Tag Archive: star trek


The Life of a Nerd

(Ironic that Data wants his cat to lack typos when he himself cannot spell “grammatically.”)

 

 

Lately, I’ve been noticing little nerdy quirks about me that I find a bit amusing. So here are 12 of my geeky traits; feel free to leave a comment with some of yours!

 

1. Almost every Thursday, I think of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because in the movie, Arthur Dent says, “It must be a Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.”

2. Bow ties remind me of Doctor Who.

3. I cut my sandwiches into cosine waves and then think, I guess this means the length of my bread is equal to 2 pi.

4. I have enough nerd shirts from various shows and video games to wear for two weeks straight.

5. When people tell me, “you’re late!” I secretly think, a wizard is never late (not that I think of myself as a wizard). Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. I would say it out loud, but people usually won’t get the reference.

6. Every morning, I need to drink orange juice out of my Star Trek mug (which has Spock, my nerd crush!); otherwise, I’ll be cranky the rest of the morning.

7. When I do something accidental like bump over a cup, the first thing that comes to mind is control + z!

8. The background on my cell phone is Shifty Looking Cow from Mass Effect. My message tone is the sound of a Star Trek communicator.

9. Old buildings with lots of horizontal beams remind me of Assassin’s Creed.

10. I actually say the word “click” when clicking on webpage buttons.

11. We have a pizza cutter in the shape of the Enterprise. When I do the dishes, instead of simply putting it away, I ‘fly’ it to the drawer where it’s supposed to go.

12. I write a freaking nerd blog!

I was talking to my friend Lisa the other day, and she inquired, “Am I a nerd?” Before I could respond, she said that she couldn’t be a geek because, and I quote: “geeks eat chickens.” There was a small pause as I was attempting to wrap my head around the ridiculousness of what she just said. Then I broke out laughing, and she began to explain to me that her definition was in the dictionary. I promised that I’d look it up later on the Merriam-Webster website, so here I am, finding the definition of a geek, as well as discovering how it differs from a nerd.

 

Well, I looked up the definition on m-w.com, and it says, “ a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake.” So Lisa’s claim wasn’t far off, but this description is no longer applicable in today’s society, thus rendering definition number 1 completely useless.

 

Other definitions on sites like m-w.com and dictionary.com show that nerds and geeks are virtually the same. Even in the place for synonyms, each word has the other listed. In my opinion, these dictionary definitions are absolutely true. There is no difference between a nerd and a geek, no matter how worked up people get over using these words interchangeably.

 

My skepticism is drawn from the fact that the Internet cannot agree with itself (alert the press!). Just take a look at these two Venn diagrams. First of all, I’d like to say that it’s pretty amusing that multiple people actually made Venn diagrams on this subject, but then again, they would have to be nerds themselves to have made these, so it’s understandable. Anyway, the diagrams aren’t completely off, but they aren’t in agreement either.

 

To be fair, most of the descriptions from blogs and nerdy websites say that nerds are geared toward a high level of interest in science, and geeks are labeled hardcore fans of things like Star Trek and video games. They can’t seem to make up their mind on which one is associated with computers.

 

The worst article on attempting to describe the difference came from WikiHow. Under “Nerd,” it says, “A nerd could be viewed as someone with an extremely intense interest or fascination in an academic field of study.” Under “Geek,” it says, “It is not uncommon for a geek to be capable of reciting large amounts of knowledge.” These definitions are not the same thing, of course, but they are very close. Furthermore, under “Nerd,” it says, “Nerd interests may cover a broad range of interests, from movies to games (video and table-top), to more practical skills such as computer science.” And under “Geek:” “Geeks can vary in their interests, from fun (films) and sometimes even frivolous things (collecting plastic figurines), to heavily technological interests (computing, hacking, and programming).” The two sentences are virtually the same thing! The article can’t even agree with itself!

 

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

A Bit About My Mother

So I was talking to my mom the other day, and our conversation went something like this:

Me: “I’ve decided what I want my birthday cake to be!” (Even though my birthday isn’t for another couple months.)

Mom: “Oh..?”

Me: “I want it to look like the cake from Portal!”

Mom: “Oh, that’s perfect! The cake is a lie!”

Me: “N- no, I really do want the cake..”

Mom: “I’ll be happy to make it for you!” *Laughs evilly* (Is this what it’s like to have GlaDOS for a mother?)

