Heh. Heh, heh.
Archive for the ‘Geek/Nerd’ Category
I’m working on three different blog posts, including a super-dandy write up about the awesomeness that was my weekend trip to Chicago for Skepticamp. Things have been pretty crazy though and I’ve barely had had time to sleep, what getting back to Minneapolis late on Sunday, having to save unconscious humans from demons on Monday night with my roleplaying group (GURPS this time around), trying to pull together an interview script for this Sunday’s Atheists Talk radio show with singer-songwriter, Shelley Segal, putting together guns for this weekend’s EPIC Nerf War (yeah, there’s a photo that goes with that below), offering up a red dress to the Blogess’s Traveling Red Dress Project, and reading this hilarious blog (casually and frequently dropped F-bombs may make it NSFW) that I just discovered. So I haven’t actually gotten to any photo editing or writing, and I wouldn’t foist crappy writing off on this blog.* But I haven’t even had time to pull together crappy writing because I’m too busy loving my life. Don’t you hate when that happens?
So until things calm down, here’s a couple of photos of people making funny faces:
Here’s Jeremy from the ever thought-provoking, humorous, breathtaking, snarky Le Cafe Witteveen. I was pleased as punch to be able to catch up with Monsieur Witteveen at Chicago Skepticamp on Saturday. In this shot he’s giving me his best grumpy old man face.
Come and get some! The Hubby shows off our new firearms for what is promising to be an epic Nerf battle at Supercon this weekend. Yeah…they’re battery operated and fully automatic.
*That’s a BIG FAT LIE. Crappy writing is one of the many services offered here at Biodork.
Heh. A kickass atheist, nerdy, Doctor-loving coworker forwarded this to me. It’s copyright 2007, so I’m assuming it’s made the rounds in the past, but I’ve never seen it and it made me lulz lots, so I thought I’d pass it on.
The Hubby spotted this display in Roseville, MN and snapped a few photos for me!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Cyberman! A Dalek! And phew – a TARDIS and Doctor – no fear!
TARDIS and the Doctor
Oooo…and check out my buddy Brian’s website, The Things I’ve Missed, A Growing List (it’s about trying to keep up with the internet!) Today he posted this video of Doctor Who: The First Question – 50th Anniversary Trailer. It gave me goosebumps also, Brian!
I have a new post up at Minnesota Skeptics about a particularly skeptical episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Here’s an excerpt:
Upon the away team’s arrival on the surface, Ardra herself appears to the crew and the Ventaxian leader to claim “her planet”. Ardra is able to instantaneously change her appearance, to cause tremors to start and stop at her command, and she even makes the entire Enterprise starship disappear! But Captain Picard smells a phony. He describes Ardra as being a flim flam artist to his crew, and accuses her of being a fake in front of the Ventaxians.
To read the rest of my article, please go here to the Minnesota Skeptics blog.
Oh, oh! But I also have to share a fabulous website that I found while looking for images of Ardra. It’s called Fashion It So, and it’s written by two people who are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation for the clothes. Well, I’m guessing they’re watching it because they geek on Star Trek: TNG, but the blog is all about the fashion.
They make off-hand horrifyingly blasphemous (to TNG fans) remarks such as the following in bold:
“We never see these aliens not on their ship (they had a name but I realized I don’t care and neither should you) so getting a great look at their outfits is pretty tricky, but I think we can all agree there’s nothing to see here.”
But since they were discussing the Pakleds, you have to agree with the fashion assessment. And really that’s all the writers are making claims about, so why stick it to them on nerd details? And I get the feeling that these guys do have some geek/nerd cred. I spotted one reference to X-Files, they make some horribly punny jokes, and the most recent entry (yesterday) is a repost of three TNG action figures filmed in stop-action to Beyonce Knowles’s Single Ladies.
As an aside, my favorite description of Ardra’s outfit was
“OF COURSE bitch looks amazing. She’s the devil! So she rolls up in a fucking LEATHER JUMPSUIT with some goddamn CHIFFON attached to just the back of her pant legs, like she couldn’t decide if she was racing dirtbikes or going to the ballet.”
