If you’ve already seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 a bunch of times and are wondering how you’re going to make it through the next year without your teen dystopia fix, never fear, what you need it right around the corner. The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the adaptation of the middle chapter in Veronica Roth’s young adult trilogy, hits theaters in March, and Summit Entertainment dropped this intense new trailer to help get you through the coldest months.
Death in a different zip code.
Could Orci be the good guy in this situation?
We have lift-off.
The Earth has been through five major mass extinction events since its formation roughly 4.6 billion years ago (Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about some of these on Cosmos). One of those events, the Cretaceous-Tertiary, wiped out the dinosaurs, but the biggest extinction event happened at the end of the Permian period roughly 248 million years ago, causing the extinction of roughly 96% of all species on the planet—it’s known as the “Great Dying.” There are numerous hypotheses for what caused these events, ranging from asteroids to volcanic eruptions to a drastic and cataclysmic release of methane. Now, in a study published in Physical Review Letters, scientists point to another possible cause: gamma ray bursts.
Gamma ray bursts are short, powerful electromagnetic radiation explosions that generate as much energy as the sun has since it formed. It’s not totally clear what causes gamma ray bursts, but scientists think hypernovas, massive exploding stars, account for longer bursts, and collisions between neutron stars account for shorter ones. Scientists believe the long bursts tend to occur in dwarf galaxies with low amounts of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium—if they occur in the Milky Way, they’d be in regions with similar properties.
Love them or hate them, there’s no question that The Wachowskis’ movies never fall short in the ambition department. Whether you’re excited for their next film, Jupiter Ascending, probably has a lot to do with how you felt about Cloud Atlas, and whether you’re still bitter about the Matrix sequels. As for me, I loved the former and am too old to hold a grudge about the latter. Plus, while Jupiter Ascending may or may not be a flop, there’s no question that it’s going to be visually stunning, and some of that gorgeous world and character design is on full display in four new character posters for the film.
One of the reasons the ESA launched the Rosetta spacecraft, which sent the Philae lander down to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last month, was to study the composition of the comet. They are the oldest celestial bodies, so they contain chemical clues to how the Solar System formed, and perhaps how life arrived on our planet. Like asteroids, comets are also known to contain water, and scientists have theorized that just as life may have hitched a ride to Earth aboard one, perhaps water did too. But some of Rosetta’s early findings challenge that idea.
As you know, water contains two hydrogen atoms and oxygen atom, H20. But according to data recently published in Science, water from Comet 67P has three times more deuterium than normal, or more accurately, than terrestrial water molecules. Deuterium is a heavy isotope of hydrogen, and is a common element on Mars (and not so much on Earth). On our planet, roughly .0003% of water molecules contain deuterium.
The closer we get to Christmas, the closer Doctor Who fans get to the real reason they’re excited for the holiday season, the annual Christmas Special. It’s still a few weeks off, but it’s never too early to get excited. If nothing else, Nick Frost plays Santa Claus (or does he?), and that should be a pretty damn good time. And just in case you’re about to burst from having to wait so long, the BBC has released another quick new trailer for the special, full of moody atmosphere and peril.
This is going to be an especially interesting installment to watch, because this is where we’ll finally get answers one way or another about the future of Jenna Louise Coleman’s Clara, the Doctor’s latest travelling companion. Back in August we first heard reports that she might leave the show to pursue other career options. Since then there has been news that she changed her mind and is going to stay, but nothing on this front is definite except the fact that the network came out and said that we’ll find out for sure in this episode. As you know, this particular episode is called “The Last Christmas,” which could very well be an ominous sign in that regard.
As a filmmaker, J.J. Abrams is well known for his “mystery box,” where he keeps any and all details about his films under wraps until the last possible moment. This is, after all, the guy who straight up lied about the identity of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. Hell, if he could get away with it, he’d probably release his movies without revealing a single detail. The other day it came out that he didn’t want to put out the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Disney essentially made him do it. And we all appreciate being throne that bone. We don’t know much about the film aside from that, but now Lucasfilm has unveiled the names of some of the key new characters. This doesn’t tell us anything about who they really are, but now we know what to call them.
There may be some spoilers beyond this point, not really, but you’ve been warned just in case.