This “Nerd Alert” is more of a hodgepodge than last week’s, but hey, sometimes life is random that way! From a unique cover of a rock song to redesigned football helmets, here are the links that have caught my eye recently. 

1. So, I know this video of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists playing Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” on xylophones is from December 2012, but it just came to my attention this week when one of C’s friends posted it on his Facebook page. The kids are ridiculously good and seem to be having such a fun time with the song that I’ve played it at least once a day since Tuesday! (Also, am I the only one who thinks the opening riff sounds a bit like “Tubular Bells” from The Exorcist?)

2. I might be coming up on my 30th birthday, but I still love to color and feel no shame in buying children’s coloring books to satisfy my inner creative. But since not everyone is comfortable purchasing “Arthur” coloring books without a toddler in tow, Johanna Basford, a commercial illustrator based in the United Kingdom, has released two coloring books for adults, Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden. As the Huffington Post notes, it seems like a lot of grown-ups were waiting for something like this as the books are sold out everywhere! And you can see why – the drawings are captivating and stunningly intricate.

3. A new teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens dropped on Thursday and to celebrate, the National Football League posted photos by artist John Raya, who reimagined what the helmets and mascots for the league’s 32 teams would look like if they existed in a galaxy far, far away. While Raya designed the helmets in 2013, they didn’t go viral until this week. While it is really hard to pick a favorite, for the American Football League, I like the Hoth Tauntauns (Denver Broncos), Tatooine Banthas (Buffalo Bills), and Coruscant Jedis (New England Patriots); and for the National Football League, it’s the Malastare Dugs (Carolina Panthers), Kuat Walkers (NY Giants), and Dagobah Yodas (Philadelphia Eagles).

4. Speaking of previews, after a rough-cut version of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer leaked online on Thursday, Warner Bros. released the official one on Friday. The film, which is directed by Zack Snyder and set to be released in 2016, seems to be following in Christopher Nolan’s footsteps, i.e. it looks like it will be fairly dark and brooding. Though it was just a short clip, I think the film looks really intriguing, and I’m curious to see what happens when these two DC Comics heavyweights face off.

5. On Tuesday, the Pantone Color Institute – the global arbiter on color and color palettes – released “PANTONE Minion Yellow,” its first new color in three years and its first collaboration with a Hollywood studio. As the new shade’s name suggests, the color was based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me film franchise (a Minions prequel will be released in July). The official press release describes it as “an illuminating, energetic, friendly and fun-loving yellow shade that immediately calls out to you,” and I can’t wait to have it on a coffee mug soon!

6. As I scrolled through all of the Game of Thrones’ reviews in my Twitter feed on Monday morning, I came across this story by The Verge’s Vlad Savov on “Why we have Rome to thank for Game of Thrones.” It had been a really long time since I had thought about that show, and the article immediately transported me back to 2005, when I was studying abroad at Oxford and there was a Rome Club, which basically meant that we got together at one of the colleges to watch the show and discuss it afterwards. While I can’t remember too much about the show besides that, Savov’s article makes me want to check it out again!

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