Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis Man, that ending of last night’s penultimate episode of The Flash… what a gut-punch, right? We all should have known it was coming. After spending the better part of this season trying to change the future and utterly failing, what were the chances Barry was actually going to prevent Iris’s death? As we learned last night, they weren’t good. Even with the Speedforce Bazooka, Savitar still defeated Team Flash’s plan, and now Iris West is dead. At least that’s what it looks like.We still have one episode left in this season, and I refuse to believe that Iris is just gone. The show always has some trick up its sleeve, and it likely laid the groundwork for it this episode. Before the show just stomped on everyone’s hearts with that ending, there was some fun to be had in this episode. Team Flash found a power source that can make the Speedforce Bazooka work. It’s a piece of Dominator tech currently being held by ARGUS. Hey, that massive crossover event was good for something! There’s one problem, though. They’re not giving it to Barry. Lyla doesn’t trust Barry with something so powerful, considering how much he’s screwed things up in the past.You know what that means? It’s heisting time. Barry goes back in time to pluck the pre-death Legends of Tomorrow version of Captain Cold out of his timeline and bring him to the present. Who better to break into what we’re told is the most secure government facility on the planet than a master thief with a cold gun? Sadly, the heist part of the story isn’t as much fun as it could be. With the show’s need to cram all of its story into this episode before the season finale, there wasn’t enough time to make this the superhero heist story we all want it to be. Even so, it does feature Captain Cold going up against King Shark. Even pacing issues can’t take all the fun out of that.Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)Barry is inching near some pretty dark places during the heist. A fact that Captain Cold picks up on, and somewhat ironically pushes him back towards the heroic side of things. I guess that’s how you can tell this is late season one Snart. It starts with Barry (using H.R.’s face-changing disguise) infiltrating ARGUS as Lyla, and ruthlessly beating the guards unconscious. From the front desk, they’re able to take an elevator straight to the cell block with the power source. They made a big deal about how impenetrable this place was, it should have been a little harder than that. But hey, they had a lot of story to get through in this one episode, so plot conveniences were inevitable, I guess. After a brief, fun mention of the Arrowverse’s version of the Suicide Squad (which thanks the DCEU, we won’t see again) Barry and Snart find the power source. It’s in a cell, guarded by King Shark.This is where Snart sees Barry at his darkest. Barry tells Snart to open the cell door so he can shoot Shark in the back with Snart’s cold gun. Fortunately for everyone involved, Snart tells Barry hey, maybe don’t be a murderer. Since King Shark is a great white, and partially warm-blooded. All they have to do is lower the temperature in the room, and Shark will fall asleep for a short time. Thanks, Discovery Channel! The ensuing fight still gets pretty brutal in a way this show rarely does. As the two are making an escape, King Shark grabs Snart’s leg. Barry has Cisco close the cell door, severing King Shark’s arm. It grows back, but seeing a bloody, severed shark arm on The Flash was a surprise. The whole point of all this was so Snart could convince Barry to stay a hero. There was a second where Barry could have left Snart to be King Shark’s dinner, but he didn’t. He remained the hero. That not only reminded Barry of what The Flash should be, it convinced Lyla that he was responsible enough to take the power source. Wins all around.Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)The more somber parts of the show were actually well done this episode. At the very least, they seemed to matter more, thanks to the constant reminders of Iris’s fast-approaching death. Iris has accepted that she might not make it and is preparing to die. It works because her interactions with her family feel genuine. She reminisces with her dad about all the trouble she got into as a teenager. They talk about the song he used to sing when she was little, which was a nice excuse to get Jesse L. Martin singing again. The man has a beautiful voice.Sadly, all the planning seems to be for naught. Savitar tricks H.R. into giving up Iris’s location, he carries the philosopher’s stone with him, which neutralizes the effects of the Speedforce Bazooka, and stabs Iris. It all plays out exactly the way Barry saw. The sequence is made even harder to watch when the goodbye video Iris made for Barry is played as she