Geek Girl: William Shatner, Broadway Superstar!
Plus: Stonehenge’s secrets revealed, the world’s youngest (and cutest) dinosaur expert, and more!
-Lucia Peters and PJ Gach
It’s true: William Shatner is taking on Broadway. The Great White Way may never be the same. Plus, exciting news this week as relates to Stonehenge, woolly mammoths, cloning, technology, and as a bonus, we’re going to introduce you to the cutest little dinosaur expert you ever did see. Time to get your geek on!
Stonehenge’s Secrets Partially Revealed!
The mystery of Stonehenge has been puzzling scientists along with the rest of the world for centuries. No one’s ever been able to figure out how those incredibly heavy stones were carried to the site, and there’s been speculation about what the stones have meant practically forever. No one is ever sure where the rocks came from in the first place.
But here’s some exciting news: Two British scientists, Dr. Richard Bevins and Dr. Rob Ixer, discovered that the some of the stones match samples of stones found at outcroppings at Craig Rhos-y-felin in Pembrokeshire. That’s a distance of 160 miles from Stonehenge’s location in Wiltshire. The two docs compared the mineral content and textures of the two sets of stones, which led to their “Eureka!” moment. Dr. Rob Ixer, of Leicester University, called the discovery “quite unexpected and exciting.”
Bizarrely, though, four Stonehenge rocks don’t match the samples and they’re still trying to figure out where they came from.
It looks like they’ll be busy for years to come. On the bright side, at least one mystery has been solved!
William Shatner Takes Broadway
These days, William Shatner is probably most recognizable from the Price Line commercials and from Boston Legal, but for us nerds, he will always, until the end of time, be Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. What is perhaps most commendable about Shatner’s post-Star Trek career is that he’s essentially made a career out of being William Shatner—and he’s damn good at it. Perhaps, then, it is unsurprising that his next appearance will be in a one-man show on Broadway.
According to the New York Times, Shatners’ World: We Just Live In It (yes, that’s actually the title) will follow Shatner’s journey “from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and raconteur, known as much for his unique persona as for his expansive body of work on television and film.” Sounds about right. Shatner, appropriately, made the following statement: “I’ve been pretty busy since I last played the Music Box. I’ve been refurbished; I hope the theater has been too. My plan has always been to return to Broadway every 50 years. I can’t ask my fans to wait for me longer than Halley’s Comet, so I’m coming back.”
You’ll note that this is not the first time William Shatner has appeared on the Great White Way; it’s just been a while since the last time. In 1961, he played Paul Sevigne in A Shot in the Dark, presumably in the very theatre (The Music Box, on 45th St. in Times Square) where Shatner’s World will be performing.
The show will begin previews on February 14 and open on February 16, after which it will run until March 4. It’s time to boldly go… well, you know the rest.
Meet the World’s Youngest Dinosaur Expert
File under “adorable:” This is Stella. Stella is four years old, and she really knows her dinosaurs. In fact, she knows so much about them that she’s able to spot mistakes in dinosaur-themed toys from a mile away. Take this “3D Moveable Triceratops Model,” for example. It may look all right, but there’s a problem here: It’s not actually a triceratops, and Stella totally knows it. According to her, it’s more like a styracosaurus. So what exactly is wrong with it? Well, for starters, it has to do with what’s going on with the dino’s horns and frill. But what am I doing, rattling on about it? I’m sure you would much rather listen to this utterly charming child tell you all about it instead. Welcome to Stella’s School of Dinosaurs:
Cutest. Paleontologist. Ever. Am I right, or am I right?
Want A Woolly Mammoth As Your Next Pet?
We’re assuming that if you do, then you’ve got a pretty spacious home, since woolly mammoths once got as big as 9.2 feet high and their tusks got to be about 16 feet long. But can you get one for your very own? Well, a group of scientists are hoping to clone one as we speak.
According to Discover magazine, a team of Japanese and Russian scientists from the Siberian Mammoth Museum and Japan’s Kinki University are planning to start this cloning project early this year; furthermore, they’ve even boasted that they can complete it within five years.
Can they actually do it? It’s a tricky process. First of all, they’ve got to snag an undamaged nucleus from an extinct mammoth that’s been frozen for over 10,000 years. Then they have to insert it into a (probably unwilling) African Elephant’s egg. Then, just to make it even more fun, they have to wait and see if the whole thing takes. Note that gestation time for a baby elephant is over a year.
Cloning non-extinct animals has a 30 percent success rate, but for extinct animals, it’s pretty close to zilch. However, if you’re a betting kind of person, Irish betting company Paddy Power has all ready laid out the odds for their woolly mammoth-themed betting pool. Short-term odds have it at 8:1 against a cloned wooly mammoth by 2014 and only 5:2 for a 2017-2018 finish date. Ready… get set… go!
Women Buy More Technology Than Men. Take That, Gender Stereotypes!
You know gender stereotypes? You know how they’re ridiculously dumb? Well, we’ve got even more proof of that fact now: When it comes to consumer electronics, a new study has found that women are more likely than men to purchase tablets, laptops, and smartphones—which, by the way, are three out of the four top consumer electronics categories. Who says girls don’t do gadgets?
According to Mashable, Parks Associates recently asked 2,000 consumers in the 18-and-older age bracket about their buying habits when it came to technology—specifically about what they planned to buy before January 1, 2012. Women took the top statistics in tablets, laptops, and smartphones; 18% of women expressed an interest in tablets, %20 in laptops, and another 20% in smartphones. Men trailed behind: Only 15% planned to buy a tablet, only 14% planned to buy a laptop, and only 17% planned to buy a smartphone.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, men (19%) definitely expressed more interest than women (17%) in the field of flat screen LCD TVs. I suspect, though cannot prove, that this is not unconnected to the fact that more men than women use gaming consoles.
But hey, at least women are playing consoles more than they used to! The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are especially popular with women, largely due to the social aspects of the game play involved on those platforms. In fact, 54% of women are more interested in social gaming with multi-players, as opposed to 45% of men. Given that women generally tend to like communicating and interacting with others more than men do, this makes a lot of sense.
In other news, the post popular tech item purchased from HSN is a purple scanner. Alas, we have no way to break down the gender demographic of the buyers; but still. Purple is so much better than black, white, or grey.
The Headphones of the Special Forces—and You!
If you’ve ever had to take out your ear buds time and time again to talk to people or make sure you’re not being stalked by THE BIG BAD, then you know how annoying it can be—especially if you’re in the middle of your fave song.
But this might not be a problem for very much longer. The Daily Mail recently reported on a new type of headphone that’s making its debut at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show), going on in Vegas as we speak. These new “bone conduction” headphones by Aftershokz will be available to everyone soon. They run on the same technology used by police and the UK’s Special Forces: That is, they transmit vibrations through your cheek to your inner ear.
Unlike other headphones or ear buds, these ones don’t leak music, but will still allow you to hear music and street noise at the same time. They are lightweight and will sit outside of your ear, so there are no worries about sweat damage or jiggling.
To get updates on Aftershokz, visit them on Facebook. Hit “Like” and you’ll find out soon where you can get them.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.