Happy Geek Pride/Towel/etc. Day!
Our pal Larry wonders, "Where's a spaceship when you need one?"
May 25th, 2012
02:01 PM ET

Happy Geek Pride/Towel/etc. Day!

Editor's note: A few years ago, the nerds at CNN.com had to explain to our coworkers what Towel Day was. We helped clear things up on CNN's long-defunct SciTech blog. In commemoration of today, we're bringing back our very informative post. We like to think of it as a "collector's edition."

Romulans, puppeteers, hobbits - lend me your ears! Today, we geeks can gather today and celebrate all that makes us unique.

Worldwide, May 25 is known as Geek Pride Day, Towel Day (for "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fans like our own No. 42 above) and Glorious 25th of May, for Discworld fans.

Although Geek Pride Day is a relatively new holiday; founded in Spain in 2006, the Inalienable Rights of Geekdom (at least as we see them) that it celebrates are not:

1. The right to strive to be even geekier.
2. The right to not leave your house when there's plenty to entertain you there.
3. The right to not like football or any other sport.
4. The right to freely associate with other nerds.
5. The right to have a few select (inevitably awesome) friends.
6. The right to have a ton of friends - each geekier than the last.
7. The right to not be “in-style.”
8. The right to be overweight/underweight/have poor eyesight and the like.
9. The right to show off your geekiness at all times.
10. The right to take over the world.

Not all geeks will agree with or adhere to all - or in some cases even most - of these rules. Everybody geeks out in their own way; that's the beauty of it.

But we can all agree that being a geek can be a good thing. Why is that?
Well, let’s take a look at a couple of the great things about being a geek:

1. We can always find a game to play no matter what. We are like the MacGyver of games. Give us a pen and paper and we’ll entertain ourselves and others.
2. We look good in glasses. Seriously, we do.
3. We are clever. Who was the one who everyone turned to on "Lost?" The doctor.
4. Speaking of doctors, we have Doctor Who. He’s smart, funny, has a time machine and is one of the biggest geeks in the universe.
5. We can balance a checkbook. Whether we use a computer program, our raw brain power or a good old-fashioned abacus, we will not be overdrawn.

Geek Pride Day is all about looking at the best parts of being a geek, so grab your towel, stick out your thumb and tell us what your plans are - or what you've already done - for Geek Pride Day.

That hoodie is not size 'nerd'
Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq opening bell on Friday.
May 18th, 2012
05:49 PM ET

That hoodie is not size 'nerd'

Fresh-faced 27-year-old Mark Zuckerberg wore a hoodie rather than a shirt and tie to meet with potential investors for Facebook's IPO this week, to the consternation of well-dressed financial analysts everywhere.

With his decidedly casual wardrobe, Zuck has entered the pantheon of great and nerdy technological entrepreneurs, famous in part for the "uniforms" they wore.

Steve Jobs' closets full of black turtlenecks, jeans and sneakers were endearing and disarming. While convenient, it disguised the ambitious genius wearing them. Bill Gates' unkempt hair and safety-style specs helped cement his image as a nerd-terrible just as much as his ubiquitous operating system did. Steve Wozniak's out-of-date-and-frumpy wardrobe from the 1980s and 1990s gave him the air of the lovable wunderkind, jovial and enthusiastic about computers, not necessarily fashion.

And Zuckerberg wears a hooded sweatshirt, riling up the suited financial analysts who would like to control his money. They even called him immature.

In an editorial on CNN.com, Benjamin Nugent contended that nerds like Zuckerberg have no time to deliberate on their wardrobe because their minds are consumed with their work. Whether it's computer programming or art, Nugent said nerds are so singularly focused that they are unconscious of the visual impression they make. That social machinations like being presentable don't enter their head space - they make spastic movements, have childlike laughs, even dress like homeless people, he said.

Nugent, the author of "American Nerd: The story of my people," said: "He's first and foremost an inventor, a tinkerer in a workshop, a monk in hooded robes. Sales, the bottom line, these are not the things that define me, the hoodie says." It's a savvy hoodie.

