Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.
Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.
Welcome to Night Vale, in your backyard
Welcome to Night Vale – a popular podcast that details the supernatural mundanity of a fictional, HP Lovecraft-inspired, desert town – is now available in full on YouTube. First-time listeners: Enjoy Cecil Palmer's soothing tones as he calmly describes the terrifying demonic forces that invade Night Vale and outlines trials of the town's patient and accommodating residents, including the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home. Existing fans: Enjoy again.
Welcome to Night Vale also performs live across the country, and its spring 2015 tour runs from March 26 to May 20. See the schedule and buy tickets starting today right here.
Air Force UFO files published online
Project Blue Book is nearly 130,000 pages of documents from Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, together a collection of unidentified and strange sightings made between 1947 to 1969. After decades of Freedom of Information Act requests, UFO enthusiast
In those 22 years, the base recorded 12,618 sightings of strange phenomena and 701 of those remain "unidentified," USA Today reports. Happy theorizing!
Twin Peaks snags two more returning actors
Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook – the actors who portray Laura Palmer and boyfriend Bobby Briggs, respectively – will return to Twin Peaks in its 2016 Showtime series. There's no word on whether the actors will play known characters or if show creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have new plans for the pair.
Kyle MacLachlan, who plays coffee-lover Agent Cooper on the original show, is also on board for the revamp.
American Sniper's fake baby
Look at it. Just ... why?
Draco Malfoy is a Gryffindor because nothing makes sense anymore
It's official: Tom Felton, the actor who plays blond bad boy and proud Slytherin Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, is a Gryffindor. Felton took the Sorting Hat quiz on official Harry Potter site Pottermore and posted his disappointing results on Instagram and Twitter.
"Today was the day," Felton tweeted. "I finally did it. I joined Pottermore and was sorted into ........ Gryffindor. Heart broken x #slytherinforlife"
Harry Potter author JK Rowling responded, "I could've told you that years ago. I just didn't want to spoil your motivation ;)"
As adorable as that conversation is, it doesn't dispel the stagnant gloom of ultimate, fictional betrayal.
The Walking Dead season 5 trailer
A card game based on the delicious comic, Chew
Chew: Cases of the FDA is due on shelves in May as the first in a series of tabletop games based on John Layman and Rob Guillory's wonderfully eccentric comic series. Chew is an Eisner-winning series starring detective Tony Chu, an FDA agent in a world where bird flu killed 23 million Americans, and chicken and bird meat is now illegal – a law that the FDA enforces heavily. Also, Chu is a Cibopath, someone who can discern the entire history of an item by eating it. Yes, his skill does come in handy during murder investigations. Use your imagination.
From the card game's press release: "Chew: Cases of the FDA card game seats 2 - 5 players and is playable in about 30 minutes. Players compete to close cases pulled directly from the pages of the ongoing comic book. They'll enlist partners like John Colby, Amelia Minz, and even Buttercup the lion, while simultaneously sending fiendish villains and cultists out to sabotage their rivals' investigations. As an added bonus, all pre-ordered copies of the game will include an exclusive variant edition of Chew #1 featuring Guillory's homage to Dogs Playing Poker packaging artwork, as well as 20 pink CHOG plastic minis that will change color in future printings.
[Images: Commonplace Books, IDW Games]