Nerd Hurdles Special Editions

January 22, 2014

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Before we joined the Simply Syndicated network, the first 31 episodes of Nerd Hurdles were hosted on Podbean. Technically, they still are. But since letting our pro-account lapse there’s been a bandwidth problem were the files are only available for about the first half of the month before they hit the free-account ceiling. While SimSyn’s hosting was on Libsyn, we started releasing these episodes as “Special Editions” with newly recorded introductions. When SimSyn moved our hosting to Soundcloud, those files were again lost (we’d only managed to upload the first 10 anyway). So, here they are once more; uploaded to a 3rd audio service and hopefully the last.

Check out the Episode Guide (or click the Special Editions category) to find them all, but this is first one. TWILIGHT. Whoa! We started off with a pretty damn big hurdle.


Episode 031: Three Weddings and a Funeral School Drop-out (Special Edition)

September 18, 2009

Exactly one month away from our first anniversary as a couple, Mandi and I bring you an episode about weddings. In  Nerd Hurdles #31 we discuss the hurdles and pitfalls of what is perhapsthe third most universal of all life rituals (birth and death are, of course, the only two truly universal events shared by all people on Earth regardless of class, creed or sexual orientation).

Xtinas nerdy-ass zombie wedding.

Xtina’s nerdy-ass zombie wedding.

From cupcakes to diamonds to dog cremains, we cover it all. What’s wrong (or right) with Star Trek weddings? What’s right (or wrong) with dance weddings? Are flying monkeys considered “little people”? What did Hermione wear? You’re right (or wrong) to ask these questions, we don’t guarantee insightful answers.

Thanks to our unwitting research assistant, Camille, for scouring the interwebs for the material used in this episode.

Engagement rings are evil! Boycott diamonds!


Episode 030: Previously on… (Special Edition)

September 2, 2009

Every ten episodes we like to do something special. We read letters for 10 and for 20 we played clips from the “gag reel” plus some audio comments. This time around I wanted to do something really special. But I forgot to plan anything so we decided to recap the first 29 episodes, talking about all the points we’d wished me made in hindsight. None of which it turned out we could remember months after the fact. We’ve come to the conclusion these “specials” aren’t so special so this will be this last one until episode 50 (a reasonable milestone). This gives us some time to plan something spectacular.

A NOTE ON THE SPECIAL EDITIONS: Before we joined the Simply Syndicated network, the first 31 episodes of Nerd Hurdles were hosted on Podbean. Technically, they still are. But since letting our pro-account lapse there’s been a bandwidth problem were the files are only available for the first half of the month before they hit the Podbean ceiling. While SimSyn’s hosting was on Libsyn, we started releasing these episodes as “Special Editions” with newly recorded introductions. When SimSyn moved our hosting to Soundcloud, those files were again lost (and we’d only managed to upload the first 10 anyway). So, here they are once more; uploaded to a 3rd audio service and hopefully the last.


Episode 029: Video Games (Special Edition)

August 21, 2009

WoW! People get really obsessed with video games. Sometimes they even die for their obsession. Some people rock out with toy guitars, some people make coloured blocks fit together, and some make racial stereotypes hop over turtles. The thing all these people have in common is they’re NERDS. Jakob and Mandi play with the topic of video games and mow the grass of a little drugs podcast called Hooked.

Jakob once made a video game called Hoody Fighter when he was mad at his prof . You can experience it in all its splendor HERE.


Episode 028: Musical Hurdles (Special Edition)

August 17, 2009

As far as musical theatre goes, it’s not the fact I rarely enjoy when a perfectly good play or film is ruined by people inexplicably bursting into song that is the hurdle. It’s the geeky devotion musical theatre inspires in its fans. Rent fans especially seem to feel the need to launch into song whenever the mood hits them. I’m afraid this creates somekind of instinctive cringe reaction in me. That and jazz hands. I can’t get behind jazz hands.

Musical comedy, specifically comedic song, also doesn’t really bother me in and of itself. Though the songs are often too long, the joke getting tired after one chorus, hearing a parody or satirical song once can be amusing. They key is once. But sometime people listen to these things AS IF IT’S A LEGITIMATE FORM OF MUSIC. I’ve known people over the age of ten who listened to Spinal Tap because they thought it was simply good music. This doesn’t give me a geek shiver so much sends a geek seismic wave through my soul. And you know right now there’s people playing Flight of the Conchords, The Lonely Island and the Mighty Boosh in their cars and on their iPods. I feel irritated just thinking about it.

But there’s an infinite rainbow of hurdles music can inspire in people. We barely scratched the surface of genre hurdles in this episode (there was no mention of prog, jazz-fusion, or ska), we might have to revisit this topic in the future. I know I could spend an hour just discussing Frank Zappa fans.


Episode 027: David Lynch (Special Edition)

July 29, 2009

David freaking Lynch. Not for everyone. Jakob and Mandi love him so much they made a Twin Peaks cake.

So, if you didn’t turn the episode off when Jakob and I decided to re-cast ST:TNG with characters from Twin Peaks, then you might be interested in taking the following Twin Star Peaks Trek through wooded space…  Read the rest of this entry »


Episode 026: Half Blood Prince (Special Edition)

July 25, 2009

We talk to Kumar through the floo network, are visted by Eliza’s patronus and Ben sends us a muggle recording by owl while Igor annoys Mandi.

