While you were sleeping: CW preps ‘Vixen’ debut, NASA nears Pluto, and hip hop lives!

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    The Academy of Natural Sciences preps women for science careers, The CW develops “Vixen,” hip hop gives us hope, New Horizons nears Pluto, and we’re reading on the john.

    Every month, the Black Tribbles invite you to check out some interesting news items, intriguing tidbits, divergent points of view and just plain ol’ funtastic geekirific thingies that you may have missed while you were sleeping.

    WINS for the win!

    While you were sleeping, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has been giving Philadelphia high school girls a back-stage pass to the world of scientific investigation. Since 1982, Women in Natural Science (WINS) has been giving young women an opportunity to explore the nuances of the natural sciences with hands-on workshops and extensive field trips, while enriching college and career path development in ways not often available in everyday classroom environments. StormTribble feels that WINS is a true feather in Philadelphia’s cap.

    Nominate the eligible young woman in your life.

    CW develops new animated series ‘Vixen’ to pair with ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’

    To expand upon the superheroic success of “Arrow” and “The Flash,” Spider-Tribble alerts us that the CW plans an animated series surrounding the animalistic prowess of Vixen, a DC Universe superhero with the ability to channel the energy of various animals using a mystical totem necklace. Premiering solely on the network’s digital-only platform, the CW Seed, this could show some promising developments regarding the diversity of comic book heroes on television.

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    The CW will debut this year an animated series surrounding the animalistic prowess of DC Comics superheroine Vixen.

    Hip-Hop lives on through PTSD and Gravitas

    Self-proclaimed hip-hop-head SuperTribble swears by some fairly new additions to the genre. He says that the albums PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Pharoahe Monch (released April 15, 2014) and Gravitas by Talib Kweli (released Dec. 15, 2013) are living proof that music can be used to convey brilliance in a time when many have lost their way.

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    SuperTribble just can’t stop listening to ‘PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’ by Pharoahe Monch and ‘Gravitas’ by Talib Kweli.

    New Horizons explores, well, new horizons

    The UniversalTribble (a.k.a., Dr. Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute) chimes in, letting us know that, while we were sleeping, NASA’s probe New Horizons has just about reached the edge of our solar system. Launched on Jan. 19, 2006, the spacecraft’s primary mission is to study the dwarf planet Pluto along with a number of additional extra-orbital bodies and anything else along the way. New Horizons is scheduled to reach Pluto’s orbit in July, giving us an opportunity to determine whether our solar system has eight planets or … 13.

    Dr. Pitts is also part of a team tasked with collecting a wide assortment of scientific and cultural data scheduled to be uploaded to the probe’s databanks, just in case it happens to meet anyone new along its travels. More info on this and any of NASA’s missions can be found at nasa.gov.

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    NASA’s ‘New Horizons’ space probe is nearing Pluto. Here is an artist rendering of the spacecraft during its planned encounter with the dwarf planet and its moon, Charon. (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

    Bathroom Reader still holding on strong

    An object on Jupiter would weight 144,000 times more than it would on the surface of Pluto.

    The largest balloon to fly in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a 100-foot-long Superman in 1939.

    These and hundreds of thousands of other facts and tid-bits of trivia are to be found in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series. This decade-spanning collection of knowledge has been turning that quiet time into quality time, educating its readers (including the BatTribble) on a myriad of topics, ranging from sports history to pop-culture, from forgotten trivia to political faux-pas, all in the palm of your hand. With 15 million copies in print and counting, while you were sleeping, Uncle John has been passing knowledge, too.

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    A decade-spanning collection of knowledge, the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, has been turning quiet time into quality time. These are rubber ducks. You were expecting — what … a toilet? (AP Photo/Robert Mecea)

    These are just a few things that the Black Tribbles thought you might want to check out for yourself, just in case you missed them … while you were sleeping.

    Each month, Philadelphia’s prolific podcasters, the Black Tribbles (winners of the 2014 Streaming Project of the Year award), visit Speak Easy with special reports on everything sci-fi, comic books, movies, video games, cartoons, and other stuff that every nerd needs to know.

    Subscribe to the Black Tribbles’ new podcast, Tribble Nation, on iTunes, Google Play and Pod-o-matic.

    Tribble Nation is a new monthly podcast focusing on the geek in every color imaginable, from scientist to author, from comic book artist to comic book collector. Each episode features an interview with a special guest and a review of current topics within his or her field of geek interest.

    The Black Tribbles are: Jason Richardson, aka Spider-Tribble; Len Webb, aka BatTribble; Kennedy Allen, aka Storm Tribble; Erik Darden, aka Master Tribble; and Randy Green, aka Super Tribble.

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