Friday, January 25, 2013
Some Turkish leaders in Austria say Lego's Jabba's Palace set looks like a mosque. And Lego's Star Wars villian Jabba the Hut perpetuates racism and prejudice toward Muslims among children who play with Legos.
The Turkish leaders lodged a formal complaint over Lego's Jabba's Palace set, saying Lego is encouraging racial prejudice and perpetuating negative images of Muslims.
The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria said in a statement that a Lego set of Jabba's Palace from the Star Wars series is racist because it appears to closely resemble the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut and a minaret and therefore reinforces negative stereotypes about the Middle East, according to the Austrian Times. The statement threatened legal action against Lego if it does not withdraw the toys.
Dr. Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, confirmed that Lego had been contacted with an official complaint and that an Austrian toy store had removed the offending Lego sets, according to the Austrian Times.
Lego denies the charges. "The Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque," Katharina Sasse, a spokesperson for Lego, told the Telegraph.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
A new report by Space.com stated that 42 alien planets have been found by a team of amateurs.
Among the planets found is a Jupiter-sized planet that reportedly could be habitable. The group of amateurs apparently found evidence for the 42 planets by sifting through data from a NASA spacecraft.
The find has been made by a group of 40 volunteers, who claim that there is evidence among the 42 planets that as many as 15 are potentially habitable worlds. In addition, they also highlight PH2 b, which is a Jupiter-size planet in the so-called "habitable zone" of its parent star, like Earth to our Sun.
The group has conducted its research as part of the Planet Hunters project. The information has been passed on to professional astronomers, who could confirm the finds and confirm whether the planets are in the habitable zones of their stars.
The habitable zone basically means that the planet is the sufficient distance from its star for liquid to exist on the planet's surface. With water available, scientists believe that these planets could have the potential to support life on them.
The University of Oxford's Chris Lintott, has said in a statement: "These are planet candidates that slipped through the net, being missed by professional astronomers and rescued by volunteers in front of their web browsers. It's remarkable to think that absolutely anyone can discover a planet."
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Marvel Studios is considering Michael Rosenbaum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role of Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy film.
Star-Lord will likely be the main character in the new superhero film. The character is a half-human, half-alien named Peter Quill, who becomes a master strategist intergalactic police officer with a powerful suit.
Marvel Studios is said to release a film adaptation of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series that will be directed by James Gunn.