I respect Nugent immensely and can vouch for his masterful descriptions of contemporary nerds. I've sought his expertise more than once for Geek Out!, but he misses the mark on this point. FULL POST

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Filed under: Brainiac
May 11th, 2012
02:37 PM ET

How brainy women think about attachment parenting

Mayim Bialik is an actress, a neuroscientist and an outspoken member of the attachment parenting community. Her take on mothering entered the forefront of the public consciousness with this week’s controversial Time magazine cover featuring a woman breastfeeding her 3-year-old.

Citing her education and admittedly nerdy nature, Bialik said she found attachment parenting and natural childbirth methods preferable to the conventional medical advice she was given as an expectant mother.

"I think the mainstream has been revealed to be a lie to those of us who are nerds," Bialik told Geek Out in March during the tour for her book "Beyond the Sling."

"I think, depending on what kind of nerd or geek you are, there's an analytic and statistic aspect to (your) brain," she said. "When you're used to being prepared to reject conventional wisdom, it leaves you open to learn more." FULL POST

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Filed under: Brainiac
LeVar Burton, Renaissance geek: From 'Trek' to 'Transformers'
LeVar Burton voices the role of Doc Greene on the Hub's Saturday morning series, "Transformers Rescue Bots."
April 26th, 2012
03:09 PM ET

LeVar Burton, Renaissance geek: From 'Trek' to 'Transformers'

LeVar Burton is anything but ashamed to admit it.

“I fly my geek flag proudly. Absolutely," he told CNN Geek Out. "I’ve always been interested in gadgets and technology and I’ve always been a reader. Back in my day, if you were really into calculus and wore a pocket protector, that was the image. I never had a pocket protector, but some of my best friends did!"

The actor, 55, is best known for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (along with "Roots" and "Reading Rainbow") and will join the cast of the Calgary Expo this weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary. But since then, he's continued to pop into the geek canon in animation, prime-time comedies and film - most recently, voicing the role of Doc Greene on the Hasbro Studios Saturday morning series, "Transformers Rescue Bots," on the Hub.

"I was aware of ['Transformers' following] but I was not a 'Transformers' aficionado," he confessed. "I knew it had a large fan base. My son is in his early 30s. When I told him I was doing a 'Transformers' spinoff, he was over the moon, because that was his thing. That was one of his favorite cartoons. It's cool to become part of another strong franchise. I love it."

Burton is getting back into voiceover work with "Transformers" and the recent animated film "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies," after doing more than 100 episodes of "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" in the 1990s.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Brainiac • Fandom • Squee!
Podcast Spotlight: 'The Tome Show' a deep dive for D&D fans
"The Tome Show" is a Dungeons & Dragons news, reviews and advice podcast.
April 25th, 2012
09:59 AM ET

Podcast Spotlight: 'The Tome Show' a deep dive for D&D fans

Podcasts have become the ancient Alexandrian library for geeks.

Much like in the time of the Egyptian library, you can learn that a new thing exists - game, book, whatever - and find a podcast about it. In just a short time, you can become an expert on that subject, without all those pesky scrolls or weighty books to carry around.

"The Tome Show," is the kind of podcast that plunges fans of Dungeons and Dragons - the grandfather of tabletop role playing games, currently produced by Wizards of the Coast(WotC) - straight into a master-level dissertation. Topics of conversation include news and reviews of the latest D&D products as well as interviews with people from the role-playing game industry and gamers. Advice to players and Dungeon Masters is a signature part of "The Tome Show."

The hosts call it “a podcast by D&D fans, for D&D fans,” and it's one of the longest-running Dungeons & Dragons podcasts out there.

Jeff Greiner was the lone host of the show when it launched in October 2006. Sometimes-guest Tracy Hurley, a regular on D&D-related podcast, "4geeks4e" and the "DM Round Table", became a full time co-host in January, 2011. Rumor has it Greiner is paying her in Skittles.

Greiner picked up podcasting as a teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. The school where he worked had a strong working relationship with Apple and he was encouraged to learn and play with the company's podcasting technology.

After months of looking for an online D&D show, his fruitless search led him to start his own. "The Tome Show" was born. FULL POST

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