Go. Visit their website. Enjoy.
On Tuesday a friend invite me to join him for a show at Huge Improv Theater called Calculus: The Musical. It was a small production. Two actors portrayed many different characters, there was no intermission, and there were several frenzied costume changes during the show. Both actors played guitar at points, and one had several pieces on an electric keyboard. It had all the elements that I love in a musical comedy: Witty characters, fast-paced dialogue and action, a dash of slapstick, various overdone accents, a multimedia presentation, a blending of musical styles (from classical to rap and a lot in between), and a man playing Sir Isaac Newton talking to a little action figure of himself (“Little Isaac”) and then having the action figure answer back in a higher-pitched version of his true voice. Okay, that last was specific to Calculus: The Musical and not at all something I look for in musical comedies.
As the name might imply to those among you who are particularly quick-witted, it was about calculus. As a mathphobe who never made it all the way through a calculus course I was worried that all of the jokes would go right over my head. I did miss some of them; several times my friend’s giggling indicated that something humorous had transpired on stage after some dialoguey gobbledygook about derivitives, functions, limits and infinite series. But the writer managed to incorporate calculus without making the storyline completely unintelligible to the uninitiated.
You can listen to songs from the musical at maththeater.com. Here are the lyrics from the only song that I can actually claim to have understood entirely. It’s called 5 Sizes of Numbers:
There are 5 sizes of numbers,
Big Infinity and small Zero,
And the Finite in the middle,
They’re the ones, I’m sure you know.
But now we look between Finite and Zero.
To numbers so small, they’re nothing at all,
But still a little larger than a Zero.
Their name is Infinitesimal.
On the other side of Finite,
There are numbers too large to say,
Infinites are what we call them,
They are big, in every way.
But they will never quite be Infinity,
They’re not quite as big, not even close.
We’ll use all of these numbers in Cal-cu-lus,
The numbers, I love the most.
It only gets nerdier from there. They have a song about Bernhard Reimann in the style of Eminem’s Without Me. Just sayin’.
Calculus: The Musical has been touring nationally for six years, and it stopped in Minneapolis only for a couple of days. But they have shows scheduled from now through May of 2012 in different parts of the country. I had a good time, maybe even learned a thing or two, and it reminded me that I really need to stop procrastinating and start reading that copy of Jennifer Ouellette’s Calculus Diaries that I got for Christmas and have left languishing on my bookshelf for the last year!
I headed right up to the lab when I arrived at work this morning, which is a different pattern than I’ve had over the past several weeks. My most recent project has been a long-term study that I’ve been testing it in the later part of the day just because it’s a simple assay that I can throw on as I’m walking out the door at night. But usually I can be found in the lab at all hours of the day or night.
A relatively new coworker (and also my office mate with whom I get along well) saw me in the lab this morning and commented.
Him: What are you doing in the lab? You usually don’t stroll in until sometime after noon.
I’m in work mode and tend to make science jokes because I have a receptive audience here.
Me: Hey, buddy! Your observational data set of my behavior is dangerously small to be making any assumptions.
Him: Hey…I can only work with the data I have.
So, a relatively benign, forgettable, nerdish exchange. But I later realized that I had just asserted – in probably the geekiest way EVAR in all of recorded history:
And I’ve been giggling all morning over that.
1) I saw Lazer Tag in Macy’s. I wanted it. Badly. The Hubby didn’t agree to the purchase. I almost had a temper tantrum in the store like a two year old.
2) Later at Target we were walking through the 50% off Halloween aisles, and I managed to convince The Hubby to try on this Batboy costume. He didn’t let me buy it for him, but I was actually okay with that.
3) We actually did buy this from the Target 50% off Halloween aisle and made the dog wear it. There’s a special kind of hell waiting for people like us.
4) I found this cartoon of Dumbo with stretched earlobes on poorlydressed.com and have been trying to find a way to work it into a blog post ever since.
5) While grocery shopping I saw this jumbo pack of lunch-size chips, and the first thing I thought was “Eat ALL the chips!”
6) My new shirt came in from lolshirts.com!
7) The Hubby and I each bought funny looking shoes.
