Weekly Nerd News: January 27


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

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:


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has reported a Herschel telescope has discovered water on dwarf planet Ceres. (The Herschel space observatory is a European Space Agency mission with support from NASA.) Ceres is an icy planet and water vapor is shooting up periodically as the planet’s surface warms slightly when it orbits close to the sun. Because of this discovery, NASA is sending a spacecraft to the planet to learn more.


Manga Ghost in the Shell will soon be getting live-action movie adaptation and Snow White and the Hunstman’s Rupert Sanders will be directing. The movie has been in development since 2008 when Dreamworks acquired the rights. Ghost in the Shell was originally released in Japan in 1989 and went on to spawn two additional mangas, three anime film adaptations, an anime TV series, and three video games. Dark Horse Comics began reprinting it in America in 2009. The plot follows a futuristic covert ops police unit that specializes in cyber-crime.


A new species of river dolphin has been discovered in Brazil; however, scientists warn they are highly endangered. This is the first discovery of a new species in a hundred years with three of the four already known kinds listed as “threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Scientists estimate as few as 600 could live in their river basin and face many threats including dam construction and fishermen. As scientists do not want to kill any living animals, they will only study those found dead and a few samples already held in museums to learn more about them.


Microsoft has obtained the rights to Gears of War. The deal gives them access to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences, and merchandise. It also assures the game will eventually be released on Xbox One. Since its release in 2006, Gears of War has grossed more than $1 billion.


Rumor has it that Samsung will soon be launching Galaxy Glass to compete with Google’s Glass. It is said to possibly make its debut at the IFA Trade Show in Berlin in September. Features reportedly include smartphone connectivity that lets you handle calls, listen to music, and more.


J. August Richards will soon become an iconic Marvel character on Agents of SHIELD. Deathlok celebrates his 40th anniversary this year so it’s only appropriate he comes to the show by way of fan favorite Richards. The character of Deathlok is turned into a solider against his will and granted the abilities that include super strength, increased speed and the power to see through walls. It all goes down on the February 4 episode of the show, coincidentally in the same episode in which Stan Lee makes a guest appearance.

Comic book publisher Archaia will be reprinting a novelization of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth in graphic novel form. It will include never-before-seen goblin sketches and pages from Henson’s personal journals. The company is also looking to release new material from the Storyteller, Dark Crystal, and Fraggle Rock franchises, plus they want to relaunch a comic series based on the TV show Farscape on Free Comic Book Day in May. The Labyrinth novelization comes out in April.

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