Of Nerdaphores and Slacktivism

Most of my friends are nerds and as such, we come up with  nerd wisdom all the time. To properly convey the message of our philosophical sessions, made up terminology is employed. [Side note: Our employer is infamous for making up jargon and acronyms that no human can decipher so it rubbed off on us peons too.] Many of the discussed subjects are so intriguing and unique we end up baptizing them with a word mass-up worthy of a Scrabble war.

Nerdaphore – short hand for nerdy metaphor – was coined by one of my colleagues after I mentioned to him that some people need to chop off sides of their family tree. In the discussion, phrases like “let me take over the com”, “open a hail channel” or “make it so No. 1” came up frequently. My coworkers draw blank stares when I use this terminology  and with reason: only a nerd would understand what I was referring to and find it amusing. Hehe It is so hard to turn out examples for this definition because I barely notice when I am getting nerdaphoric. My husband, sister and close friends understand me though. The family that geeks out together stays together.

The second term in the title took a longer time to develop because the concept wasn’t as clear to us when we started examining the situation in question. The team was discussing the dynamic of showing solidarity to a cause in an unethical or inconsistent manner. For example, people who buy a hybrid but power it using electricity generated by coal and have no clue or care about the hypocrisy of their actions. Creating awareness becomes a hollow gesture if your actions don’t follow through fully. Boycotting to seem cool or aware solves nothing and doesn nothing to further your cause. It seems a bit convenient that people appease themselves and others by giving themselves a pat in the back for caring as if that alone effected change. You won’t fool the likes of us though. 

Caring about many causes while financially or physically supporting none is what we decided to call into question. Activism requires you to leave the comforts of your home to fight injustice, oppression and/or poverty. We opted to thus name the act of supporting a cause from the comfort of your high horse, half hearted activism or slacktivism. The terminology manages to give credit to those furthering and giving light to a cause, albeit passively, with enough disdain and disgust. This let them know they should step up their game if they want to be considered true agents of change. Be the change you want to see in the world, affect and effect change regardless of the obstacles. No one can do it but ourselves.

There are so many more terms we have invented through the years but aside from adorkable and nerdom, not many have gone mainstream. If you have a term that needs clarification submit it via the comments section. Nerds are observant creatures that seek to gain insight from every experience and exchange they witness and we are more than happy to let you know when logic and reasoning have failed you. Talk to a geek or nerd today. They will gladly open your eyes to the inconsistencies in your life’s narrative. At the very least they will brighten it up with explanations in their made up language, or in Klingon. 🤓 hehe

Stay thirsty for knowledge, my friends.

Wonder Woman Day: June 3rd

DC is rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the Amazon Princess on June 3rd; to celebrate the Wonder Woman in all of us! 

We are all Wonder Women, from the moms with post partum depression that seek help to the women that fight for equal rights, equal pay and gender neutrality. On and ofd the field, housewives or career driven, the females of the human species ensure there is a future for all of our hopes and dreams. It is they who nurture, inspire and/or lead the way with kindness, vision and resilience. Being a woman is hard, comes with many biological and social expectations that are difficult to escape, and they have to meet these in 4 inch heels and a dress. 

Wonder Woman is a symbol of truth, strength and humanitarianism. She transcends her legend and her legacy. Born in Themiscyra, the daughter of Zeus and Hypolita, God of War trained by Ares himself, she is tasked with getting Steve Trevor off her native island to deliver him safely back to his military comrades. Depending on the age and era, her origin story changes and molds with the times, proving how relevant Diana Prince is to the people of Earth. Protector. Warrior. Courage and grace under fire. The Queen/Princess of the Amazons rises to every occasion bringing love and justice to all. Her creator, Dr William Moulston Marston would be proud of her fantastic 75 year legacy. (Check out the Wonder Woman blog section for more information on the history and significance of the character.)

Watch the eponymous movie in theathers June 2nd. Lynda Carter would be so proud!! 🙂

Enjoy!

