We’re getting science-y in this installment of What I’ve Been Reading. Some day, we’ll get back to discussing complex social issues in the context of popular culture. That day is not today.

  • A couple of weeks ago, on an episode of The Flash, Captain Cold used his cold gun to freeze lasers. Viewers, of course, pointed out how just how ridiculous that was. Writing for Screenrant, Andrew Dyce explains why the idea of freezing lasers, though not exactly as depicted on the show, might not be so far-fetched.
  • An oldie but a goodie: Last year, scientists took a map of the connections between a nematode’s neurons and put it inside a Lego robot. The result? The robot behaved like the roundworm! Neato! (Courtesy of Marissa Fessenden of The Smithsonian’s Smartnews blog.)
  • Finally, let’s step away from science for a bit and talk about everybody’s favourite punching bag: Destiny. Jason Schreier of Kotaku reports on just how messy the game’s development was. It went through last-minute story rewrites towards the end of its development cycle, necessitating that new story missions be assembled from pieces of old ones. Not only that, but the development environment and engine weren’t suited for the task: rendering maps took so long that it needed to be done overnight. There are a couple of lessons to be learned here: 1) Narrative should be prioritized in development; it informs gameplay, and it needs to be treated as an integral part of the experience. 2) Using the right tools for the job is a necessity; the choice of engine is not one that should be made without careful consideration.

I’ll see you all next week. Ciao.