8/28/2015

EverBlocks Let You Build Modular Furniture
We'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's strangest and geekiest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

By The Way

Well, it's finally happened! We teased about it, hinted about it and then revealed the big news: The Geek Twins are now on About.com. If you love Superman I hope you love my new site all about the caped wonder. Here are some of the articles that I hope you visit and like.
It's kind of weird writing without a comment section, so feel free to share your thoughts on the articles here if you'd like. I'd love to hear what you think and what you'd like to see.


Links

  1. Captain America and Iron Man's Civil War Teams Revealed (via io9)
    Captain America Civil War
  2. Yesterdays Enterprise - Star Trek TNG Quiz (via Spacerguy) What's your score?
  3. What's your Star Wars name? (via Jeremy) Mine is Mitma Elrook. Bounty Hunter extraodinaire
  4. Guillermo Del Toro Would Love To Put Godzilla In Pacific Rim 3 (via The Mary Sue)
    Godzilla fighting
  5. Star Wars Group, Weird Al Strike Back Against 8-Year-Old Fangirl’s Bullies - Love her, you will. (The Mary Sue)
    Wierd Al and Star Wars fan
  6. THE ULTIMATE CLICHE: BIKINI SHOTS (via MsMariah's Space Blog-yssey)
    Mandatory Bikini Shot
  7. J.J. Abrams Promises There Is No Talk of Midi-chlorians in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (via /Film)
  8. Queen Elizabeth I's Execution Confusion [Scratch game] (via Sci-Fi Gene)
  9. Skynet Wins After All: Terminator Genisys Is a Monster Hit in China! (via io9)
  10. Maryland's 'Lamborghini Batman' Killed In Highway Crash (via io9) He was the hero we needed but not the one we deserved
    Lamborghini Batman killed in car crash
  11. A Guy Grew an Ear on His Arm... (via Jay Noel)
  12. This totally ordinary-looking wedding cake has a super secret, much like the heroes it’s paying homage to. (via /Film)

    Superhero wedding cake

Reviews

Movies

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) - Recommended

Official Synopsis: "In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons."
This taut fun thriller is supposed to be a throwback to classic James Bond and it works. The reason it works is the same reason it bombed: director Guy Ritchie gives it the slow pace of 60s movies and it's a wonderful contrast to the quick cuts and frenetic pace of modern films. The action is phenomenal, the intricate plot is well written and Henry Cavill makes a wonderful leading man.

Here are some more reviews from the coolest blogs

Chronicle (2012) - Recommended

Official Synopsis: "Seen through the lens of a troubled teen's video camera, yet filled with eye-popping action and jaw-dropping special effects, Chronicle is as real as it gets. When three ordinary high school friends make an extraordinary discovery, they acquire amazing abilities beyond their understanding. But as their powers develop, so do their darker sides. Fun, harmless pranks soon lead to much riskier activities as the boys' "gifts" - and their lives - spin dangerously out of control!"
Josh Trank creates an incredible low budget movie but it's not about superheroes. This movie is about people and as the movie spends more time on the characters they use their powers to explore their ambitions on things like pranks, travel and revenge. It's a thoughtful and powerful film and shares many themes of Fantastic Four with teenagers getting powers and one turning evil. But if this is what Trank was trying to make I can see why the studio balked. It's way too slow paced for a summer blockbuster.

Fantastic Four (2014) - Not Recommended

Official Synopsis: "The FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy."
In case you couldn't tell from my rant about the movie's poorcharacterization this movie is a waste of time in every way. The acting and special effects are too good to enjoy it as a bad movie, but the plot and characters are too ill-defined to enjoy as a good movie. Some say the movie would have been better if the studio hadn't interfered, but from everything we've heard about Trank - from his trashing his rental house, telling the actors not to breathe, locking himself in a big tent and tweeting an attack on the movie before it opened - he's just not professional enough to handle a Hollywood film. He'll go back to independent film and the studio will try to save what's left of the franchise. Don't waste money in the theater and only rent it if you get a free rental from Red Box or On Demand.

Here are some more reviews from the coolest blogs
What do you think of this week's links and reviews?

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8/19/2015

Source: YouTube, Credit: Lucasfilm
Do you want to watch The Empire Strikes Back, but don't have 124 minutes to spare? If you're one of those who complains about George Lucas releasing different versions of the movie, you might be surprised to find out he's been doing this since the beginning. Case in point, in 1981, Lucasfilm released a Super 8mm version of The Empire Strikes Back. Because of the limitations of the medium, there were two parts, each only fifteen minutes long. It does a surprisingly good job of hitting the highlights. Watch part two below, and be glad this didn't become the official version.