dies. This moment is so well done and effective, that I forget all the poor pacing and annoying problems that led up to it. As she falls to the ground, we hear her say her wedding vows to Barry. I’m not crying; you’re crying!Anne Dudek as Tracy Brand and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)That’s where the episode ends, but… come on, Iris isn’t dead! She can’t be. I refuse to believe that the prolonged death sequence, with the goodbye video intercut was anything more than an elaborate ruse. Someone on Team Flash had a plan that they didn’t tell Barry about. Thinking about it, wasn’t that last scene with H.R. a little weird? He expressed such guilt over giving away Iris’s location to Savitar, lamenting the fact that he doesn’t actually contribute much to the team. When Cisco said he’d see H.R. later, he didn’t answer. Could the Iris that died have actually been H.R. using his hologram disguise? We did see earlier this episode that the disguise is convincing enough to be a complete transformation, regardless of body size and gender. Did H.R. sacrifice himself to save Iris?Another possibility is that Barry won’t end up creating Savitar. The entire point of the heist was for Captain Cold to convince Barry not to become a killer. “The Flash should always be a hero.” If that inspires him to find another way to defeat Savitar, he may not use time remnants. With no time remnants, there is no Savitar. Iris will pop back into existence, and they’ll escape this closed loop. Whichever route the show ends up going, we only have to wait a week before we find out. After next Tuesday’s season finale, we can finally put this Savitar story behind us. Stay on target
NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Stay on target It’s long been a feature of speculative fiction, but terraforming Mars — like for real — is probably going to be harder than we’d probably hoped. At least according to new research by NASA, which suggests even the most aggressive route — literally nuking Mars to habitability — won’t be enough to make water wet on the surface of the red planet.The basic concept is sound — pump the air full of gasses that can trap heat. Use that to make it nice and toasty, and hopefully those gasses turn out to be breathable ones. I mean, we’re already kinda mucking this up here on Earth and Venus is well past screwed, with a surface hot enough to melt many metals outright. So, what’s the trouble with Mars?Well, it turns out there just isn’t enough atmosphere — even with the human-powered boost. Earth and Venus, for instance, both have complex atmospheres with loads of different chemicals. Each of them can block a specific band of radiation, and while CO2 can pull off some pretty wicked things here, where there’s a complex cocktail of chemistry working together to heat up the planet (which is why many people refer to greenhouse gasses in general and not just CO2 these days). “Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the only greenhouse gases that are likely to be present on Mars in sufficient abundance to provide any significant greenhouse warming,” said Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado in a release. “In addition, most of the CO2 gas is not accessible and could not be readily mobilized. As a result, terraforming Mars is not possible using present-day technology.”Even if all the carbon on Mars were tapped, the air pressure alone would be a small fraction of what is needed. To say nothing of it being breathable, or usable, or comfortable. There is evidence to suggest that Mars may once have been a haven for life. And, with liquid water now discovered, it’s possible the planet still harbors something. But it’s critical resources — like air — have long since been lost to the void. Maybe one day we can make the place a second home, but we have a long-ass way to go.Stay up to date on all the latest ongoings of our favorite red planet here. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Stay on target It’s official! The Voyager 2 probe has entered interstellar space, making it just the second human-made object to do so.NASA announced on Monday that the Voyager 2 probe has exited the heliosphere — the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.After comparing data from different instruments aboard the spacecraft, mission scientists determined the probe crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere on November 5, according to NASA. This boundary, called the heliopause, is where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium.The probe is now more than 11 billion miles from Earth.