There’s a moment in the Half Blood Prince movie that is sublime. It’s when Harry takes a shrooms tincture and hallucinated he’s at a funeral for a ginormous spider. It’s pure gold. That kid is hillarious high. Here’s a clip of him at one of his E parties.

Speaking of parties, this week we talk to Kumar through the floo network, are visted by Eliza’s patronus and Ben sends us a muggle recording by owl while Igor (seen being a creeper here) annoys Mandi.

Click here for Episode 26!


Episode 025: Celebrity Worship (Special Edition)

July 16, 2009

Inspired by the recent spectacle of his death no doubt, Tony Pucci suggested we do Michael Jackson as a topic. I thought we could go one further and do an episode on Celebrity Worship in general. At some point in my life I can’t remember, I suddenly stopped regarding celebrated individuals as anything more than “just some person who happens to make records or act in movies or run countries.” Or it may have been a gradual shift. I can’t tell. I know that I went from being a teenager starstruck by seeing his idols on stage to an adult with a vague sense of “meh” at the same.

Stephen Harper proving hes just a guy... who strangles kittens

Stephen Harper proving he’s just a guy… who strangles kittens

Perhaps it was having several friends who’d reached a certain level of professional success in the entertainment fields which dulled me to stardust. Or perhaps it was being involved in promoting rock shows where you interact with people who happen to be famous but really no different from the local unknowns in the opening act (only probably less lazy). Eventually you obtain the perspective that musicians are either just “regular joes” or are insane, ego-maniacal  fuckwits who lack any sense of reality and how they fit into it. And what makes them insane, ego-maniacal  fuckwits is that they’re also just another person.

Now when I see famous people in the flesh, I do still get a bit of that sense of otherness about them. But it’s in the same way as visiting a famous, historic landmark. Like when you stand at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and suddenly are struck with the sense you are seeing this structure that millions of other people have seen; that you are able to reach out and touch this cliché piece of clip art everyone has been bombarded with since birth—and how it’s really just a big lump of wire and steel. There’s something surreal about seeing a face you only know from illuminated screens or glossy magazine pages. And even more surreal to know they’re just another human who by ambition or luck happens to be famous.

Related links: David Lynch (someone what we’re obsessed with); GOWN (Andrew what got us tickets); More Andrew on video; Infamous: Robert Pickton The Pig Farm Killer; Famous: MJ; The Box Room (unwitting but gracious Nerd Hurdles impostors); Megan Fox zombie (what is only here to attract Google hits); Boz (what sent in an audio comment); Tony Pucci (what sort of suggested the topic).


Episode 024: Sculder and Mully (Special Edition)

July 11, 2009

They say the truth is out there. I want to believe that. But I trust no one. The truth is the catch-phrase laden X Files doesn’t weather so well. I watched the shit out of that show when it was on TV in the 90s. Everyone I knew did.

Yeah, he really was that sordid.

We wanted to believe the government was evil and something to rebel against like the hippies did the 60s. But we didn’t really have anything. Life was pretty good in the 90s and pretty bad for artists and anarchists. Even though the Bush cronies actually were beginning to work their Voldemort-like machinations back then, they were frankly it was too subtle for us kids to see. Hippies had Nixon and the punks in the 80s had Thatcher/Reagan’smore obvious douchieness to take on. Us grunge kids had… Friends and New Kids on the Block to combat? The first Gulf War was over before we could rally against it and, well, life was pretty comfortable otherwise. But Roswell cover-ups! We knew the bastards were hiding something.

And I think the popularity of  The X Filestied-in to another social need of the 90s. New Age hullabaloo was huge in the 90s. Supposed athiests were realizing at this late stage in the liberal dream that humans need to believe in something. At least a large percentage of the population does to be happy. For some people it’s Jesus and Yahweh giving meaning and order to complicated lives, for others it’s a vague interconnected “spiritualism” half-based on Eastern philosphy, half-based on soap scents and ecological imagery that controls our destinies. Still others who want to believe in something over-seeing their lives, controling it for better or worse, turn to the secular version of an all-powerful, wrathful diety: a conspiratorial government.

I think for a lot of conspiracy theorists and conspiracy fans the idea that no one is in control is unacceptable. Better an evil, Machiavellian government deviously controlling our lives than nothing or no one at all.

Personally, conspiracy theories are too nerdy for me.


Episode 023: Pride and Prejudices (Special Edition)

July 3, 2009


It was Pride Week in Toronto and last weekend Mandi and I went to the Dyke March and beer garden then recorded a podcast about Pride and hurdles associated with it and other LGBT issues. To be honest, we weren’t as drunk when we recorded this episode as I’d hyped on Twitter. You can hear my voice slurring a little and we don’t call each other on clearly false or dubious points, but it was just a mild post-beer garden (and pub) tipsiness.

My political views on Pride are covered on the episode so I won’t get into them here. And having enjoyed the day (even the hellish beer garden) I’m not sure exactly what they are anymore.

All I know is if Mandi gets the crew of the Enterprise tattooed on her body, we have to make sure it’s done better than the example of tattoo portraiture below.


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