What's up, Thronies?
I just finished "Dance with Dragons," the most recent book in the addictive and heart-wrenching series "Song of Ice and Fire," which is the basis of the thrilling and sexy HBO show "Game of Thrones."
"Winter is coming" (as they say in the series) in the Northern Hemisphere, and we'll have to get through the coldest months without any new information about our favorite characters from this series. Author George R. R. Martin hasn't announced when the next installment will come out (last time there were about seven years between books). As for TV, HBO isn't debuting Season 3 of the show until March 31.
What are we supposed to do until then?!
The internet is full of Thronie homages to the series. Here are some treats and ideas for your amusement: FULL POST
Laura Nagle loves physics. She peruses scientific papers for her own enjoyment, and she can sometimes work out the answers to cosmological mysteries in her head when she watches documentaries about the universe. She has read, in her estimation, about 12,000 books.
You might say Nagle, 58, is a geek. But if you knew that she also has had severe problems communicating with others throughout her life, and had trouble in school because she’s not “well-rounded,” you might guess that she also has autism.
“I find that physics, engineering – these things speak to my heart, and I see details, relationships and patterns that most people don’t,” says Nagle, who lives near Flagstaff, Arizona.
Happy Pi Day! A favorite holiday among geeks, March 14 commemorates one of the most fundamental and strange numbers in mathematics. It's also Albert Einstein's birthday.
This is a great excuse to bake pies, as many iReporters have (send us your pie-report!). But there are also lots of reasons to celebrate this number: Pi appears in the search for other planets, in the way that DNA folds, in science at the world's most powerful particle collider, and in many other fields of science.
Here's a refresher: Pi is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle. No matter how big or small the circle is, if you calculate the distance around it, divided by the distance across it, you will get pi, which is approximately 3.14. That's why Pi Day is 3/14!
Editor's note: The following is an e-mail conversation between CNN Geek Out's Elizabeth Landau and Henry Hanks. If you didn't watch Monday night's season premiere of "Alcatraz," another supernatural mystery show by nerd icon J.J. Abrams ("Star Trek," "Lost," "Fringe") don't read any further. Due to the involvement of Abrams, the cast, and the concept – which deals in both science and historical fiction – this has been a much-anticipated show by fans of both genres. Landau began by responding to Hanks' recap on CNN's Marquee Blog, which you can read here.
Landau: I had high hopes for “Alcatraz,” expecting the genius of a J.J. Abrams production and Jorge Garcia’s acting to be injected into this show. And it does have a lot of potential. I like the idea that the prisoners have suddenly shown up in San Francisco and we don’t know why. I think the most interesting character so far is actually Emerson Hauser, played by Sam Neill of “Jurassic Park” and "Merlin" fame, and I agree that he doesn’t get enough screen time. I want to know more of his back story. He obviously has knowledge that he’s not sharing, and so holds the key to uncovering why these prisoners are suddenly turning up.
But when I realized that this is going to turn into an “inmate of the week” drama, I became less interested. On “Lost,” since it dealt with a bunch of travelers trapped on an island, it felt like there was a lot more at stake for everyone involved, and it was more interesting to delve into their pasts. We get a little of that here but not enough. Detective Madsen has a personal interest in this investigation because her grandfather was one of the prisoners, but I just don’t feel enough genuine passion from her to care that much. And Garcia’s character Dr. Soto – what’s really in it for him? I feel like he needs more of a reason to care, too. Since we know him from "Lost," we want him to be comic relief but it doesn’t seem like his lines were written in quite the right way to let him shine.
Honestly I was getting pretty bored with the second episode – it dragged along as the detectives chase Ernest Cobb and he goes around killing people. But at the end of the second episode we get that big reveal that Lucy was Cobb’s doctor decades earlier, which makes it more interesting that he shot her specifically. I thought to myself “oh, wait, so this episode was important in the grand scheme of the show.” But I felt like I had to go through nearly an hour of “meh” to get to the “oh, cool” moment.
I am curious to see where this show goes but it was definitely not as stellar as the first two episodes of “Lost.” And unlike the pilot of “Once Upon a Time,” which got me feeling like I just had to know what’s driving this alternative world in which fairy-tale characters are stuck, I’m not itching to know what’s going on with these time-inconsistent inmates. But perhaps, as with “Lost,” Abrams has some major tricks up his sleeve that will wow us later.
We're pretty sure 2011 was a great year to be a geek. But with all of the amazing things we've witnessed in the nexus of nerd culture and mainstream pop culture, there were plenty of potential geek out moments that didn't quite work out. And then there were a few things this year that were just a mixed bag.
So, here's a look at some squees and corresponding "sad trombones" for this year's pop culture with a nerdy bent:
Squee: "Doctor Who"
Things got off to a rip-roaring start in the sixth season of "Doctor Who." We encountered the ominously creepy Silence, an “impossible astronaut” with murderous intentions towards the Doctor, and the constant foreshadowing of a fixed date when the Doctor must die. The episodes that followed maneuvered the twists and turns of Steven Moffat’s layered plotlines, and Matt Smith continued to reveal deeper and darker sides of our beloved Doctor. But perhaps the most brilliant gem was the Neil Gaiman-penned episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” where the TARDIS comes to life in a beautifully poignant character, and we realize that she is the Doctor’s only constant.