[Via Cracked]

Would you watch this version?

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The movie Fantastic Four bombed, but Fox still has plans to make Fantastic Four 2 in 2017. So it's a good time to look back on the most powerful members of the team with this new infographic sent to us.

Who Are the Fantastic Four?

The Fantastic Four is a superhero team that first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1 back in 1961. The birth of the idea was that, after the success of DC Comics "Justice League" writer-editor Stan Lee was asked by Marvel Comics to make a superhero team. He and artist Jack Kirby created the companies first superhero team and called them the "Fantastic Four". The original story was that four people traveled in a spaceship to outer space and are exposed to cosmic rays. The four crash and, using their new-found powers, dedicate their lives to helping people as heroes. The team is made up of Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), the genius who can stretch his body into any shape he can imagine; the Invisible Woman (Susan "Sue" Storm), the mother hen who can turn herself invisible and control powerful invisible force fields; the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Sue's flashy younger brother, who can control fire and fly; the Thing (Ben Grimm) the gruff friend who has superhuman strength and is covered by an impenetrable rock-like skin.

Over the years the team membership has changed and over a dozen other superheroes have joined the team like Luke Cage, Black Panther and Wolverine. We know we'll never see She-Hulk or Storm in the next movie, but we might see Mrs. Thing (not "Ms. Thang" if you're keeping track). The following infographic by ladbrokes.com gives an overview of the most powerful team members of the Fantastic Four. It's a little off in spots like Danny Ketch ("Ghost Rider") was in the Fantastic Four along with Johnny Blaze, but it's still a fun graphic.

About the Infographic

"Fantastic Four Members Ranked" Infographic by Ladbrokes
"Fans of sci-fi and action movies have waited a decade for the brand new The Fantastic Four film, which has finally arrived. A new cast for the four main characters, consisting of Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Miles Teller, will be starring in the movie. The film has been directed by Josh Trank, who had his debut as the director of Chronicle. Take a look at our infographic and guess which heroes will make it to the final line-up."

Note: Maurice and Nigel Mitchell do not endorse gambling or gambling websites of any kind

What do you think of the infographic? Which is your favorite member of the Fantastic Four? Who would you like to see in the next movie?

[Source: Josh Smith]

About the Author: Maurice Mitchell
I'm an avid science fiction fan, former professional graphic designer and certified blerd. After the death of my Star Wars action figures I use my powers for good and not for evil.
Visit my concept art blog: http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com

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8/18/2015

All movies about Marvel superheroes are not created equal. As we've highlighted with our infographic, not all Marvel property are yet owned by Marvel Studios, and the quality of non-Marvel Marvel movies is all over the map. With the failure of Fantastic Four, and the agreement for Marvel to take over the Spiderman property from Sony, it seems more and more that Marvel Studios might be the only sign of a quality superhero movie. More than ever, we the viewers want to make sure we're seeing a quality film. That's why this infographic by CyanShades is useful. Check out the differences by clicking below:
A guide I made highlighting the differences between "Non-Marvel" Marvel films and Marvel Studios films. Was designed to help educate those who have no clue that there's a difference.


[Via AVClub via Reddit]

Does it matter who makes Marvel movies? What's your favorite "Marvel" and Marvel movie?

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8/10/2015

Fantastic Four (2015), Source: 20th Century Fox
Well, this is awkward. Although we've been championing the new Fantastic Four reboot for quite a while, it seems the movie isn't as good as we hoped. In fact, the reviews are in and it's bad. Really bad. Like, one-of-the-worst-superhero-movies-ever-made bad. At one point, Metacritic had FF at a combined score of 6, which would have meant that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (at 16) was a better movie. Fortunately, a few "mixed" reviews came in to bring FF up to 27, so now it's about equal with Pixels. Which is still bad. Here's a rundown of quotes from some of the worst reviews:

1. Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic wrote: "At first, it’s fun and shiny, then you’re left with a crumpled mess on the floor."

2. Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "In short, this Josh Trank-directed reboot had a very low hurdle to overcome to become the best FF movie so far. The most fantastical aspect of the movie is that it may not achieve that goal."

3. Bilge Ebiri of Vulture wrote: "Given the level of talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, nobody should feel much joy — no anti-tentpole schadenfreude or blockbuster-busting righteousness — to discover that the latest Fantastic Four film is a catastrophe."

