1. Back to the Future visits the real 2015
October 21, 2015 marks the day when Doc and Marty touched down in the then-distant future in Back to the Future Part II. We can’t emphasize enough how lame actual 2015 is compared to 1989’s idea of 2015. Where are the hoverboards? The double neckties? Stars Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox reunited in a Toyota-sponsored video to talk about what the movie got right and wrong, but they’re being kind. College Humor also made an animated short delving into how much our current era truly, truly sucks. Run, Marty. Run for your life.
2. Cure for cancer found, maybe?
Post-it Notes, pasteurization… all the best discoveries happen by mistake. But this might be the greatest one yet. Danish doctors who were researching a way to shield pregnant women from malaria accidentally discovered that malaria proteins that wreak havoc on the placenta can do the same to cancerous tumors. It’s all very new, but testing so far shows that sicking malaria on tumors can wipe out a whopping 90 percent of cancers. Thanks, mosquitos! We were so, so wrong about you.
3. Bill Murray teases celebrity-packed Christmas special
All anyone ever really wants for Christmas is the magical, wisdom-spouting forest creature that is Bill Murray—and this year, we’re finally getting our holiday wish. This week, Netflix released a trailer for the Sofia Coppola–directed A Very Murray Christmas, and it looks like it’s gonna be even more amazing than we’d hoped. The teaser includes, among other things, Paul Shaffer playing a white piano, Murray dueting with Miley Cyrus on “Let It Snow,” and big names ranging from Chris Rock to Amy Poehler to George Clooney to Jason Schwartzman. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
4. Russia proposes superhighway from New York to London
No, you are not reading that wrong. Russian Railways prez Vladimir Yakunin is floating the idea of a 12,910-mile-long megaroad that would start in New York City, cross the U.S. into Canada and Alaska and shoot over the Bering Sea before rocketing through Siberia, Russia and Western Europe, across the English Channel and into London. You know, just a hop and skip across the pond. The idea sounds completely insane, but could you imagine that road trip?!
5. Distant star may show evidence of alien life
About 1,500 light years away from our blue marble, there’s a star called KIC 8462852 that looks mighty strange. NASA has singled out the star with its planet-spotting Kepler Telescope thanks to some inexplicable objects that seem to be orbiting around it: multiple huge, mysterious things that are very close to the distant sun. Scientists have ruled out most known phenomena that would explain the situation, leaving the remote, if very enticing, possibility that we may be seeing an “alien megastructure.” Think giant space station, or ruins of an extraterrestrial civilization. Can you hear us, KIC 8462852?