universe from which it came by placing it on a game pad. The first wave will include familiar faces from Pirates of the Caribbean, Monster’s Inc., and The Incredibles. Infinity will be available on XBox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Wii-U and Nintendo DS. Because data in saved in the figurine itself, cross-console gameplay is possible.
· Honda unveiled its Gear concept at the Montreal International Auto Show. The hatchback design is a double-hitter of old school and new school, and like the Toyota Scion, is fully customizable. Not many details have been released besides its outer shell, but should the Gear make it to market at the estimated low price point, it could be Honda’s next big hit for young drivers. What do you think of the design?
· Satellite photos by the European Space Agency show that a river may have once run through Mars. Scientists discovered a riverbed on the red planet, called Ruell Vallis, that is nearly 1000 feet long; and in some places, almost 1000 feet deep. Running water is believed to have flowed during the Hesperian period, betweeen 3.5 and 1.8 billion years ago.
· Physics students at the University of Leicester conducted a study that debunks the images of near light-speed travel we’ve grown accustomed to through film. While the stretches of starlight created when the Millennium Falcon reaches top speed are what we’d love to see, the reality isn’t quite as eye-catching. The study, called “Relativistic Optics Strikes Back,” states that instead of beams, hyperspace travelers would see a disc of light, the brightest point in the center. In addition to the appearance, the students found that radiation could be an issue and the pressure would be unbearable. Think this will have any impact on space travel depicted in movies?