4. Lou Lumenick of the New York Post wrote: "A lousy script, unfocused direction, incoherent editing, shockingly terrible special effects — and, probably, panicked studio executives — have left its four talented stars muddling through a dull superhero origin story with zero payoff...Given this disaster, any plans for a sequel seem more like a threat than a promise."

5. Pete Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "The latest reboot of the Fantastic Four — the cinematic equivalent of malware — is worse than worthless."

6. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "A sense of heaviness, gloom and complete disappointment settles in during the second half, as the mundane set-up results in no dramatic or sensory dividends whatsoever."

7. Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald wrote: "I’d rather sit through Roger Corman’s no-budget, unintentionally hilarious 1994 adaptation, because at least that one makes you laugh."

8. The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips wrote: "From Miles Teller to Kate Mara to Reg E. Cathey, everyone on screen in Fantastic Four speaks in a flat, earnest monotone with a determinedly low-keyed air bordering on openly not giving a rip."

9. USA Today's Brian Truitt said: "An unfortunate movie that does an embarrassing disservice to the decades-old property and is a frightful waste of all the talent involved."

And finally...

10. Joe Neumaier of The New York Daily News put it best: "Someone forgot to put anything fantastic into Fantastic Four."

What did you think of Fantastic Four? If you haven't seen it, would you see it after the bad reviews?

About the Author - Nigel G. Mitchell earned a Bachelor's in English from Arizona State University in 1999. In addition to writing for The Geek Twins, his short stories have been published in Lost Worlds, 365 Tomorrows, and Black Hole Magazine. His latest novel is Seizure.

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Fantastic Four (2015) - Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan)

Making Johnny Storm Black in Fantastic Four was a terrible idea. In the comics, two members of the super team Fantastic Four are brother and sister: Johnny and Sue Storm. When it was announced Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch) would be played by Black actor Michael B. Jordon, there was a firestorm of protest. My brother and I both wrote articles defending the casting decision and in many ways race-changing is a great idea. Movie audiences should be challenged to accept minorities in different roles.

But this turned out to be a terrible, confusing and pointless idea. Here's why.


1. They Never Explained Their Relationship

I never wanted the movie to spend a half-hour explaining where they came from, but I expected some kind of exposition. There was nothing. The movie never explains their relationship.

Professor Franklin Storm, played by Reg E. Cathey is Black. Sue Storm, played by Kate Mara, is White. Why? Is she adopted? Is she his step-daughter? Was he widowed and left with her? Did a friend die and he adopt her? They never bother to explain, which leaves you entering and leaving the theater with the same question. There's one scene where they say she's from Kosovo, but that doesn't tell us anything.

Blended relationships are common today, so it shouldn't be a big deal. Today, 40% of married couples with children in the US are step couples. In 2007, there were 73.8 million children in adopted families. So it's common. Everyone knows at least one step or adopted family. But, the question still has to be answered. It's not.

Update: Spokhette pointed out that there is a brief conversation that says Sue's adopted. I must have fallen asleep...

2. They Barely Hint That Their Brother and Sister

While Sue and Johnny are in most of the movie, their father never uses the word "sister" until an hour into the movie. So, if you didn't know they were related from reading comics or the promotional campaigns it would be a huge surprise. You could even miss it if you weren't paying attention.

Think about another confusing brother and sister pairing. Luke and Leia from Star Wars. The first movie didn't even hint they were related and you spent the movie thinking they weren't. Which is why it's so confusing when they establish they're twins in Empire Strikes Back. It's weird, but you get used to the idea. Here's why.

Update: Apparently I wasn't paying attention

3. It's Confusing Even If Sue Weren't White

Families tend to look alike and they have similar features. Sometimes there's a diversion and it's jarring and this is true in movies too. If Sue is Blonde haired and blue-eyed and Johnny Storm were White with dark hair and dark eyes, it would still be confusing.

When you see two people that look dramatically different from each other claim to be brother and sister it's jarring. To have Sue as a different race is just plain bizarre without explanation. It's not racist. It just raises questions. We still question Luke and Leia, but accept it because they did a good job acting. Which leads to the biggest problem with their relationship

4. They Don't Act Like Brother and Sister

Sue and Johnny don't act like they're brother and sister at all. When they meet halfway through the movie they barely acknowledge each other. It's implied that there's sibling rivalry between them, but that's no excuse for treating family like a stranger.

