Holy Carl Sagan, Batman! Wanna fight?
Mornin’. At breakfast today I asked my precocious six-year-old an important question.
Me: Do you know how to make an octopus laugh?
Precocious six-year-old: [squints]
Me: You give them ten tickles. Get it?
Precocious six-year-old: Ughhhhhhh.
We all know an octopus has eight arms, but, jokes aside, they have three hearts and—get this—nine brains. (Each tentacle has a mini brain to complement the main one.) I hope at least one of those brains appreciates a good punchline.
Have another good dad joke? Drop it in the comments.
—Tim Leong, Andrew Nusca, Eric Alt, Marques Edge
What’s up and down in the world rn.
Buffed: Your local 7-Eleven. The Powerball jackpot reached $1 billion for just the third time. The next drawing is tonight and will be the seventh-largest U.S. lottery prize in history. I just bought a ticket—there is a 1 in 292.2 million chance I’m not coming in to work tomorrow.
Nerfed: Every singer not named Taylor. With Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift has more No. 1 albums than any woman in history. She was previously tied at 11 No. 1 albums with Barbra Streisand. She’s also the first person since 1966 (Herb Alpert, you legend) to have four albums in the Top 10 at the same time.
Buffed: Elmore Leonard fans. Justified, the 2010 FX series, is back in the form of Justified: City Primeval, a new miniseries. Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens has left the hollers of Kentucky and is investigating a mysterious case in Detroit—with his 15-year-old daughter tagging along. After one episode, our anticipation was…justified.
Nerfed: Storage units. Los Angeles police arrested four individuals in connection with the burglaries of $1 million worth of vintage comic books and high-end shoes taken from a storage unit. Police recovered most of the valuable comics, but are asking for leads to find the rest. Avengers assemble!
Buffed: Hair dye. The women’s World Cup starts tomorrow and Team USA will try for its third-straight championship. It’s the last go for the legendary Megan Rapinoe, who is retiring at the end of the season. Color us excited. —TL
Burning Question: Did Carl Sagan really work on a video game?
Asked and answered.
Famed scientist Carl Sagan helped crack key challenges on missions to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. He was also the preeminent mind in the field of exobiology—the study of extraterrestrial life. He won a Pulitzer Prize, and more than 500 million people watched his television show, Cosmos.
He also…worked on a video game? (Well, sort of.)
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A brief history of the fighting game
Investigations of interest.
From Karate Champ to Dead or Alive, there is just something so purely video game about the 1-v-1 fighter. Its grunts, battle cries, and dialogue are as instantly recognizable as your favorite song: “Finish him!” “Hadouken!” “Get over here!”
Executive Editor Eric Alt sorts through the humble origins, surprising behind-the-scenes facts, and continued evolution of our most treasured virtual smackdowns.
Last week we asked for your help on figuring out what movie sequels were better than the original—besides Paddington 2, obviously. Thank you for your great answers that I’m sure no one anywhere will want to debate:
“Don’t forget Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The original was great, but the second one rocked and helped define the post-apocalypse road combat genre. And, while the OG Evil Dead is a major, major classic in the grand scheme of horror, Evil Dead II took it one step further. I’m talking the originals, not the sad remakes that have been launched in recent years!” —Eric Biessman
“Big shout out for Wayne’s World 2.” —Richard Astley
Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, Bride of Frankenstein —Ron Marz
Final Destination 2, Saw 2, Hostel Part II —Dan Licata
Editor’s note: Dan wins the award for most submissions (48!) but the above represents a few of our favorites. —TL
Before Robert Pattinson donned the cape, and before Christopher Nolan wowed movie-goers with his Dark Knight trilogy, there was 1992’s animated classic Batman: The Animated Series.
Created by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, it was a welcome splash of black in colorful sea of kids cartoons. Inspired by Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie and the Superman shorts from Fleischer Studios from the 1940s, it had a dark, stylized tone that was vintage and modern at the same time—it even featured the most gorgeous title cards that I’ve ever seen.
The late, great Kevin Conroy voiced Bruce Wayne/Batman (and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, voiced the Joker). To this day, anytime I read a Batman comic, it’s Conroy’s voice that I hear in my head. This landmark show even introduced the now-famous characters Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya.
If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself the biggest favor and stream it on MAX. And if you only watch one, go see the episode “Heart of Ice,” where writer Paul Dini finally makes Mr. Freeze cool. —TL
Click the following image and…well, we don’t want to ruin the surprise.
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