While you were sleeping: ‘Grim Sleeper,’ a wormhole prototype, Penn’s ‘Experiment,’ anime convention

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     Lonnie Franklin Jr., charged with 10 counts of murder in what have been dubbed the

    Lonnie Franklin Jr., charged with 10 counts of murder in what have been dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings that spanned two decades, is shown at a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court in February. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

    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.

    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.

    Grim sleeper

    Taken verbatim from an online synopsis, Len, a.k.a. the BatTribble, reads:

    “On July 7, 2010, Lonnie Franklin was arrested as a suspect in the ‘Grim Sleeper’ murders, which took place in South Central Los Angeles from 1985 to 2007. His arrest was not the product of painstaking detective work, but the accidental result of a computer DNA match linking him to a possible 20 victims.”

    This is where the HBO documentary “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” picks up, as director Nick Broomfield hears stories from the neighborhood where these grisly attacks on young black women took place under the seemingly disinterested eyes of the local police department. The film is a chilling account, in Len’s words, of “police neglect” that deserves as much spotlight as the police brutality sagas flooding our news streams.

    Down the wormhole

    “Scientists have created a wormhole that can transport magnetic waves in a lab,” says Erik Mack — one part Master Tribble, two parts science & physics uber-fan. Proving that wormholes are no longer the stuff of Star Trek and SyFy, a Business Insider report states that physicists at Autonomous University of Barcelona have created a device that forms the first experimental wormhole.

    “The sphere transmits the magnetic field from one point in space to another point,” says Jordi Prat-Camps, co-author of the groundbreaking study that makes this invisible transference via “an extra space dimension.” The practical benefits of this discovery are numerous, changing MRIs for the better.

    Erik and Jason believe this may also prove to be the precursor to “the first super-villain.” Watch your banks!

    Penn’s great experiment

    Kennedy, aka Storm Tribble, champions “The Great Experiment,” a documentary series available on YouTube that charts the history of Philadelphia from its origins as a utopian dream in the eye of William Penn in 1682 to today. “It features a lot of local professors, scientists and experts,” she says. “Aficionados on the aspects of Philadelphia that they’re talking about.”

    The Barrymores are in there. MOVE is in there. Those Phillies of 1964 are in there too. An in-depth preservation of Philadelphia’s place in history, the documentary series invites viewers to engage “with four centuries of history, finding new ways to understand the challenges facing America and its cities today.” It should be an entertaining outlet and educational source for Brotherly residents and beyond.

    The anime way

    And not to be outdone, Jason the Spider-Tribble toots his own horn with the J1-Con, Philadelphia’s No. 1 anime convention. Created by Jason himself via his J1 Studios, this third annual celebration of Japanese animation, manga and music, was held on Sunday, Sept. 20 at the First District Plaza, 3801 Market Street. The convention caters to the appetite of the 21st-century geek. Along with merch a-plenty for your discerning dollar, there were panels on drawing the anime way, music performances, wrestling superstars and actual voice-acting demonstrations and auditions, guided by Kyle Herbert (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “Street Fighter”) and Greg Houser (“Evangelion,” “One Piece”).

    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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