Back to Leveling Up

A long time ago, before I decided to buy a new house, move and upgrade it/decorate it in modern geek industrial chic style, the goal was to reach level 14 as a PSN user. My darling MrEnginerd is a level 14, soon a 15, and its tempting to take advantage of his love affair with the Switch to catch up. Rise of The Tomb Raider isn’t piqueing my attention anymore but buying Titanfall 2 or another game just cause isn’t going to gel well with the overall “saving to rehabilitate the backyard” plan. Being indoors while the sun shines brightly in the PNW is frowned upon too so the games may have to wait until the fall. 😣😑

As impressive as it is to be a Level 14, my partner believes that the trophy hunt belittles the true worth of the ranking. I’d agree with him if my achievements were the Barbie game type but I’ve played RPGs, FPS and action/adventure sagas too. Knowing I have to prove myself to my biggest fan is a pain. Had I been a guy this trophy quest, even if it had Barbie type games, wouldn’t be an issue. Blazing the trail of video game equality is my mission, and it is very serious business.😎 Need to make the time to get cracking again. My controller must miss me. Hang on buddy, momma is coming for ya!

If anyone has a suggestion for good, quick games to do between emptying moving boxes and/or decorating a nerdy home, I’m open to ideas. 

Cheers!

Why I am Skipping Season 7 of Game of Thrones (GoT)

I’m not watching this upcoming season of GoT. HBO can take my money subscription wise but that will not sway me. (There are many shows in their lineup that deserve more of my time anyway, like Westworld.) For the first couple of seasons, clutching the books and waiting to see my unsuspecting friends’ reactions kept me coming back for more. Now that it is all officially off book and off the rails, the joy and excitement of drinking and knowing things has expired. Being an ignorant viewer in the crowd seems dirty and unholy somehow.

The series has had a good run and seriously doesn’t need to be tainted by attempts to garner ratings and break records. My sincere hope is that my friend George doesn’t give it all away to please the viewing masses. Long gone are the days of being the only one that knew Jon was of royal and true Stark descent. I miss having that edge to tie in what I was seeing with what I had felt or read. Being immersed in the subject with all of my senses working together, exercising my mind, added meaning to watching this epic unfold. Now, it is all merchandising plots and revenue strategies to me. *Sigh*

Watch out for fan fiction and posters like the one below. I don’t think anything they can come up with will beat anything I have surmised. Gotta admit this poster rocks one of my theories. Glad to know other nerds are out there expecting great things from this season and the books. My enthusiasm ran out so it is up to them to carry the banners to war.

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Season 7, the final chapter, will be a reduced episode run with longer run times. We’ll see how the pushback release date of July 16, from the regular April debut, helps or hinders viewership. You’ll find me outside enjoying the sunlight most likely. Winter was here but summer is coming…

Stay tuned.

I am Groot!

If anything, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) experiment has taught us that Disney know how to tug at the heart strings. Their latest gambit, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 caters to such a broad audience it is understandable why it may have felt a bit flat for some hardcore movie buffs, even when landing upwards of 140 million bucks at the box office. Baby Groot alone was a goldmine, and one that will be vastly exploited for decades. Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will most likely know of this story. It is epic in ways we can’t begin to conprehend.

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Starlord and his crew are about to save the universe, yet again, with cameos from past Guardian comic book legends, and aided by serendipitous knowledge. That portion of the plot remains the same, backed by a super awesome mix tape track worthy of Boomer and Gen Xer date nights. Amidst it all is baby Groot, whose innocence and childish antics make the whole movie more enjoyable and relatable. Don’t worry though, Vol 2 is worth its Imax weight in gold but it may seem a bit lacklustre if you were expecting a serious Civil War vibe or moment. The intent is to make you laugh and reminisce so read or watch previous content before walking in to the action.

Watch out for Seth Green, a few teasers and references to other MCU movies and for the Mickey ears and Disney references. Stan Lee also appears, in case you are new to the gimmick, and is entertaining as always. Take a restroom break before sitting down because you don’t want to miss out on any inside joke or plot twist. Stay after the credits too for a short bit related to the movie. The Guardians may soon make an appearance in another character’s movie or MCU phase. Gasp!

Please be kind and rewind!

When People Confuse Star Trek and Star Wars, Nerds Go Ballistic!

