1. We’re getting even more Star Wars with Rogue One.
Can’t wait till 2017 for more cinematic dispatches from A Galaxy Far, Far Away? You don’t have to! The trailer dropped yesterday for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, due out December 17. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), it’s a side story that takes place somewhere between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Our hero? A badass fighter lady with a spotty past (Felicity Jones) whom the rebels send to infiltrate the Death Star. Color us as excited as an R2-D2 merrily tilting from side to side.
2. John Oliver combatted the Yankees’ elitism with Ninja Turtles.
We’re only going to whisper this because we’re sitting in Manhattan right now and may get dive-bombed for saying so, but: The New York Yankees really suck. Lately, they’re systematically 1 percent-ifying the great populist sport of baseball by instituting strict ticketing policies that are designed to keep non-kajillionaires out of premium seating. Always one to delightfully agitate a class war, John Oliver stirred the pot on Last Week Tonight by offering Legends seats for 25 cents to anyone who would find a hilarious way to disrupt the country club vibe. The winners? Two dudes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes, who wore their half-shell finery to Opening Day. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
3. NASA announced an alien-hunting mission to Europa.
Our best chances at finding signs of emerging extraterrestrial life may be in our very own solar system. The likely spot? Jupiter’s moon Europa, which scientists believe contains liquid water beneath its crust of ice. With that in mind, NASA has plans to send a spacecraft called the Europa Clipper there in the 2020s to attempt to sample plumes of liquid that have been spotted shooting out into Europa’s atmosphere. It’ll be tricky, though, thanks to buttloads of radiation coming off of Jupiter. A little craft called the Bee will fly alongside the clipper, so it can make a hasty exit from the radiation field before its instruments are destroyed. Can’t wait to meet you, Europan mermaids.
4. A guy rode the New York subway reading a series of terrible fake books.
There’s no better place to people-watch than the MTA—if only because you have fuck-all else to do but wait around anyway. Comedian Scott Rogowsky took advantage of straphangers’ voyeuristic tendencies when he rode the rails while reading an increasingly ridiculous litany of pretend books. Among the titles: How to Hold a Fart In, Human Taxidermy: A Beginner’s Guide and Ass Eating Made Simple. (“I’ll never eat ass the same way!”, Joan Didion is quoted as saying on the back cover.) In true New Yorker fashion, nobody calls him out in the video; but the riders do look mighty weirded out.
5. Caterpillars drum on their butts to find new buddies.
Well, that’s one way to win friends and influence people. Researchers have found that masked birch caterpillars, a species native to North America, use a technique called—yes—”anal drumming” to entice their fellow crawlers to help them build cocoons for their young. The ass rhythms are not sound detectable by human ears, but scientists have picked it up with something called a laser vibrometer. You can listen to a sound file of the drumming here, which sounds a little like a Vampire Weekend percussion track.