8 ) The Hubby and I played Dodgeball with a bunch of grown adults and had a BLAST. We’re going again next Wednesday. You know, if we can walk again by then. So…much…pain! Not from getting hit with dodgeballs (they’re foam, not rubber), but we’re trying to recover from the aching shoulders, spasming back muscles and burning knee and hip joints from the overexertion! Also, I have a blister on my big toe *sniff*.
Close-Up Photo Contest
I’ve had several people remind me that we’re not done with the CUP Contest. I love that you guys love it so much. So here’s the deal: Starting on Tuesday November 8th, I will be posting a new CUP EVERY DAY at noon (12pm Central Standard Time). We’re going to play every day until somebody reaches 1000 points. After that I’m thinking about keeping it as a regular feature, but we’ll have individual winners for each photo entry. So, keep your eyes open – somebody is going to win the CUP Contest very, very soon!
First, if you follow me on twitter or facebook, I must apologize. I just went and dropped this Dragon*Con chaos on you with very little warning. So if it’s been annoying, I do hope you laughingly shrugged off all of the dozens of wacky, zany status updates and ignored me.
If, however, you have been vicariously experiencing Dragon*Con through my updates…this event is AWESOME! (Here’s where you say, “I know, RIGHT???”)
I originally came to Dragon*Con, strangely enough, not because of my scifi/fantasy nerdiness, but because I heard about it through my involvement with skeptic podcasts, blogs and groups. I had thought that I would spend most of my time in the room dedicated to the Skeptic track. And don’t get me wrong, I could have. But this. is. DRAGON*CON!
Or shoot, no, I meant:
Okay, enough of that specific brand of silliness.
So, because Dragon*Con has all sorts of sci-fi/fantasy/science/gaming/pop culture offerings I have found a whole slew of interesting panels to attend. I’ve managed to go to panels in four out of the five hotels and have hit six different fan tracks: Skeptics, Podcasting, Main Programming, American Sci-Fi Media, Anne McCaffery’s Worlds, and British Sci-Fi Media. I’m a little proud of myself.
I could spend a couple or three hundred words telling you how thought-provoking the Coming Out Skeptical (JT Eberhard) and Everything Evolves (Dr. Eugenie Scott) panels were, or how exciting it was to be in the front row for the Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five Minutes podcast, how neat it was to be in the same room as Gates McFadden and Brent Spiner for a Star Trek Q&A, and later to see Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13, Felicia Day, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, and a bunch of other famous people in the autograph room, how suprisingly pleased I was with The Ship Who Sang reading which had a full cast of people playing characters (including Anne McCaffery’s son Todd McCaffery) and made me cry like a baby, how fun it was to participate in the British Sci-Fi Media fan-led panel on all things Neil Gaiman, and how super excited I was to get a good seat for the live podcast of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.
But we all know that you mostly want to see pictures.
Here’s me – Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree!
I had fun in the Marriot – a suprising number of people recognized me as The Giving Tree, a bunch of other people yelled “A shrubbery!” (from The Holy Grail), only two people guessed that I was an Ent (from Lord of the Rings), and a lot of people wanted to take photos with me. I actually scared a few people because I was standing against a wall and they thought I was a lobby plant until they met my eyes, which I found hi-larious! Unfortunately, I underestimated my ability to move around the uber-crowded public areas and almost took out a few eyes with my pointy tree branches. It was nerve-wracking, and I really needed a handler. Also, finding room in the hotel elevators was pretty hellish. Overall, though, it was a good experience and I enjoyed walking around in costume.
And here’s some of the other amazing costumes. Amazing. Really, really fascinatingly amazing. Enjoy.
Characters: Han Solo frozen in carbonite, Princess Leia, Jigsaw, Not sure who the dragon and guy in the tech suit are, Queen of Hearts, Characters from Batman universe, Harley Quinn, Bat Women, K-9 (Doctor Who), Iron Men and Woman, Beaker, Flasher C3-PO, 9, Robotic Flying Shark, Nyan Mouse, Death (Sandman), R2-D2, Superman with young Yoda and Batman, Waldo, Freaky Clowns, Zelda (Delirium from Sandman in background), Unknown characters in front of a TARDIS, Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden at a Star Trek Q&A (okay, not technically “characters”, but awesome enough to get a photo in the slideshow).