Look at Loki and Thor in the Marvel movies. They look very different from each other, but we believe they're family. Thor and Loki have a tense relationship, but it's obvious there's a family bond. In Fantastic Four there's no family tie at all. Even after they resolved their issues by the end they still don't show any familial affection for each other.You know why?

5. This is the Director's Fault

Josh Trank did a terrible job with the characters in this movie and this is just a symptom of the problem. All the characters in the film are poorly defined and we know next to nothing about their motivations.

Why does Reed want to build a teleporter so badly? Why does Doom hate humanity? Why does Johnny hate his sister? We spend an hour and 46 minutes and learn nothing about the characters, what they want and why it's important to them.

A better director could have cast them Black, Indian, Chinese and Puerto Rican and it would have made sense. With Trank it becomes a big gaping plot hole left to be filled. Kind of like the rest of the movie. Yes, he says it's the studios fault, but the decision to cast Michael B. Jordon was his. If only he'd committed to making it work.

Jordan said his casting is "a reflection of what a modern family looks like today." It is. That's OK. We should enjoy a world with interracial relationships and accept it as wonderful. Casting a Black man to play a superhero is a great idea and should be done more often. But it needs to be done in a better movie.

Are you surprised that having a Black Johnny Storm is confusing? Could it have been done better? Should audiences be more accepting of blended families?

Please be mindful of our comment policy when making comments

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About the Author: Maurice Mitchell
I'm an avid science fiction fan, former professional graphic designer and certified blerd. After the death of my Star Wars action figures I use my powers for good and not for evil.
Visit my concept art blog: http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com

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8/07/2015

Baymax pillow
This Seven-and-a-Half-Feet Long Baymax Bed Is All We've Ever Wanted (via io9)
I'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's strangest and geekiest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

By The Way

I talked last week about how we're going to be limiting the blog and it's now official. My brother and I are stepping away from The Geek Twins for a few months (?!). I'll keep posting occasionally to Film Sketchr and I may be posting our weekly link list, but that'll be it for a while. I may occasionally share the Superman posts on About.com, but I don't want to turn this blog into a advertisement for About.com, so I'll keep it minimal. I'll be visiting and commenting on as many blogs as I can, so I won't be completely out of the loop. - Maurice

Links

  1. Josh Trank Refuses All Blame For FANTASTIC FOUR's Failure (via Geek Tyrant)
  2. These Mark Hamill Autographs Are Priceless (via Science Fiction)













  3. 82-Year-Old BAMF Nichelle Nichols Will Fly in a NASA Mission This September (via The Mary Sue)
  4. HOLLYWOOD NUTS!: 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper... Rest In Peace!
    RIP Roddy Piper
    Truly saddened by the news that Roderick George "Roddy" Toombs, known as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died on July 31st, 2015. He's done many wonderful things but I loved him for his iconic performance in "They Lives" (1988). "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick a**. And I’m all out of bubble gum." It's the greatest action one-liner in the history of cinema.
  5. POOPING IS LOGICAL - STAR TREK Potty Training Book Based on Vulcan Principles
    Pooping is logical
  6. J.J. Abrams Promises There Is No Talk of Midi-chlorians in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (via /Film)
  7. No Doctor Who Season 10 In 2016? (via Bleeding Cool)
  8. Fox Confirm Plans For X-MEN TV Series...If Marvel Lets Them Make It (Comic Book Movie)
  9. BACK TO THE FUTURE Themed Monopoly (via Geek Tyrant)
    Back to the future monopoly
    Official Description: "Want to travel from 2015 to 1985 to 1955 to 1885 in the comfort of your own home? Well, now you can! This fully licensed Back to the Future Monopoly board game provides hors of fun as you collect locations and time-hop through the world of the BTTF trilogy! The game board features all-new properties taken straight from the films, including CafĂ© ’80s and Doc’s Mansion, plus you get new “Chance” and Community Chest” cards, and new die-cast metal game pieces of the time machine, Einstein the dog, the cowboy hat, the futuristic sneaker, the hoverboard and the famous Hill Valley clock! Game comes packaged in a full-color box resembling a case of plutonium."
  10. Librarians Love Them Some Batman ’66 (via He Geek She Geek)
    Batman at the library
  11. NAKED SUPER HEROES! well not really... (via Being Retro)
    Naked superheroes
  12. Holy Cow: Micro Machines Are Returning For The Force Awakens (via io9)
    Micro Machines Force Awakens
  13. 'I hit puberty pretty early in life': Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson reveals extremely mature moustached image at 16 in throwback high school picture (via Daily Mail)
    Dwayne The Rock Johnson High School Photo

Reviews

Movies

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) - Recommended
Official synopsis: "With the IMF disbanded and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces its most impossible mission yet."
The movie isn't as good as the TV show, but I like that they're trying hard to emulate the show's style including using the opening and incidental music. Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast do a great job and Christopher McQuarrie delivers his usual frenetic style of action and humor. It's an enjoyable film, although it's pure popcorn and has no real character development or story arc.

