Mattel’s new toy, Liam Neeson’s horse debate, 719 new planets and more you should know this week

barbie with halo toys

Mattel buys Halo toy-maker MEGA Brands

Here’s a roundup of nerdy news from this week.

Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange files for bankruptcy
With speculations of the firm’s demise just days before its official announcement, the bankruptcy took down with it 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of its own, translating to about $425 million in recent prices. Though no matter how positive commentators try to make light of the situation, this does not put the digital currency in the best light for investors now. Read more from USA Today.

Liam Neeson and Jon Stewart (nearly!) come to blows on ‘Daily Show’
The Daily Show host is a class act, engaging in a fairly intense debate with action superstar Liam Neeson over Mayor de Blasio’s plan to shut down NY’s horse and carriage industry. While the Non-Stop star isn’t taking down terrorists, he’s busy getting impassioned about politics in his home state. See the clip on Entertainment Weekly.

After veto in Arizona, conservatives vow to fight for religious liberties
A controversial bill in AZ that would allow businesses to “turn away the gays” was met with much debate, as the NFL and Apple have both expressed their opposition to the proposed bill. The governor finally vetoed the bill, but that’s not stopping the conservatives from pushing their agenda. But, it seems that the NFL was already prepping to move the Super Bowl XLIX away from AZ (which wouldn’t be its first time if they did relocate). Read more about that on Deadspin.

planets from scientific americanWith new acquisition, toy maker Mattel to take on Lego
Lego rival, MEGA Brands, a construction toy company known for its licenses with HALO, Call of Duty and Hello Kitty, was bought by Barbie-maker Mattel today for $460 million. While low-tech toys have always been popular, Lego’s recent large growth (after some embattled years) probably pushed Mattel to make this big decision. Read more on

Hundreds of new exoplanets validated by Kepler Telescope Team
If you’re not optimistic about the possibility of other life outside of Earth, maybe this recent news of NASA discovering 719 additional planets of the multiworld systems might convince you. But don’t jump out of your seat– to be “confirmed planets,” researches still need to determine if they are actually planets, however they’re confident in the ones that they have found recently. Read more in Scientific American.

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