I had my first full weekend all to myself in three weeks! Work is finally slowing down for TheBigProject. All of the testing is done and now it’s paperwork, documentation and repeat. There are still some late nights, but it should be tapering off to a more normal pace around here.
Friday night after work I hung out with friends until about 9:30pm, then came home and went to bed. I managed to make it through about two paragraphs of The Ship Who Searched before succumbing to sleep. I barely managed to set the book on the bed stand before going under, and I slept in until 9am the next morning. Ahhhh! I needed that.
Saturday was COSTUME AND CRUISE day! I didn’t have time to pull together a costume for this past CONvergence, so I’ve gotten a bee in my bonnet to actually make a costume (or two) for Dragon*Con. I reaaaaalllly wanted to make a Minion costume (from Despicable Me), but because I’ll be flying to Dragon*Con I didn’t see any cheap, easy way to get the finished costume from Minneapolis down to Atlanta. So maybe I’ll save that one for CONvergence 2012.
I actually ran into that a lot during planning. I want to be able to transport a costume (or two) in one
carry-on (EDIT: checked) bag. The only large luggage that I own is soft-sided or I could pack a sturdy cardboard box. So I’m limited by size, weight and durability of a finished costume (as well as breathability – I’m going to be in Atlanta, GA at the beginning of September and I hear that’s still hot season). And for some reason I’m all about constructing a costume. I may purchase a secondary costume from an online store – something that consists of easily pack-able themed clothing and a few small accessories, but I want one uber-costume that takes a little thought, is maybe (dare I hope) original, and requires some hardware. If it doesn’t require at least one trip to Home Depot, it’s out of the running.
I spent all of Saturday morning bouncing ideas off of The Very Patient Hubby and I think we’ve finally got something good. It took longer to collect supplies than I thought; I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday shopping all over Minneapolis and the greater metro area. Here’s the list of stores that I’ve visited:
- Saturday: Border’s (book store), Michael’s (crafts store), Walgreen’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Walmart, Home Depot (there – a Home Depot stop! We are now legit.).
- Sunday: SR Harris Fabric Outlet
- Monday: The Paper Depot, Office Max and a second trip to Home Depot (now we’re double legit).
Phew! The final purchases now include
- 1 children’s story book
- 45 yards of fake ivy
- 4 red poster boards
- 15 feet of 8-gauge copper wire
- 4 wire connectors
- 2 yards of green upholstery fabric
- 1 package of business cards
- 1 rubber stamp and green ink pad
- 1 themed paper punch
- Adhesive jewel dots
- Adhesive foam scrapbooking spacers
- 1 regular paper punch
- 1 red fine-tip Sharpie
- Gorilla glue
- Twine (because what project is complete without twine?)
Now to put them all together…
In between running around for costuming supplies on Saturday, the Hubby and I took a Minnesota Riverboat cruise. We drove to Harriet Island in Saint Paul and boarded one of the Padelford paddle boats for a 1.5-hour trip south along the Mississippi. We managed to snag chairs outside on the lower deck, so I had some great opportunities for taking photos of the people, birds and structures that we passed along the way. Plus, they had a bar. So there was that.
I have more pictures of our cruise here on Flickr.
Sunday was no fun, but it was fulfilling. I woke up in a cleaning frenzy and straightened up the living room, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, took out the garbage and recycling and did two loads of laundry, and all of that between the hours of 8:30am and 10:30am. Then I went costume supply shopping and errand-running (ewwww…Costco on a Sunday afternoon). I certainly racked up the FourSquare points that day. The Hubby came home from running his own errands and we cooked brats on the grill and watched The End of Time: Parts 1 and 2 on Netflix. How did I not see this before??? Why wasn’t this part of Season Five of Doctor Who (did I just miss it because of a Netflix mishap)? It was good…I almost started crying when David Tennant…you know…did that thing where he became Matt Smith.
And then it was Monday. Wheeee!