Here are some more reviews from the coolest blogs
What do you think of this week's links and reviews?
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8/03/2015

Edward Scissorhands Neighborhood, Source: 21st Century Fox
In 1990, Tim Burton's surreal masterpiece Edward Scissorhands hit theaters, telling the bizarre fable of a young Johnny Depp with scissor blades for fingers. Some of the most memorable images in the movie came from the creepily bland pastel houses in Edward's new neighborhood. A user on IMGUR calling themselves Voodrew apparently lives in the neighborhood where the movie was filmed, and posted these photos showing what it looks like today. Here are the comments:
In 1990 Edward Scissorhands was filmed in a (then brand new) subdivision right down the street from me just outside of Tampa, Fl. My Mom worked for the doctor on call to the set. I had some afternoon hours off recently so I took my daughter for a stroll around the neighborhood and took some "before and afters." It looks NOTHING like it did, mainly because there were no trees in the movie, just bushes... (and of course the houses were painted pastely [sic])

25 Years Ago Edward Scissorhands was filmed near my house


Voodrew even posted this link to Google Street View of the location, so you can take your own virtual tour.

Groovy.

[Via imgur]

What do you think of the neighborhood?

About the Author - Nigel G. Mitchell earned a Bachelor's in English from Arizona State University in 1999. In addition to writing for The Geek Twins, his short stories have been published in Lost Worlds, 365 Tomorrows, and Black Hole Magazine. His latest novel is Seizure.

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7/31/2015

Why Hunt Rare Lions, When You Can Hang Battle Cat's Head on Your Trophy Wall? (via Topless Robot)
We'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's strangest and geekiest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

By The Way

We can finally talk about the big news. About.com has asked me to head up their brand new Superman site. It's going to be your one stop shop for the biggest superman news and information. It's a huge opportunity for me! I've been blogging for over a decade but I've always done it for free. This is the first time I've written for money and it's mind-blowing and humbling. Getting paid to write about my favorite superhero is a dream come true. It was never really our goal to be professional bloggers, but when opportunity knocks you have to answer. So, here's the bad news. I'm going to have to focus most of my attention on the new blog. Which means I'm going to have to spend less time working on this blog.

Of course when I want to write about Batman, Star Trek or any of my many other passions I'll be write here so that's not changing. But it'll have to drop from every weekday to every other day or less. We'll see. My brother's going to be writing the occasional Superman article on About.com and continue to post right here after his two week break is over. So, the blogs not dead or going away, but it is changing. We hope you guys join us on our journey.

Links

  1. Long Island Man Builds Star Trek Bridge in Basement, Wife Approve [Previous Link Broken, Go to NY Post Instead]
  2. Colorado Man Turns House Into Star Trek, Sleeps in Klingon Ambassador Quarters
  3. J.J. Abrams Broke His Back on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. But It's Just a Scratch
  4. Scientists Invent a Bacon Laser
  5. It’s Not That The Thing Doesn’t Wear Pants, He Doesn’t Wear A “Containment Suit” In ‘Fantastic Four’
  6. WONDER WOMAN: Chris Pine Closes Deal to Play Steve Trevor
  7. A New Marvel Season Every Six Months From Netflix
  8. This Mom Made Her Daughter a Black Widow Doll Since No One Else Will - #HeresBlackWidow
  9. 28 Facts You Might Not Know about The Munsters
    #6. Grandpa was Lily’s father, but Al Lewis was a year younger than Yvonne De Carlo.
  10. Mark Hamill to Voice The Joker for BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE Animated Film
  11. A Space Blogyssey: THIS IS HOW "THEY" WORK BLOGATHON Wrap-Up

Reviews

Television

Star Trek: The Animated Series - "The Counter-Clock Incident" (02x04) - Recommended


Official synopsis: "Enterprise tries to save an unidentified ship plunging into a supernova but is dragged into a universe where time runs backwards. Their only hope to return home is Commodore Robert April, the first commander of the Enterprise, who is on board on a retirement trip."
The idea of the crew getting younger has been done many times on Star Trek like in "Too Short A Season", but this episode is saved by the surprising reaction April and his wife take to being made younger.


