The Flash Drops A New Teaser And Adds Clancy Brown As General Wade Eiling

We’re not sure what the hell DC is doing with their titles in regards to movies. They’re finally getting their shit together, but it’s taken a while. When it comes to TV, however, they seem to be doing pretty well. The pre-Batman saga Gotham looks like it could be damn good time, Arrow has been a big hit for the CW, and they’re hoping to piggyback on that success with by spinning off another beloved character in The Flash. The network has been hyping the show, and now their back with this new quick teaser, and they’ve announced another new cast member that gets us even more amped. The Kurgan himself, Clancy Brown, will play General Wade Eiling.

While this short video isn’t terribly exciting, it lays out the basic premise of the show and introduces the protagonist, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a scientist who gets struck by lightning and gets really, really fast and uses his newfound abilities to save people.


Curiosity Celebrates Its Two-Year Anniversary On Mars

going to mt sharpHow time flies. Can you believe the Curiosity Rover has been on Mars for two years already? Sure, Opportunity’s got more than eight years on the younger probe, but age isn’t everything. Curiosity has provided us with information about water on Mars as well as a dramatic landing. And now it’s getting ready to climb Mount Sharp, its main destination.

Mount Sharp is no joke—at 3.4 miles high, it makes Mount Rainier look small. The peak is so massive that the bedrock at its base extends for miles, forming an area called Pahrump Hills. What a great name. Curiosity is less than a mile away from this area, which will give the probe, as well as scientists, the first glimpse at whatever kind of geological structures form the mountain. Curiosity is approximately 2 miles from the mountain itself.


C-3PO Channels His Inner Dark Knight In This Star Wars/Batman Mashup

Star WarsOver the last few weeks, the folks surrounding J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, two of most anticipated movies of the next few years, have been engaging in a good-natured mash-up battle. The two sides have been tweeting back and forth, sending pictures like the one of Man of Steel‘s Henry Cavill dressed in a Jedi robe with the hashtag #SuperJedi, or Episode VII star John Boyega wearing a Batman costume with the hashtag #BOYEGAMAN (which is not nearly as clever). The last salvo was a photo of Batman and R2-D2 wandering in the desert with the hashtag #Batman & R2BIN. It’s a fantastic image, and now Bad Robot has responded.

And the picture they came up with is pretty damn awesome. It shows C-3PO, wearing a black cape, squatting in the shadows on the top of a building in the manner we’ve come recognize as very Batman-ian. In the distance, shining in the night sky like the Batsignal, is the Rebel insignia. Tagged at “The C3PED CRUSADER” this has become a fun way for fans to pass the time until the two highly anticipated, highly secretive movies actually open.


Nanodiamonds Can Detect Cancer At Its Earliest Stages

nanodiamondsScience has been generating some out-of-the-box diagnostic strategies and treatments for cancer lately, including sloth hair and cancer-sniffing bees. Now, it may be possible to detect cancer early on by putting tiny diamonds into your body.

It wouldn’t be like swallowing jewels (or drugs that unlock the brain’s full capacity) for stealthy transport across international lines. These nanodiamonds are super, super tiny, and they’re able to identify problems and abnormalities on the molecular scale. The approach was developed by a biotech firm called Bikanta, which focuses on early detection of cancer (and thus, much higher survival rates). It’s true that the current technologies often miss cancer, especially if it’s in an early stage.


In Robot News: Self-Folding Origami Robots And The Latest Iteration of ASIMO

Self-Folding-Robots-004In June GFR reported on robots that use shape-changing origami wheels to get around, and in the past few weeks, researchers have made even greater strides when it comes to integrating the art of folding into their robots. Scientists from Harvard and MIT (of course) have created an origami robot that can self-assemble from a flat pack and then run away.

As anyone who’s decent at origami knows, you can actually devise a pretty sophisticated structure via folding. The scientists used this potential, along with inspiration from natural systems (flower petals, proteins and amino acids, etc.) to create their robot. They laser-printed flat composites of the design, which can be punched out of paper and folded. They program the composite, basically telling it where, how, and how much to hinge and fold, and then battery power allows it to assemble itself in roughly four minutes. The same research group previously devised robots that could self-assemble from similar materials when heated, but this model delivers heat to the robots’ folding parts via electricity, not an oven.


Tortoises Can Use Touchscreens

tortoise touchscreenYou’d expect to see monkeys using touchscreens, or dolphins, or maybe even elephants, but tortoises? I guess there’s no excuse for my inability to use them, then, as this sets the bar pretty low (no offense to the turtles).

Life sciences professor Anna Wilkinson of the UK’s University of Lincoln wanted to see if it was possible to teach animals navigational techniques that they weren’t already born with. She choose the red-footed tortoise, which originates in Central and South America, in part because of the differences between turtles and mammals that might otherwise be used in such a test.

Mammals use the hippocampus to navigate spaces, while reptiles seem to use their medial cortex. Much of Wilkinson’s research has involved observing tortoises to see how they move around within their environment via spatial and directional cues. Another reason she chose the tortoise is because the creatures have been around for a long, long time, and are largely the same as they were millions of years ago. Studying them might provide clues to the way the brain and thought processes have evolved over time.