Here are five stories we’re reading/watching today:
1) Yes, the duchess of Cambridge is in labor and has been admitted to the hospital. What’s the innovation angle, you ask? Here it is: The Guardian has an option on their Web site to switch off royal baby news. If you’re not a royalist, you can click on the “Not a royalist” link in the upper right-hand corner and — voila! — no more royal baby news. It’s all the news that, depending on your preference, is fit to hide. And, with that, we move on to our next story. (The Guardian)
2) Comic-Con ended Sunday. Sad, we know. But over the weekend, we learned that Batman and Superman will be appearing in a film — together. The plans were revealed by “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder at Comic-Con. Spoiler alert — sort of.
During the announcement, “Man of Steel” actor Harry Lennix read the following line — dramatically, of course — from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns“:
“I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”
The line is Batman’s, and the “Clark” in question is, of course, Clark Kent. Then came the Batman/Superman hybrid logo reveal. As per io9, the audience went a bit more than nuts, apparently. Of course, if you really want the low-down from Comic-Con, our own Michael Cavna was there. (Entertainment Weekly)
3) Here are the folks at Jet Propulsion Laboratory waving at the Cassini probe as it takes a photograph of Earth. No, this is not a photo taken by the Cassini probe — Cassini is currently in the Saturn system, nearly 900 million miles away. But it did take a photograph of Earth on Friday, and NASA asked everyone to wave. NASA also has a certificate generator for those who waved during the appointed time.
4) A nuclear weapons historian has created a tool to show the damage a nuclear bomb could inflict. It’s called the NUKEMAP and it was developed by Alex Wellerstein. As Grist’s Sarah Laskow reports, Wellerstein has released two more detailed versions of the NUKEMAP — NUKEMAP2 and NUKEMAP 3D. NUKEMAP2 lets users see, on a two-dimensional map, the blast radius, casualties, fallout and surface destruction from a variety of nuclear weapons. The 3D version lets you see the mushroom cloud in 3D. (Grist)
5) “If you need a bodyguard, I’ll protect you. Would that be cool? Okay.” That’s what a 10-foot tall robot said to a young girl at Comic-Con.