It's a wonderful episode about growing old gracefully and the benefits of experience. The animation is wonderful and the voice work is exceptional with James Doohan and Nichelle Nichols again showing a wide vocal range. The silliest part is the ship goes Warp 35 which is physically impossible. LOL

Read the rest of the posts in the blog hop!
What do you think of this week's links and reviews?

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7/30/2015

Pluto's moon Charon and Mr. Spock (via NASA)

NASA's New Horizons team just gave Pluto the coolest names ever. Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a "dwarf planet" back in 2005, but it's about to be the most awesome heavenly body in the solar system. The surface of Pluto and it's moons have always been a mystery until 14 July 2015, when the New Horizons spacecraft became the first to make detailed measurements and observations of Pluto and its moons.

The huge maps are being studied and, like any map, they needed names of the different places. "We need names to call things," Cathy Olkin, one of the New Horizons scientists, said. "We are working with these data. You can't just keep on saying, ‘Oh, that canyon up to the left.'" So, they made up a list of names for the different Craters, Cavus (deep-sided depression), Chasma (chasm), Colles (small knobs or hills), Dorsa (ridges), Fossa (long, narrow depression), Linea (elongated marking), Macula (dark spot), Mons (mountain), Montes (mountains), Planum (plateau or high plain), Regio (large bright or dark region), Terra (extensive land mass), Vallis (valley) of the surfaces. These names won't be official till the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ratifies them, but the team I'd pretty confident they'll be approved. Names were selected based on the voting and suggestions from the OurPluto naming campaign.

The team worked hard to make sure the names respect culture and diversity of this huge world and the names chosen fall into four major categories: space missions and spacecraft; scientists and engineers; historic explorers; and underworld locales, beings, and travelers. It's awesome that they suggested naming the heart shaped area after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the celestial body. It's heart-warming that areas are named after the Russian spacecraft Sputnik and the two space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. But, how mind-bendingly cool is it to look at Vader Crater or Serenity Chasma?

Here's the full map of Pluto and Charon



Here are the geekiest informal names on the surface of Pluto


  • Gallifrey Macula (dark spot) named after Doctor Who
  • Kirk Crater named after Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek (1977)
  • Macross Chasma (chasm) named after the anime show Macross (1982)
  • Mordor Regio (large bright or dark region) named after Lord of the Rings
  • Nemo Crater named after Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870)
  • Nostromo Chasma (chasm) named after the ship in Alien (1979)
  • Organa Crater named after Princess Leia Organa from Star Wars (1977)
  • Ripley Crater named after Ellen Ripley from Alien (1979)
  • Serenity Chasma (chasm) named after Firefly (2002)
  • Skywalker Crater named after Luke Skywalker from Star Wars (1977)
  • Spock Crater named after Mr. Spock  from Star Trek (1977)
  • Sulu Crater named after Lt. Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek (1977)
  • Tardis Chasma (chasm) named after from Doctor Who
  • Uhura Crater named after Lt. Nyota Uhura from Star Trek (1977)
  • Vader Crater named after Darth Vader from Star Wars (1977)
  • Vulcan Planum (plateau or high plain) named after Star Trek (1977)
  • Kubrick Mons named after the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Clarke Mons named after the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke
  • Cthulhu Rego named after the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Call of Cthulhu"
"Everything is waiting approval," Showalter told BuzzFeed Science, but "we are optimistic that the IAU will see things the way we do." The team is proud of the fact that the names are drawn from a diverse group of people and cultures around the world. But they also want to honor the work of the many that contibuted to our undertanding of the universe and led to the success of the New Horizons Mission. "We felt strongly as a mission team that we stood on the shoulders of giants," Alan Stern, the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, told BuzzFeed Science, and that they needed to "honor the missions and the engineers and scientists who figured out how to do space exploration, because we could have never pulled off New Horizons without their experience."

Visit http://www.ourpluto.org/maps to learn more.

Which is your favorite name from the Pluto maps? What would you name a place on Pluto?

About the Author: Maurice Mitchell
I'm an avid science fiction fan, former professional graphic designer and certified blerd. After the death of my Star Wars action figures I use my powers for good and not for evil.
Visit my concept art blog: http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com

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