Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.
Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.
True Detective season 2 cast uncovered
We were somewhere around Carcosa on the edge of a backwoods small town when the cast members of True Detective season two began to take shape. So far, Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are confirmed as leads in the second season, and Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch are rumored to be locking down the other two main roles.
Vaughn will play a criminal trying to live a clean life for once. He's working with a detective, played by Farrell, who has to balance relationships with a corrupt police force and the mob. Show creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote season two's script with Vaughn in mind for the criminal character, Rolling Stone reports. McAdams, if she's confirmed for the role, will play tough Monterey sheriff Ani Bezzerides, a character "whose troubled upbringing has driven her to gambling and alcohol," Paste says. Kitsch looks likely to play Paul Woodrough, a detective and former soldier.
Before we judge too quickly, remember how it felt to hear that Matthew "Naked Bongoes" McConaughey would be in True Detective season one. Turns out, that was a pretty stellar casting choice.
Emma Watson: A powerful speech and the hoax it produced
"The more I have spoken out about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating." – Emma Watson, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador
Watson introduced the He for She campaign at the UN this past weekend, inviting men to advocate for women's rights and gender equality across the globe. In response, more than 100,000 men have pledged support for the movement.
Also in response, users on 4chan threatened to leak nude photos of Watson. Related to those threats, a countdown site called emmawatsonyouarenext.com appeared. When it hit zero on Wednesday morning, it didn't release any nude photos – instead, it linked to the homepage of a viral marketing company (that doesn't actually exist) with the message #shutdown4chan, and it appears the whole thing was an advertising campaign made by a group of online pranksters at the expense of someone's vulnerability. #notclassy.
You've been scooping ice cream the hard way all along
Midnight Scoop, you may just be the answer to our sugar-craving prayers. Already over-funded on Kickstarter, Midnight Scoop is designed by a mechanical engineer to make scooping ice cream easier, with a design that has hungry users push the ice cream into the spoon, rather than try to pull it. Whatever – if it can get ice cream into our mouths more quickly, we don't care how it happens.
The iPhone 6 Plus bends blah blah Apple blah
Some proud new owners of the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's new phablet-size phone, have noticed that it can bend, notably after being in a tight jeans pocket all day. It's not quite an epidemic, however – Apple said that out of millions of sales, it had received only nine bend complaints from customers as of Wednesday. Either way, it looks like it's time for everyone with tight jeans to embrace the unisex satchel. It's a purse, or a briefcase, or a really, really big screen protector.
Marvel cancels two Milo Manara covers
What: Milo Manara, known for illustrating erotica comics, drew a variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 that featured the super heroine in a physically impossible, awkward position starring a heaping helping of butt crack. The internet expressed its distaste for the cover.
What: Marvel cancels two variant covers from Milo Manara, one for Thor #2 (a series starring the first female Thor) and the other for Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1.
Why: We can only imagine.
A trailer, images from the next episode of Doctor Who
It's called "The Caretaker" and it takes place in a school.
Floor tiles charge patrons' phones, power up a French subway station
A series of floor tiles installed at the Saint-Omer subway station in France generate energy when people walk over them, and that energy is used to light up LEDs and power USB on benches in the station. Fourteen of the green power-walking Pavegen tiles were installed in March and they generate about seven watts of converted kinetic energy per step, which can then be stored for up to 72 hours via built-in batteries.
The Pavegen tiles are also in use in the UK and, just this year, the US.
The Legend of Korra Book 4 trailer
The final season begins on October 3.
Chris Hadfield assures a young boy that the Voyager space probe is happy
Timur, a 5-year-old from British Columbia, called into The Current to ask Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield about the Voyager space probe. See, Timur was worried about what would happen if Voyager broke, crashed into a planet or got lost out there in the inky loneliness of space. Hadfield had a lovely answer: "I think the real question is, is Voyager happy or not? Is Voyager a happy machine, or a sad machine?" He continued, "To me, Voyager is so happy, because it's the bravest satellite of all. It has gone the furthest. And it's not lonely, because it's talking to us. It phones home. And it tells us all about the wonderful things that it's seeing."
Listen to the adorable call here.
[Images: HBO, Michael Chou]