Humpday Links for March 13

The Ides of March draw ever nearer, and while you may not be worried about getting gang-stabbed at work, you could likely still use a tension reliever.  Allow my links to carry you away, O Caesar!

– As part of their Centennial celebrations, the Edmonton Public Library is giving everyone free library cards!  Followers outside of Edmonton won’t care, but those inside should get on this now!

This link came to me courtesy of my pal Leah, and it excites me for many reasons.  Not the least of which, think how easy building a hobbit-style home will be now…

– If you have ever struggled to make realistic fantasy city/town maps, and I know I have, this tutorial is for you.

– Designing a little bigger than a town or city? Space Engine is for you.

– My pal Brittney might like this: The Loneliest Unicorn.

This article raises some interesting questions regarding C.S. Lewis and Narnia.

– Last week I wrote a thing about Kickstarter and mentioned Monte Cook’s projects.  Here, Monte Cook talks about David “Zeb” Cook and one of his earliest projects/loves, Planescape.

– Speaking of earlier D&D, here is every issue of Dragon Magazine, digitally archived.  It appears to be above board. Maybe…

Star Trek: Into Darkness has a new teaser trailer, and all I can say is, “Engage!”

– There’s a Canadian werewolf drama a-comin’, and they’ve cast a familiar face in the lead role

– If you scroll past my links muttering, “Know that, seen that…” then maybe you are ready to ascend the throne of Nerds as our King.  I’d do it, but I’m more of a “power behind the nerd” type of guy.

– Know a nerd in Boy Scouts? The American Scouts just added a Game Design merit badge.  Hey Scouts Canada, you seeing this?

– Courtesy of Cracked.com, 6 board games that sucked, with suggestions of ones that don’t.

Iron Man 3, everybody.  Can I get a “Squeeee!”?

– And while we’re on trailers you’ve likely seen but will watch again, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

– Speaking of Nathan Fillion (we were, watch the Much Ado trailer), there is a charity auction on the go that will let you hang out with him for a day.

– And finally, a review of the “geeksploitation” film, Zero Charisma.  When I get a hold of this I’ll have a movie night, promise.

And that’s your links for another week.  Keep on ignoring those seers, and we’ll see you next week!

Humpday Links for November 2

Not even NaNoWriMo will keep me from providing the freshest, most delicious internet links for you Humpday feeding pleasure!  Let us link, anon! [Exeunt, linking]

– Remember those science kits you played with as a child?  JBox and Gakken have teamed up to bring you adult science kits! One mad science lab coming right up!

– If you are a Pathfinder GM with a game night looming and nothing to run, Adventure a Week has your back.

Shirt Punch will make sure you have the chance to buy a new, geeky T-shirt every day.

– Did you ever feel that there needed to be a rock love song inspired by Silence of the Lambs? Yeah, me too.

– From the “Cooler than the Da Vinci Code” files, computer scientists crack a 250-year-old secret society’s code.

– The new web series Shelf Life shows us what our action figures get up to when we aren’t around. Wait, so mine have seen me naked? Excuse me, I need to rent a wood chipper…

– I’ll have a longer post on this later, but for now you need to head over and start reading Joey Heflich’s 700 Hours of Yelling.  Go ahead, I’ll wait…

These cosplayers just want us to be excellent to one another.

– So you thought it was pretty cool when Joss Whedon announced his Bellweather production’s Much Ado About Nothing, right?  It gets better!

– If, like me, you plan to support small geek businesses this Christmas, Geek’s Dream Girl has some good advice for you.

– Jen Page and Monte Cook are teaming up to bring us Geek Seekers, a web series investigating the paranormal.  See their totally real and not at all apocryphal origin story here.

– From The Nerdist, two little bits of Who behind-the-scenes fun!

Doctor Who is now poised to educate our children. And who better, really?

– This article may be three years old, but I happen to agree with Simon Pegg about why zombies don’t run!

I will give a prize to anyone that does this to their water coolers at work. Pics, of course.

– So Halloween is over and you are wondering what to do with your leftover pumpkins; got a slow motion camera?

– And finally, if you need a timey-whimey clock I think this will be sufficient to your requirements.

