Episode 75 – Nerdpreciation

July 30, 2010

Nerd Hurdles wouldn’t exist without one specific thing. Not the Internet. Not Jakob’s Zoom H4 Handy Recorder. Not even Simply Syndicated. No, it’s you the listener who’s made this diamond jubilee possible. Because although we could still do the show without you, we probably wouldn’t. That would be a bit sad. For episode 75 we give our appreciation to you, the nerds who’ve stuck by us, by reading out some of your letters, new and old, as we go on an unintentionally self-serving ego trip. Next stop: We’re awesome!

Nerd Roll of Splendor (incomplete reverse chronological order of letter-writers):

Scott Reynolds; Greg Blanchard (Inappropriate Conversations); Paul Melvin; Tony Pucci; Joseph Ingram; Jasmin Louise; Yannick Richeux; Rachel Glastetter; Tim J. Evans; Jack H. Audas Preston; Simon (WryTerra); John Johnstone; Jen; Agustin Chancusi; Jeff Allam; Laura Cooper; Victoria Panos; The improbably named Jeff Speck; Josh Gonzalez; Derek Prinsloo; Kennedy Gordon; Jonathan Higham; Chris Crookall; Craig Denniston; Stephen Rivers.

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Episode 74 – Bard Times

July 23, 2010

Kill Shakespeare creators Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col at TCAF 2010

There’s no shortage of people who wished they could kill their highschool English teacher in the middle of a unit on King Lear. Or, one better, kill Shakespeare himself.

No other body of work has ever been so universally perceived as the driest form of torture imaginable. Most people would rather chew chalk dust then sit through MacBeth or even (perhaps especially?) The Merry Wives of  Windor.

The irony is the world of Shakespeare is still one of the juiciest, bloodiest and sexiest to ever exist on the stage or on the page. Too bad all the gravy is sopped up by the stale bread of outmoded diction.

People are always trying to rehydrate the Bard though. From Tom Stoppard to manga publishers to Ethan Hawk, Shakespeare adaptations and updations are as perennial as that which we call a rose. Some are successful, some are mere sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The latest fair youths to update The King of Shadows are writers Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery and artist Andy Belanger. Co-creators of new IDW comic series Kill Shakespeare (which hit the stage a few months ago), the trio have earned great applause for their toil and trouble.

Recently, Jakob and Del Col met up at Toronto’s Deer Park Public Library where they discussed Old Willie, Tarantino, the comic itself, and Boba Fett—in hushed, conspiratorial tones.

Jakob and Mandi couldn’t take the Shakespearian plot devices and summer-stock acting anymore so this week they left GalacTALKa to Igor and The Banana.

They discuss the first two episodes of BSG Season 4.5 and are paid a visit by Igor’s newest creation, The Manicorn. Whom everyone agrees is dorn handsome.


Upcoming NERDPRECIATION special!

July 19, 2010

 

One of the hallmarks of a good podcast is conscientious audience appreciation. Reading out letters and comments is a classy way of saying “we appreciate you, dear listener, and care about what you have to say.”

We’re not very classy.

On top of that, we’re forgetful and lazy. It’s probably been a year since we’ve read a letter on the air, so to speak. Perhaps not since the last “letters” show. So we’re doing another listener feedback appreciation special for the milestone 75th episode of Nerd Hurdles!

Along with letters we’ve saved, you have until the morning (EST) of July 24th to send in:

  • questions
  • suggestions
  • observations
  • criticisms
  • audio comments

to nerds[at]nerdhurdles[dot]com. You can also ask us questions on our Formspring page and we’ll answer those “live” on the show.

If email and ego-aggrandizing vanity websites aren’t your speed, throw something on our Facebook fan-page and if it sticks, we’ll talk about that too.


Episode 73 – Radio Free Hurdles (Gag Reel 3)

July 16, 2010

We’re not sure if people even like these “gag reel” episodes but we pull them out whenever there wouldn’t otherwise be an episode. Mandi was away at the Winnipeg Folk Festival last week and Jakob was busy recording an interview for next week’s show, so this is what you get. Flawed hurdles are better than no hurdles at all, right? Amirite?

Okay, well. Here’s our third gag reel episode anyway.

