Harrison Ford to return to nerf herding - 10 things

The US election results should start trickling in this morning with some pundits saying that it might all come down to absentee votes and postal ballots, and others saying Obama's going to take at least two of the three "battleground" states of Iowa, Florida and Virginia which makes the whole issue pretty much moot what with the whole "electoral college" thing. We're not political experts here but our understanding from discussions last night after the Cup is that the winner then takes on Green Moon over 800 furlongs. To be honest, everything after about four o'clock yesterday is a bit fuzzy.

While our major parties bitch and bicker over the carbon tax and subsidies for renewable energy, they've at least agreed on one thing: Australia's not going to go nuclear any time soon. A government white paper on Australia's energy future has come been released showing unexpected concord between the parties - though, of course, their reasons are different. Labor reckon it's not economically feasible or necessary when renewable energy is starting to take off here, especially solar, while the Libs reckon we've got plenty of coal and gas left to burn, and neither are saying the obvious thing which is that endorsing nuclear after last year's catastrophic meltdown in Fukushima would be political suicide. It's a bit of a reverse for the Libs, since Abbot was once a fan of splitting atoms to get the sweet, sweet energy within, but for now Lucas Heights is set to remain the only reactor in the country. And it's really cool, by the way. They do tours. You should go sometime.

And while we're talking politics, Conservative whip Nadine Dorries has been suspended from parliament in the UK after she decided that trying to guide the country through one of the most politically trying times in post-war history wasn't nearly as important as popping down to Queensland to film I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here for a month. Neither did she think that this sort of dereliction of duty should be mentioned to, say, her party or constituents. On the other hand, it will give her a chance to spend quality time with darts champion Eric Bristow, so you can understand why she'd jump at the opportunity.

Having failed to come to an agreement with the Media & Arts Alliance over sacking journalists, Ten is about to go "eh, screw it" and just sack a bunch of journalists. The plan is for about 40 new job losses, with ten Queensland newsroom staff given their marching orders on Friday. And that ought to work, because it means those that are left will only concentrate on the news that really matters, right?

Coldplay's drummer Will Champion is set to make an appearance in the third series of Game of Thrones, playing… well, a drummer. And let's face it, if we'd said "Will Champion has been in every series of Game of Thrones so far", you'd believe us because who the hell knows what he looks like? Chris Martin aside, members of Coldplay can't even recognise members of Coldplay. In fact, for all we know Will Champion could be STANDING BEHIND YOU RIGHT NOW! GET OUT OF THERE! THE DRUMMING IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

In a move that will delight Arrested Development geeks and Korean-fluent people looking to chat with elephants comes the news that an elephant, Koshik, has been filmed saying "choah" (good) and, more importantly for lovers of the Bluth family, "Annyong" (hello and/or name of Korean son adopted by Lucille to make a point to Buster). Koshik was raised in captivity in Korea and is mimicking things his trainer says - he doesn't appear to actually understand what he's saying, and since he only know five or six words any conversations are likely to be short - but the coolest thing is that he uses his freakin' trunk to manipulate his vocal tract, since elephants don't have lips. Researchers are studying exactly what he's doing, but let's be clear: if Koshik doesn't appear in the Arrested Development movie, we're burning down the banana stand.


Geeky Sci-Fi Related News Piece #1: It's been bothering you for decades, we know, but you can finally breathe easy: we've found the star system of which Superman's planet Krypton is part. As any comic book nerd knows, the reason that Superman has all those awesome powers on Earth is because Krypton had a red star, not a puny yellow one like Earth (and, um, because different wavelengths of light are magic, for some reason), but most red stars are Red Giants which are nearing the end of their lives and wouldn't offer much time for planetary civilisations to develop to the point where they could invent technologies like spaceships, flowing robes and Marlon Brando. Fortunately that has now been addressed by US astronomer and populariser of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has found a good real-life candidate: a red dwarf with the catchy name LHS 2520, 27 light years away in the constellation Corvus. A summit between Tyson and Superman is happening in the upcoming Action Comics Superman #14. Yes, we know what you're thinking: finally!

Geeky Sci-Fi Related News Piece #2: Flying in the face of decades of eye rolling when the words "Han" and "Solo" are said to his face, Harrison Ford is reportedly "open" to the idea of returning to his old role for future Star Wars films - as are, rather less surprisingly, Carrie "Princess Leia" Fisher and Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill. Keep in mind that this information comes from "a highly placed source", and that the question may have been phrased more in terms of "Harrison Ford would not necessarily reject a dump truck full of money from Disney", but who knows? No word yet whether fellow Star Wars alumni would follow suit, such as Anthony "C-3PO" Daniels and Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew (who both appeared in the prequel trilogy), or - most importantly - the ghost of Alec Guinness.

New York's pulling itself back together after the turmoil of Hurricane Sandy, although gas shortages and restrictions on car travel are playing havoc with people's day to day lives. However, that characteristic American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, as evidenced by the fact that people are, ahem, trading petrol for blowjobs. Craigslist has several modern day heroes offering to donate gas to their fellow Americans all for the low, low price of letting having wangs put in their mouth - which, to be fair, is a pretty neat metaphor for capitalism generally.

And finally, if you're planning on going to Nepal and have a terror of man-eating leopards, then be advised that there's a man-eating leopard in Nepal. Leopard-related deaths are pretty darn rare in a country where placid livestock is an easier target than humans, but this particular cat is being held responsible for 15 deaths so far, mainly of children in the district of Baitadi, 600km west of Kathmandu, and there are plans to kill the normally-protected species. Seriously, how often do you see the headline "man-eating leopard". 

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