1. Five Arizona lads form Ned Flanders–themed metal band.
You’ve heard of death metal; you’ve heard of new metal; now get ready for Nedal. A band has recently formed in Phoenix, Arizona, has dubbed itself the Okilly Dokillys (emphasis on kill) in honor of The Simpsons’ favorite cheery fundamentalist neighbor. In the vein of Harry and the Potters, they all dress like Flanders (check out their Facebook page for a sweet visual), and each has their own moniker: Head Ned, Bled Ned, Red Ned, Thread Ned and Stead Ned. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a Lisa Simpson–themed riot grrrl band next.
2. Tarantino releases first Hateful 8 trailer.
Get your blood-spatter goggles ready, celluloid fans. Only three years after Django Unchained, clever and brutal auteur Quentin Tarantino is back with a new one—this one a Western set in 19th-century Wyoming in the dead of winter. The trailer has all the threatening monologuing, shooty guns, badass Samuel L. Jackson and freaky Jennifer Jason Leigh you could hope for. We know what we’re doing this Christmas.
3. Shakespeare probably smoked weed.
To be or not to be—that is the… Wait, what were we talking about again? South African researchers have analyzed fragments of 17th-century smoking pipes found on the site of the Bard’s garden in Stratford-Upon-Avon and discovers traces of cannabis. That’s right: Will was a toker, just like pretty much every other writer in the known universe. No wonder Hamlet was so easily distractible. Just get it together and kill your uncle, dude!
4. Octopuses are aliens, pretty much.
So here’s what happens when you sequence the genome of an octopus, that creepily smart cephalopod: Its DNA doesn’t resemble any other living creature on Earth. Scientists have discovered that octopuses have 33,000 protein-coding genes—even more than a human. No wonder they can open jars and make self-portraits and generally freak the entire ocean the hell out; they probably rode here on a meteor.
5. The universe is slowly dying. Panic!
Well, Robert Frost finally has his fire vs. ice answer: Ice. It’s ice. A global team of 100-something scientists and astronomers has come to the conclusion that the universe is almost for sure on the way out. By observing a whole mess of nearby galaxies, they’ve concluded that the entirety of knowable things is radiating only half as much energy as 2 billion years in the past. Conclusion: a slow, inexorable slide into a cold, lightless cosmos. But don’t worry too much: The ol’ gal still has a few trillion(!) years left in her.