And it was that instant when I realized: my mom is a nerd. Okay, maybe not a full-fledged, game-playing, comic book-reading geek, but she knows enough to threaten my birthday cake, which is kind of scary. I guess you could say she’s toe-testing the waters of nerdism. My dad, brother and I are all uber-nerds, so I suppose it would be difficult to live in a household full of Doctor Who references and Star Trek quotes and not be a nerd yourself. Well, whatever the case, I’m just happy I have a mother who catches the reference when I say: “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

Thoughts about Halo

The other day was my friend Annie’s birthday, so naturally we hung out. Knowing that I’m obsessed with a quaint little game called Halo: Reach, she proposed that we head over to her house to play it. After all, nothing says quality time together like a couple rounds of shooting your friend in the face repeatedly.

 

I, of course, agreed immediately to this ingenious proposal, because it had been a while since I picked up a controller, and my trigger finger was getting a little itchy. The next thing I know, I’m sitting in Annie’s basement playing on Forge, which is not quite the same as Slayer, but we managed to fit in a fair amount of snipings, backstabbings, and my personal favorite: death from above with Banshees.

 

So anyway, we were playing on Forge (which I’m freaking amazing at, by the way. I’m so pro, I can lay down building blocks WITHOUT the item rotation snap. Plus, I’m humble about it all), and we were making our own little forts on opposite sides of the map. After about an hour of playing (and fifty awesomely laid building blocks), I realized that we were playing house. How is this any different than setting up bedsheets over chairs and sofas?

 

We were playing the exact same thing we used to play as four- and five-year-olds, except that now, everything is virtual, and instead of making something to live in, we were making something with which to defend ourselves. It’s not that big of a difference, because once we’re done with our little forts, no one would dare attack them! I’m sure not going in blind to Annie’s giant, turret-infested fort, complete with sniping towers and teleporters that lead to who knows where! Well, only Annie knows, and that’s the point. The greatest advantage you can have in a game is knowing the territory. And I suppose that’s part of the appeal of Forge: you can make a map in which only you know where all the trap doors and secret staircases are.

 

But I digress. My point was: I find it a bit amusing that, here we are, a little over a decade later, and we are still playing house. It may be a different, more high-tech version, but it is house, nonetheless. I don’t feel ashamed to be revisiting the make-believe games of my childhood, because after all, I freaking pwn at Forge.

Invisibility Cloak

I’ve read a lot about this thing and I’m still getting chills thinking about the very idea of an invisibility cloak. But it really is real! Really guys. Technology is quickly catching up to Harry Potter and Star Trek, as scientists have developed a cloaking device that hides something about the size of a paper clip. The ‘cloak’ is a calcite crystal that bends light around an object so that you’re seeing whatever is behind the crystal, rather than in it.

 

According to Gawker’s rather humorous headline: “Scientists Invent Invisibility Cloak for 1,000th Time,” this isn’t the first time something’s been rendered invisible. Apparently, scientists have used other types of crystals, a gold plate, and even something called a “carpet cloak” to make the seen unseen. This is the first time, however, that something as big as a paperclip has vanished. Other attempts have been limited to the micro level.

 

So instead of hiding atoms (which people can’t see anyway), now we can hide our office supplies! Pretty soon we’ll be up to stapler-size, and then just think of the office pranks we could pull! “I believe you have my stapler.” “That’s ridiculous! I don’t SEE it anywhere!”

 

There is a catch, though: we can still see the crystal. So when we finally do make it to full body size, we may not see a person, but we will see a giant crystal walking around, which would probably be even more conspicuous. Sorry ninjas, you’re probably going to have to wait a little bit longer to be truly invisible. While you’re waiting, I hear Lord of the Rings has a pretty good invisibility gig going on, with the one ring and all. You might have to fight Frodo, Gollum, and nine emo zombies to get in on it, but hey, good things don’t come easy.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the invisibility cloak, here’s a link to a video you can watch, or click here for an article and another cool video.

I had my own little happy nerd moment when I saw this: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/awesome-products-geeks-will-love/

If you’re anything like me, you love owning some tangible geek thing from your favorite Doctor Who episode or video game character. Nerds love collectibles, it’s a fact. I have lots of nerd merchandise in my house, like a toy warthog from Halo (complete with little red guys) or the Star Trek mug I drank orange juice out of this morning.

You may have already seen some of these products on sites like thinkgeek.com, but I’m willing to risk that, because this article is just way too awesome to not post. Its 34 geek-themed products, like the one shown above, will knock your nerdy socks off (yes, I’m talking to you with the Tetris socks). So refill your paypall account and prepare to have your own little happy nerd moment when you take a look.