Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

See NASA's travel posters for planets in other solar systems

Like Luke Skywalker's planet Tatooine in "Star Wars," Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released a trio of faux travel posters for several "exoplanets" — planets outside our own solar system, orbiting different stars. The posters were produced under JPL's "PlanetQuest" banner, which they call "the search for another Earth." So far, PlanetQuest has discovered 4,988 exoplanets.

As Engadget notes, the posters are echoes of the Works Progress Administration's travel prints from the mid-1930s; they also probably remind Disney-goers of the travel posters on the walkways leading to the Star Tours ride. The images represent both something old and something entirely new on the frontiers of human exploration.

Click on the posters to expand them to full high-resolution size.


The poster for Kepler-16b draws attention to its two suns, as it orbits a pair of stars. NASA itself points out a science fiction planet that fits the same description: Luke Skywalker's Tatooine from "Star Wars." NASA also notes that, while it's depicted in the poster as being a more Earth-like, terrestrial planet, it may also be a Saturn-like gas giant. Also, chances for life there aren't great — the temperature is close to that of dry ice. Still, that two-sun sunset could actually be real.


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Late night hosts Conan, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher speak out about Paris attack

Conan O'Brien in a screen shot from the Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2015 edition of "Conan."

While some took a "the show must go on" approach and largely avoided bringing down a comedy show by addressing the attack in Paris on satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, several late night hosts tried to grapple with the attack and what it means for comedy.

Jon Stewart opened up "The Daily Show" by directly addressing the attack and expressing his condolences.

"I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn't have to be that," Stewart said, "but those guys at Hebdo had it, and they were killed for their cartoons. A stark reminder that, for the most part, the legislators and journalists and institutions that we jab and ridicule are not, in any way, the enemy. For however frustrating or outraged the back and forth can become, it's still back and forth conversation of those on, let's call it Team Civilization."


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'Serial' becomes a romantic comedy trailer using the show's actual audio

Actors Bill Posley and Honora Talbott as "Serial's" Adnan Syed and Sarah Koenig.
Honora Talbott

Listeners to the "Serial" podcast, where "This American Life" producer Sarah Koenig obsessed over the guilt or innocence of convict Adnan Syed, poked fun at Koenig for her deeply personal investment in the case. Now some Los Angeles sketch comedians have taken that to another level with "Serial Dating."

Serial Dating trailer

The impressive thing about the video is that all of the dialogue used to turn "Serial" into a romantic comedy comes straight from the show itself. Add a romantic comedy narrator,  jaunty music and actors setting these lines in a different context, and you've got a whole new piece of "Serial" fan fiction.

The video comes from Honora Talbott, who also received some attention for a video making fun of Los Angeles's broken sidewalks to the tune of Pharrell's "Happy."


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Coachella 2015 topped by AC/DC, Jack White and Drake

Rapper Drake performs at ESPN The Magazine's "NEXT" Event on Feb. 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN

Coachella announced their 2015 lineup online Tuesday morning. This year's headliners are perhaps even a bit more eclectic than usual, with classic rockers AC/DC, former White Stripes-turned-solo-bluesman Jack White and rapper/actor Drake topping the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the two-weekend annual festival respectively.

Coachella baited festival fans with their tweet that included the lineup, writing, "For those about to RT."

Beyond the top-billed, notable names appearing Friday include Interpol, Steely Dan, Alabama Shakes, Azealia Banks, Lykke Li, DJ Snake, Caribou and Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah.

On Saturday, notables include the act with one of the hugest singles of 2014, Hozier of "Take Me To Church" fame. You've also got the Weeknd, Ratatat, Bad Religion, Tyler the Creator and hip-hop breakout Run the Jewels.


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Marvel trolls fan with ant-sized 'Ant-Man' trailer

Ant-Man seen in an image tweeted by Marvel.

You're probably going to be hearing a lot about ants this year, as Marvel's starting to promote their new film "Ant-Man," which comes out just two months after the somewhat more high-profile "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Their year-opening salvo: A not-quite-postage-stamp-sized teaser trailer.

Ant-Man teaser trailer

They promise the full-sized version will show up on Marvel's new "Agent Carter" on ABC this Tuesday, so you won't have to give yourself eye strain or get Jack Bauer to yell "Enhance!" to figure out what's going to happen in the blockbuster after Marvel's next blockbuster. It's an original promotional idea for a character often mocked, with a lot of fans thinking "Oh come on — ANT-MAN?!"

Marvel has six months to make Ant-Man cool, and they've got to get fans back on board after losing writer/director Edgar Wright before shooting. They've got the amiable Paul Rudd as the lead to help that out (he's also set to come back to "Parks & Recreation" during its 2015 season), and it'll likely take more creative leaps of various sizes to make this movie an event.


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