Geek Girl: Who Would Win In a Fight, Benedict Cumberbatch or Zachary Quinto?
Plus: The world’s scariest flea, Batman: The Musical, and other weird news of the week!
-Lucia Peters and PJ Gach
Happy March, everyone! We’re getting closer and closer to spring, thank goodness. It’s been a busy week over here at Geek Girl, with lots of weird and interesting news from all over; but rather than inundate you with all of them, we’ve picked out our five favorites for you. Enjoy!
Go Behind the Scenes With Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek 2!
Well, this is exciting: Following the appearance of the first on-set photo of the currently in production Star Trek 2 comes the first behind-the-scenes video! Trekkies of the world, rejoice! Check it out above!
Okay, so whoever is doing the voiceover probably needs to be taken out back and gagged (is it just me, or is he incredibly annoying?), but if you can ignore him for a few minutes, you’re in for a treat. The video takes a look at the fight between Spock as played by Zachary Quinto and an as-yet-unnamed character played by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict in particular has been getting a lot of terrific exposure lately; after he burst onto the scene in the BBC’s excellent Sherlock, he’s landed plum roles in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (alongside Gary Oldman, no less), The Hobbit (he’ll be voicing and doing the motion capture for Smaug the dragon), and now this. We don’t know much about his character yet, but given that he’s beating the life out of good guy Spock here, we can pretty safely assume he’s a bad guy. Also, as annoying as the voiceover guy is, he does correctly point out that whoever Benedict is playing has got to be pretty strong—Vulcans are known for being roughly three times as strong as your average human, but he seems to be giving Spock a run for his pointy-eared money.
Like the 2009 Trek film, Star Trek 2 is being directed by J. J. Abrams and stars (in addition to Zachary and Benedict) Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Simon Pegg. Doctor Who favorite Noel Clarke will also make an appearance, although all we know about him thus far is that he’s a “family man with a wife and young daughter.” Live long and prosper!
Giant Fleas Will Make You Glad You Didn’t Live in the Jurassic Era
No one really likes fleas. Well, with the exception of entomologists, no one really likes fleas. They’re tiny little bloodsuckers that annoy your pet and you. Could you imagine a flea that was so big that it cast a shadow when it dive -bombed an animal? Sounds like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, right? Wrong!
It turns out that back in the Jurassic Era, there were giant fleas. These bad boys (and girls) were 20.6 millimeters (0.81in) long, while males grew to 14.7 millimeters (0.58in) in length. That’s big! According to the Telegraph, several fossils of them were found on a dig in China. I don’t know what’s scarier, the size of them or the fact that they’re fossils of them.
The scientists, led by Dr Andre Nel from the Museum of Natural History in Paris found two groups of fossils in Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia and in the Liaoning Province. The fleas found in Mongolia date back to the Middle Jurassic period (about 165 million years ago), while the Liaoning fossils date back to the Lower Cretaceous period (about 40 million years younger). Even though the fleas are from different eras, they’re remarkably similar. Neither has the back jumping legs that are part of the modern flea’s makeup. They also both have a siphonate mouth part that would pierce the skin of dinosaurs, enabling them to eat, as the other animals of the period were about the same size.
According to Dr. Nel, “The early mammals were small animals, making the large size of these Mesozoic species and the robustness of their mouthparts seem mismatched.
”It is… possible that the hosts of these early fleas were among the feathered dinosaurs of the period that became well known from the same deposits.”
All we can say is that we’re thrilled that they evolved into the teeny, weeny monsters we know today. We can’t imagine the amount of insecticide (or would you use a sword) to get rid of them.
Holy Musical, Batman!
Spider-Man had better watch his back, because he isn’t the only superhero in town with a musical anymore. Who’s about to rise to the webslinger’s theatrical challenge? Batman, of course!
That’s right: The Caped Crusader (or the Dark Knight, depending on how recent you want to be with your Batman nicknames) will soon be taking the stage on by storm. Even better, it’s being created by the wondrous, glorious collective that brought us A Very Potter Musical, which, besides being laugh-out-loud hilarious, introduced the world to future Glee star Darren Criss.
Holy Musical B@man! (see what they did there?) tells the tale of a young billionaire who, after witnessing the murder of his parents, “makes a solemn vow to fress up like a bat and wage a one man war on crime!”—at least, according to the show’s synopsis on its YouTube page. The synopsis continues, “But when this solitary savior realizes that ‘one’ is the loneliest number to wage a war with, he’ll set off on a musical adventure to rescue the city from the greatest super-villain of all time and find a super friend.” Sounds marvelous! The show is written and directed by Matt Lang and Nick Lang, with music and lyrics by Nick Gage and additional music by Scott Lamps.
Do you live in Chicago? Then lucky you, you’ll get a chance to see it live! It will perform at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre in the Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted, which I assume means something to you people who live in Chicago) and will run from March 22 – 25 with previews March 16 – 18. Tickets, by the way, are FREE; go here to enter the online ticket lottery. The rest of us will have to make due with the YouTube release, which is planned for April.
Watch the trailer here!
Do NOT Tell This Planet That It’s Retaining Water
Okay, I know the headline for this piece is really corny, but the story is actually fascinating. Space.com reports that a super Earth (they’re exosolar planets that have a mass higher than Earth’s) has been found in the constellation Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). That’s about 40 light years from us.
The planet, known as GJ 1214b, was discovered back in 2009. The Hubble telescope has been studying it and its findings show that this planet is not like any other planet ever found. Zachory Berta, of the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts said in a statement, “GJ 1214b is like no planet we know of…A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water.”
GJ1214b is 2.7 times bigger than Earth. The surface temp is 446 degrees Fahrenheit.
The high temperatures and high pressures would form exotic materials like ‘hot ice’ or ‘superfluid water,’ substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience,” Berta said.
If anything at all lives on this super earth, it’s got to be microscopic. At least we think so…
Spring-Heeled Jack Is Alive and Well and Attacking People in Banstead
Are you familiar with the story of Spring-Heeled Jack? Once upon a time, he was some kind of wacky monster-demon-devil-creature-thing who terrorized people in England during the Victorian era—and yes, he was so named for his tendency to attack via jumping. He seems to have gone into at least partial retirement after the end of the 19th century though; with the exception of one random sighting at the Welsh border in 1986, he hasn’t been seen since about 1904.
Until now. According to Your Local Guardian, a family in Banstead, UK believe that they were attacked by Spring-heeled Jack just a few weeks ago. Here’s how it happened, as reported by husband and father Scott Martin:
“We were driving down the Ewell bypass and saw a man on the other side of the road. We didn’t pay much attention until he started crossing over to our side of the road, the next thing he jumped over the centre fencing in the road and ran across our two lanes. On the side of our road is a bank easily 15ft in height and this figure crossed our road, climbed this bank and was gone from sight all in about two seconds. All four of us were baffled and voiced our sighting straight away with the same detail. A dark figure with no real features, but fast in movement with an ease of hurdling obstacles I’ve never seen. My last image was of him going through the bushes at the top of the bank. I’m not usually one to be freaked by these sightings but the cab driver was petrified. He didn’t want to drive back alone. I am honestly baffled by this sighting and we are intrigued by it because it was so real but so strange.”
Eek! There’s probably a reasonable explanation for the incident, but I repeat: Eek! The last thing you want to encounter when you’re on your way home late at night is Spring-Heeled Jack. He’s kind of like the precursor to Slender Man. Not a dude you want to be caught alone with. But hey, at least the Martins made it home unscathed!
What do you think? Is Spring-Heeled Jack on the loose again? Or is there something else going on here?
Have a wonderful week!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.