I had to bite my nerd tongue when one of my peeps stated that people ask him about his son’s name being related to Star Wars. I was expecting him to insert a Luke or Han reference, maybe even a Wes or Lando mention but it turns out his name was Dax! Dax! That is soooo not even close to Star Wars – I Googled it – and is very much a Deep Space Nine reference. The kid would need to have been born after February 14, 1993 to even be named after the series. In this case there were a Dexter and a Dak in Star Wars though but these characters are not popular enough for someone to reference them and expect a non nerd would know what they were talking about.I didn’t say a thing but I ran it by another nerd who was relived I had noticed. Phew!

Do the math or research before assuming someone was named after a TV show, especially if the content was based on a book.

These type of mix ups happen in my presence all the time. Someone is really excited to share nerd facts with me and the bungle them up. Their delivery makes it even harder for me to correct them as they seem so proud of their findings and opinions. The hard part is you need to decide if your conversation partner has an open mind and can withstand and benefit from the dissertation that you are about to rain down on them or if you want to keep them ignorant and happy. Most days I opt for the elegant solution, to use the correct terms and relationships hoping they catch up on it. *Sigh* to no avail. 

Star Trek and Star Wars are so diametrically opposed no one should confuse the two. The only thing they share is the cultural diversity of worlds beyond our own in this universe, which is why the both use the word Star as a moniker. Trek is an utopian reality where science and observation rule supreme, with no religious undertones. Wars borrows from the Maquiavellian dictator vs the rebels diatribe and emulates WWII and fascism politics, organizations and tendencies. Trek’s mission is peace. Wars mission is freedom. The goal for the former is achieved with no direct military intervention. The latter’s goal was to use violence and religious mythos/prophecy to overthrown the corrupt government.

It requires two different set of personalities, or sides to a personality, to like one more than the other or love them both equally. Trek feels more like a space adaptation of Tolkien’s world. Multiple cultures work together for the greater good. Ta da! Obviously not every alien civilization agrees with The Federation’s mission so conflic does ensue. However, attacking and conquering is not the MO for deploying the cool technology and weaponry; defending the mission, the crew and the civilians is the only allowed show of force. Peace on Space, y’all! Make it so!

Wars, on the other side, is more of a social commentary, a work that hails back to Shakespeare, WWII, Samurai and Japanese culture Akira Kurosawa style mixed in with the Tolkien rethoric. Although the originals aren’t heavy on cultural diversity it does house an element of it and caters to the subject. The main character is the chosen one, the person who will bring balance to the force. Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side in the backdrop of the Empire’s rise and fall seem reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy. The science varies by species and planets, yes, but there is no peace in this universe nor balance. That is why the Rebel Alliance must beg, borrow, cheat and steal to subvert the government and restore democracy and freedom to the Galaxy.

Lightsabers vs phasers. Spock vs Yoda. Picard vs Luke. Kirk vs Han. The Stardestroyers vs the Enterprise. So many dichotomies to choose from. All the more entertaining and unique the discussions turn because of them. The similarities are probably more than one but to the hardcore fans, they are irreconcilable. I love both shows and both have driven technology and scientific pursuits but Star Trek holds an edge on this subject though. I’m still waiting for the transparent aluminum but the rest seem within reach way sooner than a functioning Lightsaber. Lol

When refering to any of the shows, movies and incarnations of the material, be weary of calling Trek or Wars stuff out incorrectly. The nerds in your life will respect you more if you get it right than the mercy they will show their enemies for defacing their favorite franchise. They will hold lifelong grudges and will never forgive you. Google it. It’s totally worth it.

Live long and prosper…

Happy May the 4th!

Cheater!! You turned the sound OFF…

Tetris isn’t the mind twisting, nail bitting, move your controller buttons and scream at the TV masterpiece Nintendo intended without the speeding music. As an extra element to the experience, the score of the game is designed to engage all of your senses and submerge you in the gameplay. Heart rates go up just by remembering how most games accelerate the rhythm and heighten the tone of a song during the last minute or seconds of the game. Super Mario Bros. used to drive me crazy when I ran out of time near the castle. The anxiety always forced me to miss an easy jump or obstacle.