“I think we’re all happy and relieved that the Voyager probes have both operated long enough to make it past this milestone,” Voyager Project Manager Suzanne Dodd said in a statement. “This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Now we’re looking forward to what we’ll be able to learn from having both probes outside the heliopause.”The Voyager 2 is no stranger to milestones. Launched in 1977, it is the only spacecraft to study all four of the solar system’s giant planets at close range, and is NASA’s longest-running mission.It explored the Jupiter, its magnetosphere, and moons in greater detail than had the Pioneer spacecraft that preceded it. Voyager 2 also used Jupiter as a springboard to Saturn, using the gravity-assist technique. It was able to observe Saturn’s rings at much higher resolution and to discover many more ringlets.Voyager 2 also became the first spacecraft to visit Uranus, where it discovered 10 new moons, two new rings, and a strangely tilted magnetic field stronger than that of Saturn.And the spacecraft is still the only human-made object to have flown by Neptune. In the closest approach of its entire tour, Voyager 2 passed less than 5,000 km above the planet’s cloud tops. It discovered five moons, four rings, and a “Great Dark Spot” that vanished by the time the Hubble Space Telescope imaged Neptune five years later.Illustration shows the position of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, outside of the heliosphere, a protective bubble created by the Sun that extends well past the orbit of Pluto. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)Though it launched a couple weeks before its twin Voyager 1, its trajectory took it on a longer route through the solar system. Voyager 1 reached interstellar space in 2012. Voyager 2 also carries a working instrument that will provide first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway into interstellar space.Mission operators still can communicate with Voyager 2 as it enters the new phase of its journey, but information – moving at the speed of light – takes about 16.5 hours to travel from the spacecraft to Earth. By comparison, light traveling from the Sun takes about eight minutes to reach Earth.More on Geek.com:NASA Advises Avengers on Saving Tony StarkNASA Recorded the Sound of Mars (And It’s Almost All Bass)40 Incredible Images of the Surface of Mars NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor
‘Mental Samurai’ and the History of High-IQ Game ShowsAlex Trebek Contractually Obligated to Beat Cancer Actually, there are five banned wagers. This is probably the most innocuous one. https://t.co/5Yt0Y9JbKX— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) April 25, 2019So what rates are out of bounds for contestants?According to a Reddit thread, the remaining numbers fall within much more nefarious bounds:14, 88, 1488: “Fourteen Words” (14 or 14/88) is a reference to the 14-word slogans coined by white supremacist David Lane, a founding member of the 1980s terrorist organization The Order. Derived from a passage in Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” the Fourteen Words are prominently used by neo-Nazis, white-power skinheads, white nationalists, and the alt-right.666: The “number of the Beast” in (most manuscripts of) the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In modern culture, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or the devil, and is is purportedly used to invoke Satan.A $420 wager, meanwhile, is completely acceptable—for now.Early this month, pro sports gambler Holzhauer broke the previous single-game Jeopardy winnings record ($77,000, set by Roger Craig in 2010) by collecting $110,914.As of April 26, 2019, Holzhauer appeared on 17 episodes and won a total of $1,275,587, making him the second-highest winning contestant and second Jeopardy millionaire in regular, non-tournament game winnings—behind only Jennings, who, in 2004, walked away with $2,522,700 in 75 episodes.More on Geek.com:Alex Trebek Contractually Obligated to Beat CancerWatch Watson Destroy Humans at Jeopardy‘Mental Samurai’ and the History of High-IQ Game Shows A: 14, 69, 88, 666, and 1488Q: What are the five specific dollar value wagers banned on Jeopardy?A joke about James Holzhauer’s record-setting run on the game show inadvertently unearthed details about its censorship rules.Former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings last week tweeted that he doesn’t get “enough credit for making small, sensible Jeopardy wagers”—a very different tactic from Holzhauer’s aggressive bidding. Stay on target this is officially forbidden on Jeopardy now, as of last year.not even joking.— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) April 23, 2019But the Internet’s favorite “sex number” (a sort of visual illustration of an oral sex position) is not the only prohibited price.Citing an article about the “one wager you can’t make on Jeopardy,” Holzhauer confirmed there are actually five illicit amounts (though he admitted that $69 is “probably the most innocuous one”).