Celebrate Geek Pride Day Belatedly!

May 26, 2009

Yesterday, May 25, was Geek Pride Day, and I confess with shame that I was remiss in alerting us to the need to celebrate. The manifesto is as follows (via the Wikipedia entry linked above):

Rights:

  1. The right to be even nerdier.
  2. The right to not leave your house.
  3. The right to not have a significant other and to be a virgin.
  4. The right to not like football or any other sport.
  5. The right to associate with other nerds.
  6. The right to have few friends (or none at all).
  7. The right to have all the nerdy friends that you want.
  8. The right to not be “in-style.”
  9. The right to be overweight and have poor eyesight.
  10. The right to show off your nerdiness.
  11. The right to take over the world.

Responsibilities:

  1. Be a nerd, no matter what.
  2. Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
  3. If there is a discussion about something nerdy, you must give your opinion.
  4. Save any and all nerdy things you have.
  5. Do everything you can to show off your nerdy stuff as though it were a “museum of nerdiness.”
  6. Don’t be a generalized nerd. You must specialize in something.
  7. Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every nerdy book before anyone else.
  8. Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
  9. Don’t waste your time on anything not related to nerddom.
  10. Befriend any person or persons bearing any physical similarities to comic book or sci-fi figures.
  11. Try to take over the world!

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No. 1 Ladies Detective to be No. 1 TV Star?

May 20, 2009

When Mma Ramotswe hit the literary scene as the No. 1 Ladies Detective, she made quite a splash and it wasn’t just her “traditional build”. Alexander McCall Smith, a native of what is now Zimbabwe, has managed to create a credible African female character – not an easy task. McCall Smith clearly knows his subject matter well and takes great care to create an Africa that most of his readers don’t know exists: peaceful, charming, modern, traditional and most of all personal.

As someone who lives in the part of the world that McCall Smith writes about, it’s the balance of the modern and the traditional that is so hard to get right in contemporary Africa. Where else in the world could you drive past a mud hut with a pickup in the driveway and a satellite tv dish on the roof?

It’s this delicate balance that McCall seems to hit so squarely on the head.

In a similarly subtle vein, the mysteries that arrive on the doorstep of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency are gentle and nonviolent, caught somewhere between where Africa has been and where she’s going, but also cutting to the heart of what makes us all human: love, jealously, lust, greed and compassion.

What the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency doesn’t have much of is action.

Not entirely unlike Africa herself, McCall Smith’s storyline are more talk than action, with characters focusing on reviewing their interactions with one another far more than solving the mysteries at hand. In fact, it is usually this pondering of life and humanity that leads our heroine, Mma Ramotswe, to her mystery’s solution. In turn, McCall Smith’s serial mysteries have a somewhat formulaic pattern, not entirely unlike the way most of us would think of everyday life.

As Mma Ramotswe moves from our imaginations to HBO, it will be a challenge to break away from McCall Smith’s redundant tendencies and continue to capture a viewer who wants to see something different each week.

If there’s one thing the series should keep coming back to, it’s the stunning visual of Botswana’s clear open sky and endless veld.

-posted by bodyinmotion


The little law that would make liberals love sales taxes

May 16, 2009

I don’t know about you, but the unequal distribution of wealth doesn’t actually bother me at all. What bothers me is the unequal distribution of consumption.

In other words, I don’t care about your paycheck. If you’re just going to put it in the bank, knock yourself out; I hear they need the money. I sure know my own employer could use a decent loan right now.

No, the inequality I care about is practical: unequal distribution of yachts, yoga classes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert tickets.

That’s why I support revenue-neutral sales tax reform to include the taxation of services. It’d be the first step towards a fairer, more efficient tax system that penalizes what we don’t need — stuff — instead of what we do need — work.

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Star TrekWarsThulhu

May 11, 2009
Zachary Quinto's Spock turns on the geek sex appeal.

Zachary Quinto's Spock turns on the geek sex appeal.

If you haven’t yet seen the new Star Trek movie, then you obviously weren’t contributing to its staggering $148 million box-office weekend worldwide. Reaching out to old fans and new recruits alike, the film offers not only a fascinating insight into how one resumes control over a powerful franchise on the big screen, but also how saturated with dedicated generic references such franchise films have become. Star Trek (2009) is, according to a close friend of mine who runs a comic book shop, unabashed “geek porn:” an astonishing array of references, insinuations, cool gadgets and eye candy made specifically for geeks to feel, well, awesomely sexy. I am more of the opinion that it’s “geek foreplay” – here’s why:

****SPOILERS ALERT!! SEE THE MOVIE OR BE… UM, SPOILED?***

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Blogroll Addition: Jetson Green

May 8, 2009

I admit it, I have a bit of a… thing… for the modern green architecture movement. I spent the beginning of this week at home sick, unable to do anything but lie on the couch, and as a result I ended up watching a lot of HGTV. Perhaps too much. But they have some fascinating shows about building green! I’ve become fascinated with the show “Extreme Living,” which features truly gorgeous green homes that very, very lucky people actually get to live in.

Anyway, all that TV-watching had me primed for yesterday, when I spotted a press release about the Clayton Homes pre-fab i-house. The press release only had one picture, though, and I wanted more, so off to Google I went, which led me to this article at Jetson Green,* which indeed has much better pictures. It also has very distracting links to other articles… and that is how I lost an entire day to browsing their archive and all the attendant links therefrom. An entire, very enjoyable day. An excellent way to get addicted to their offerings is their compiled list of 40 Innovative Green Homes of 2008.

So there you go. I figured it was only my duty to pass on this excellent source of distraction to all of you, so I will now add Jetson Green to the blogroll, and you may visit it as often as you wish.

*Having now revisited the site, I have also discovered that the Clayton Homes virtual tour of the i-house is back up. It appeared to have collapsed yesterday under the weight of all the attention various news sources turned on it.