Enjoy the rest of your humpday, and if you have links to share by all means pop them into the comments below.  Me, I’m off to write some more…

 

Some Nerd Subjects in Brief

There have been several things of note going on in the nerdverse recently.  While I didn’t want to devote an entire post to these, I felt they deserved a bit more than a sentence in the Humpday Links.  So enjoy these, and fire off your comments; I’ll be around and we can talk back and forth about them.

Headline: New independent climate study confirms global warming is real – Penned by Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame, this article is a frank summary of a recent independent study on global warming.  In short, yes, global warming is real and yes, it is our fault.  I am constantly confused by people that deny this very simple and observable fact.  Perhaps it comes from living in Alberta, arguably the province that is an ongoing severe environmental impact.  Yes, yes, I’ve seen the commercials, the oil and gas industry is cleaning up their act.  But that is sort of like a company claiming the sludge they are dumping is “Now 40% less toxic!”; “cleaner” is not “clean”.

But this article makes a very good point about global warming debunkers: the hard-core debunkers will not be swayed.  To quote the article:

I know this new study won’t sway climate change deniers. It can’t, because nothing can. The reason for that is simple: This isn’t about the science. If it were, the conversation would have been over years ago. Instead, it goes on, because it’s about ideology, not facts.

Personally, I am offended by ideology getting in the way of doing what is necessary.  Refusing to do something about the sorry state of our environment because of ideology is like a fireman refusing to enter a burning Conservative building because he/she is a Liberal.  It doesn’t get much simpler than this: this is our home.  We don’t have another one, and currently, we don’t have anywhere else to go.  Even if you think that global warming is a crap idea, wouldn’t it make sense to err on the side of caution?  Maybe keep the fresh water flowing, make sure we have enough food, try not to poison the animals living with us (not to mention us animals)?  Species survival is not ideological.

Headline: A PSA for Shy People – Thanks to Jessica Mills of Awkward Embraces fame for this PSA, it raises a good point regarding geeks with social anxiety.  Her points are especially important to remember if you are meeting someone in person that you have previously only met online.  It can sometimes be confusing, especially since most people with social anxiety will not mention it.  So you can go from a lively, friendly exchange over the Twitter and email, to a terse and awkward in-person conversation.  So keep social anxiety in mind the next time you are meeting your online friends IRL.

Something I wanted to touch on as well; the person in your group who is brash and loud may also have social anxiety disorder.  Mine tends to manifest this way.  Somewhere in my brain it occurs to me that, if I can keep everyone laughing with/at me, then obviously everyone loves me and I have nothing to fear.  Never mind that the rest of my brain is often, “Why did you say that!? Are you $%&@ing out of your @%$&ing mind!?”.  Now, I rein that in a lot, especially compared to years past.  But keep that in mind the next time you are at a party: the loud jackass and the aloof snob may have something in common.

Headline: Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing – This has blown up all across geekdom since Sunday, but yes, Mr. Whedon and a few friends banged out a movie version of Much Ado About Nothing, and managed to keep that hidden from the world.  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to live in a time-line where I have this to look forward to.  I mean, seriously?  Arguably one of the best directors around, armed with some of the best writing mankind has been able to produce, and supported by an immensely talented cast (no, really, read the press release, it’s crazy)…how is this not going to be amazing?

I think what I love about this the most, is that he just did it.  No fanfare, no asking questions.  He wanted to do it, he had people that trusted in him to help him, and he went for it.  There really needs to be more of this going on in the film industry, in my not entirely humble opinion.  Yes, movie studios want to research and study things to death before committing hundreds of millions of dollars to their next blockbuster, and I can’t blame them.  But not everything has to be safe.  Create a part of your company that has the resources to say, “We believe in this, we have a great script, we can get good actors and we can put this out right now.”  For the cost of one blockbuster which may not do well (I’m looking at you, Immortals), how many of these projects would get out the door?  Ten? Twenty? A hundred?  And if only a fraction of them have monetary success (while a fraction flop and the majority break even), you come out further ahead than you would with your, “probably won’t break even except on paper” blockbuster (yup, still looking at you, Immortals).  Is that a bit optimistic?  Sure.  Am I wrong?  Well, we won’t know unless someone has the brass ones to try it, will we?

Okay, I’m done sounding off.  If you have an opinion to share on any of these, please comment below.  Until next time, my lovely nerds!