Geek Girl: Stalking Polar Bears, Is The Dark Tower Coming to Life?… And More
This week we’ve reviewed games, books, found an awesome Halloween costume and other cool stuff.
-Lucia Peters and PJ Gach
Have you ever wondered where you stand in the world? Can you find funny horror stories? What is going on with The Dark Tower? Looking for a a good video game? This week’s round-up has that and other cool things.
Read on to see what we found for you!
Polar Bear Stalking
Every winter, Polar Bears take an annual hike from their base in Churchill, Manitoba to the Hudson Bay. They wait until it freezes over and then go hunting for dinner (seals). This year you can follow their journey and see what they’re doing. Courtesy of a $50,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation, you can follow them via live streaming web cams. Go to Explore and catch the action day or night.
Is The Dark Tower Coming Back to Life?
Guess what? That ridiculously ambitious project to develop Stephen King’s fantasy epic The Dark Tower into a couple of films and a TV show may not be as dead as we thought. According to IndieWire, director Ron Howard, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, and producer Brian Grazer are still hard at work developing it, even though Universal had shuttered the project earlier this year. They’ve cut the budget significantly, and the plan as far as we know right now is for the funding to come from outside financing, rather than a studio. IndieWire had a chance to grab a few quick words with Grazer about it all at the Tower Heist press rounds this week. “We found a way to cut out $45 million out of the budget without changing the scope and actually giving it a good ending,” Grazer said. “In the $140 million draft, the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying. Now, we’ve got $45 million, $50 million out of the way and a really satisfying ending. It’s going to get made.”
Interesting, no? Of course, what we still don’t know is how faithful to the books this whole film project will be. I’m all for adapting stories as necessary depending on the mediums in which they’re being told, so I’m not a purist by any means; I do, however, hope that the reworked version will be as satisfying as Grazer thinks it will be. At least Javier Bardem is still attached to play Gunslinger Roland Deschain!
What’s Your Number?
The world’s population is exploding. In fact, the 7 billionth person should be making their appearance shortly. Kinda boggles your mind, doesn’t it? Have you ever thought where you stand in the crowd? Just like high school rankings, you can now find out your number courtesy of the BBC. They’ve created a calculator. Check it out.
Halloween Costume Inspiration: Fully-Functional Camera Costume
See this costume? It’s a camera. More precisely, it’s a Nikon DSLR. However, it’s not just a camera costume. It’s also an ACTUAL CAMERA. For reals! Photographer Tyler Card decided to become one with his work this Halloween and built this giant wearable camera himself. The shell of it is just cardboard and a five-gallon bucket—not unlike those cardboard box dice costumes you may or may not have made when you were a kid—but there’s also a normal-sized Nikon DSLR stuck inside it. Once the camera was in place, Tyler connected it to the LCD screen and the giant shutter button on the costume, with the result that when the button is pressed, the camera-in-the-camera takes a picture and displays it on the LCD screen. Neat-o!
Check the costume out in action here:
Capsule Review: Professor Layton and the Last Specter for the Nintendo DS
I’m not a hard-core gamer, but I’ve been gaming since I was a wee little one (they were family activities in my house), and puzzle-solving games have always been my game of choice. This, then, is probably why I’m so fond of the Professor Layton games for the Nintendo DS: They’re all about brainteasers and solving puzzles, they’ve got great stories, and they’re set against a vaguely Victorian and British background too boot. Professor Layton and the Last Specter is the most recent entry in the series, and like the other Layton games, it’s shaping up to be quite enjoyable, indeed!
The Last Specter takes place before the previous three Layton games, and there’s nothing new about the gameplay mechanics. That’s okay, though; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The story this time around focuses on the Professor’s investigations around the town of Misthallery. Lately, a gigantic, shadowy specter has been rising up at night and attacking the town, so it’s up to the Professor and his puzzle-solving know-how to figure out what’s going on. Notably, the delicate and somewhat annoying Flora is nowhere to be seen, since the Professor hasn’t met her yet. Instead, the token female of the game is Emmy, a plucky gal who acts as Layton’s assistant. The Last Specter also explains how the Professor and Luke Triton, his young apprentice, met for the first time.
I’m still only midway through the game, so I haven’t quite figured out the mystery yet; but I’m certainly developing some theories. Dig puzzles? Check out Layton. I promise you—and your brain!—won’t regret it!
Capsule Review: Blood Lite II: Overbite, edited by Kevin J. Anderson ($6.40, amazon.com)
A marriage proposal interrupted by a possessed demon, supernatural creatures upset that they destroyed the world, an unworldly accountant, a dead rockstar who freaks out in heaven when asked to play his best known song-these are just a few of the stories collected by editor Kevin J. Anderson for this perfect Halloween read. The short stories, most of them humorous, some of them mind-boggling are written by some of the best authors in the field. Writers include Kelly Armstrong, Lucien Soulbane, L.A. Banks, Sharyn McCrumb and more.
Lucia Peters is Assistant Editor at BettyConfidential.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.