As I nurse the nervous eye twitch that's blossomed thanks to an overly stressful work week, I give you the following nerdy-type tidbits that have caught my fancy recently:
* The New York Times had a short but interesting round table discussion among fans and critics over what made Harry Potter such a cultural phenomenon. Apparently it has nothing to do with the mystical allure of Alan Rickman, which I don't think is right at all. [NY Times]
* The BBC recently asked, "What's keeping women out of the labs?" Would "locks" be too obvious an answer? Actually, it's a very interesting story on the myths surrounding whether or not men are better than women at science. I've always secretly wished that genetics would explain away my inability to do percentages or figure out the spatial secrets to getting a sofa through a small, crooked doorway, but sadly, it turns out I might just be dumb. [BBC News]
* I thought for sure that National Geographic was going the "Squirrels Gone Wild" route with their coverage of "hot squirrel tails" but no, it's all on the scientific up and up. Apparently, researchers have discovered that certain squirrels can make their tails hot to ward off snakes. Yes, it's just like a superpower! If I don't see a Kevin Smith-produced movie about gigantic squirrels with fire-spewing tails in my local cineplex by next summer, I'm going to be very disappointed. [National Geographic]
* As if poor Abraham Lincoln didn't have enough on his mind what with being dead and having his face on America's least favorite coin, now he's got scientists pointing and laughing at him because his face was lopsided. This seems like such a weird "discovery" to me. Were they all just looking at his picture one day and Scientist A said, "Dude, he's kinda ugly," and Scientist B nodded thoughtfully. And then Scientist A, who obviously had just been watching an E! Entertainment docudrama on lopsided celebrity faces, turned to the other dude and said, "We should write a paper." And then the ghost of Abraham Lincoln gave them the finger and rained pennies down on their Priuses. I'm pretty sure that's how it happened. [Yahoo News]
* USA Today had an item today on video games as spectator sport, wondering if it was something that would grow in popularity in coming years. I say hell yes, since I enjoy watching my husband play Madden football much more than I enjoy watching the actual Detroit Lions play football. I think if you polled the actual Detroit Lions team, they would say the exact same thing...and then spontaneously lose to Green Bay. [USA Today]
* And finally, I didn't know this, but Kids in the Hall alumnus, News Radio icon and classy Bravo Celebrity Poker host and tippler Dave Foley has his own online show called "Cant Sleep With Dave Foley." Basically, Dave does free-form monologues, chats with celebrities online and presents a musical guest -- all from his bed. It's like if Hugh Hefner were Canadian. Here's episode one:
You can see all of the episodes at Superdeluxe.com.