To the people who play with the sound off or music down in order to concentrate: That’s Cheating! It is sooo much easier to forgo the soundtrack and enjoy the visuals because you will not be prompted by the music to feel a particular way or to be weary of the next moves. The suspense will be lost since the terrifying notes will not drive you insane. It is not fair to rob yourself and others from watching you quake in your boots, driven by the sounds of the story. Winning is empty if you don’t learn how to beat the programmers on their own terms. There is no hollower victory if you ask me.

So, the next time you need to beat a game and choose to use this shortcut, don’t sell yourself short and have the cojones to try it in its whole unnerving musical glory. You will feel pride knowing you had the guts and skills to beat the game fair and square. Wear headphones if you must not bother people. Do it for the developers, the musicians, the music directors and for the love of the challenge.

Game face on!

Cirque du Soleil – It’s French Canadian Eh

A long time ago, in a country far to the north of where I grew up, a man had a vision: to bring art, the circus acts and wonder to the masses by including elements of technology and folklore. The show transcended taming lions or showcasing freaks, it focused on the struggle of the human spirit and skipped the animal cruelty portion, introducing a concept that was new and novel to the Western world. (Check the Wikipedia link for more info.) In this magical and colorful world of Cirque du Soleil you become a part of the show as they break the theatrical “fourth wall” to address and entertain the audience. Each individual character is designed to provoke a reaction and convey an element of the theatrical performance. Their gift for costume design is legendary and a must see during your lifetime which is an easy thing to do because they are a worldwide traveling circus. Woop woop!

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Luzia

My first show under the Grand Chapiteau or Big Top was Varekai. This was one of their traveling shows, years after they had established permanent venues in Las Vegas and other locations in North America. The top was bright red and the spectacle of Icarus’ rise and fall was colorful and full of soulful music. The acts ranged from jugglers, magicians and gymnastics to flying couples using silk ropes and harnesses to delight us with aerobatics. It was one of the most captivating experiences I had had until we saw the show Ka at the MGM Grand. Their ability to create a moving, floating 3k ton+ stage was a true feat of science and engineering only matched by the beauty and myth of the story it helped elevate. There wasn’t a person I talked to that didn’t feel cajoled to see a show after meeting me. It’s that good!

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Luzia

The show itself is more music and pantomime than worded script so it is very good for kids and introverts like me who can let their imaginations run wild. Even though the last show I watched didn’t captivate me, the engineering behind it did impress me almost as much as Ka’s. Sitting inside the climate controlled tent with my refreshments at hand, I had to wonder what the future held for this production of Luzia (it was a bit hard to follow because the stage was too busy to be enjoyed from close range) and how it would influence the performances that will follow it.

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Luzia.

Recalling how much more we enjoyed the simpler and not as technical Cirque at the Symphony, I think this franchise is very well cemented and timeless so it won’t need incredible feats of engineering to continue to shock, awe and inspire the next generation. You just have to peruse their offerings and there’s sure to be a show that flies your fancy. Check out the Cirque website for tickets and showings. Do not miss an opportunity to experience the modern circus, Canadian style!

Enjoy!

AerosPACE Flyoff and Awards Ceremony

After 8 months of hard work, the university teams had the opportunity to fly and prove that their autopilot programs worked. The event took place at Ball Ground’s Model Airplane field and we had a few people from the model association moderating the field. Our team lead gave a short safety briefing and off they went!

Overall, the teams did really well with their design and manufacturing plans. All of them flew ahead of the competition but we still had two crashes occur before they could test out the UAV’s autopilots. Even though the teams had self impossed missions to perform the competition doesn’t require proof of concept, just functional flying aircraft.

Clemson, Purdue, BYU, Tuskegee, Everett Community College, and GA Tech participated in this year’s cohort sponsored by Boeing, Siemens and Dassault. We had a guy from NASA show up too which was cool becausw he is also an astronaut! Thanks to the success of the program it looks like they may be adding additional schools for the 2017-2018 season. 🙂 The students had fun and we did too. Hopefully they learned how to build something better. Hehe

Congrats guys and gals!

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