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.
Alan Moore, author of the graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta, has finished the first draft of a 1 million-word book titled Jerusalem. A Facebook post from Moore's daughter, Leah, says, "Now there's just the small matter of copy editing a more-than-a-million word document, and it's all done." Moore has been working on Jerusalem since 2008, and it's a divergent tale that centers on his hometown of Northhampton, with historical characters and chapters told in varying styles.
"I've done a chapter that's like a mid-sixties New Wave, New Worlds Michael Moorcock-era science fiction story," Moore said in 2013. "There's one that's like a piece of noir fiction. It's all these different styles." The final chapter is "somewhat" in the style of Dos Passos, Moore also said last year.
For comparison, the first three books in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series total just over 1 million words, and Stephen King's seven-book series, The Dark Tower, is 1.3 million words. The complete Lord of the Rings trilogy comes in at 470,000 words.
... author's newest movie. James Franco has the rights to make a movie based on Chuck Palahniuk's 2007 novel, Rant, and Franco is looking to play the lead of Buster "Rant" Casey. Rant is an oral biography of Casey's wild, rabies-infected life and violent death at a demolition derby-style event known as Party Crashing. You know, totally normal stuff.
The Batmobile in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has all the typical features of a car: wheels, a windshield, headlights, a spoiler, giant guns on the hood. That last feature probably cost extra, but it's ... how do you say? Worth it.
In the early 1980s, Disney attempted to make a film based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, and the studio put together some test footage with Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens as Mr. Rabbit himself. In this version, Jessica Rabbit was cutthroat, posed more as a villain than as the saucy heartthrob in the final Who Framed Roger Rabbit film that came from director Robert Zemeckis in 1988.
Pepper, a patient at the insane asylum Briarcliff in American Horror Story's second season, is returning for the fourth season, Freak Show. Pepper joins returning actress Jessica Lange as the circus' ring leader, Sarah Paulson as both heads of a single conjoined-twin body, Evan Peters as a boy with lobster hands, and Kathy Bates as his mother, the bearded lady.
The villain of Freak Show is Twisty the Clown, a retiree and murderer. As showrunner Ryan Murphy describes it, "He's out to make their lives a living hell. He's wearing a mask on the lower part of his face and there comes a point in the season where takes the mask off, and when you see what's under you will faint in terror."
Imagine walking into your doctor's office. You've been extra dizzy and nauseated recently, and you want to find out why. The doctor orders a CAT scan, which reveals you're missing an entire, important section of your brain, the cerebellum. Oops.
A patient in China is one of only nine known people to be born without the cerebellum, the portion of the brain that controls fine motor functions such as balance and speech. It's fairly miraculous that she's alive, and this phenomenon is a fine example of the brain's plasticity.
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