This time around we’re not just serving up a smorgasbord of gaffs, but some choice cuts and never before heard classics like:

  • Memories of Kurt Cobain (15 minutes of tangent from either the 1st or 2nd Zombies episode)
  • Mediocracy (unreleased Idiocracy mini-episode recorded in March 2009)
  • Inthest ith betht (Igor & Banana warm-up for Sexy Hurdles 2)
  • Buffy / Twin Peaks re-cast (out-take from Buffy)
  • Trevor smoking in the boy’s room at a Motley Crue concert
  • Igor ‘Grew a Banana (Making a merkin with Ro Karen)
  • And much, much more!

 


About how big was the egg that Igor hatched from? And is there a black market for such eggs?

July 13, 2010

A Pennsylvanian farmer compares a chicken egg and an Igor egg.

Igor eggs are roughly the size of—or a little smaller than—an ostrich egg. The main distinctions are a more milky-green hue and an inexplicable constant ooze which seems to emerge from within the shell. It smells faintly of rotting cucumber. If it does not smell, the egg is “bad” and should not be purchased.

There is no need for a black market in Igor eggs. They are not regulated and you can find them quite easily at any Pennsylvania farmers’ market. While in season (September through November) they are quite often sold from stalls on the side of the highway.

I would, however, recommend staying away from the “Eggor” omelette sold at many local restaurants. Unless you appreciate the flavour of sulphur and mold, it is probably an “acquired” taste.

Ask Us anything


Please watch some Dr Who. It would be wonderful to hear your opinions on it, especially for us here in Britain who may not understand all of your cultural references.

July 12, 2010

Oi! We ‘ave to put up with your blimey cultural references on podcasts all the time, matey!

No, we really should do the Who. It’s a classic nerd hurdle trifecta:

1) Uber-rabid fans (Whooies?) make us think it can’t possibly live up to its hype;

2) There SO much of it. Where do we start? The Baker or the Tennant? Makes one want to give up right there; and

3) The production values seem a little crap.

Actually, it’s something I want to delve into (not sure about Mandi), it’s just that we keep running into those three barriers. We will, in the future, cross space and time to hurdle this subject.

Ask us anything


Episode 72 – To Infinerdery and Beyond

July 9, 2010

Buzz

At some point Pixar films went from a breath of the freshest air to a lungful of the same stale popcorn.

And I’m not sure why. Looking at the list of their films, other than the WTF wrong-turn they took with Cars, it’s all pretty good stuff. The best of the genre, you might even say. Though I’ll always pick Dreamworks’ Antz over A Bug’s Life, my dislike for their films I don’t rate (Wall-E, The Incredibles) has more to do with over-hyping than the quality of the films themselves.

I haven’t seen Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Up simply because when I saw Monsters Inc, I knew Pixar were beginning to spin their wheels and no one else seemed to notice. Mostly that the conveyor belt scene is the same as the conveyor belt scene in the airport in Toy Story 2. Not only that, they relied on the same character dynamics and pranks, just packaged in a new set of creatures.

To compound matters, the Shrek and Ice Age movies jumped on the bandwagon in a big way. At first they gave it some new momentum but ultimately bogged it down into the mire of mediocrity. Shrek 2, unfairly, has more to do with my Pixar hurdle than any Pixar film.

When Finding Nemo came out I’d had it. I didn’t need to see the same quest with the same gags and the same conveyor belt scene at the end. Though there probably isn’t a conveyor belt in the ocean, I suspect there’s some underwater current or a ride down a system of sewer pipes at some point. I still haven’t seen Nemo, the hurdle is that strong.

I did see Wall-E though. People said it was a breath of fresh air; it broke down barriers; it built on Pixar’s original standards set by Toy Story. Sounded good.

I watched it. And, yes, it started strong. Really strong. But what was I treated to? That same fucking conveyor belt scene for the last half the film.

Pixar were dead to me at this point. They were definitely going down. Up looked like a new low, as far as I was concerned. I still haven’t risen to the challenge.

But we did see Toy Story 3. And it is glorious.

Not only does it live up to the standard set by the previous two adventures—again raising the bar and not lowering it—it’s the only 3D film where I’ve said “They got it right.” It’s not a 3-D wankery spectacle like Avatar, it’s an enhanced movie experience.

It’s also a lesson in how to do a sequel that references the previous films without leaning on them. It’s satisfying, not ham-fisted. Sure, there’s a goddamn conveyor belt at the end, but they found a new(ish) way to flog that horse.

Is Pixar back in the game? Maybe, maybe not. But I wouldn’t hesitate to see Toy Story 4.

Some nerds made some buzz with Buzz.

We wrap up Season 4.0 in the most spoiler-heavy way possible. But more importantly, who wears pants and who goes comando?


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