Episode 67 – Scienced!

May 28, 2010

Somehow, nothing says “nerd” like “science” does. No matter how chic geek may get, a lab coat is never going to be a good look.

What I want to know is why in movies—usually pretty old ones—do mathematicians wear lab coats. Are they afraid they’re going to get numbers on their tweed? Or chalk dust? Okay, chalk dust is a valid concern. I don’t imagine many mathematicians want people to think they stuck their elbow in the huge pile of coke sitting in the middle of their desk. Unless they’re scenester mathematicians. Who’d probably wear lab coats. And listen to ArcAttack.

What is it that makes science so particularly nerdy though? Probably that it’s hard work and people are lazy.

If people can’t understand something from a 30-second soundbite, anyone who does understand it is going to be a nerd in their eyes. On one level, all being a nerd means is to put an effort into something. Whether it’s Star Wars trivia, thermodynamics, baseball stats or Arthurian studies, if you know more about it than can fit on the back of a cereal box, it’s nerdy.

People don’t like other people to be better than them. And arguably someone who can splice some genes together is better than you. So you’d better call them a nerd.

If you can splice genes together, and you’re looking for someone to splice genes with, you might want to try these pick-up lines at whatever nerd-ass gene-splicing bar you hang out at:

50 nerdy pick up lines

Science Pick Up Lines on Facebook.

Apparently Mandi and Drew Barrymore have something in common…

GalacTALKa returns from another hiatus with spoiler-heavy discussion of the first 4 proper episodes of season 4. BSG is getting better again.

Episode 66 – Pinball Wizards (TPAGS)

May 21, 2010

The Toronto Pinball and Gameroom Show should really call their show Flipper Con. But then, maybe people would think it was a Thalidomide convention. Which wouldn’t be right at all. Though I wouldn’t have been surprised if there had been such a show in one of the pavilions next door. The International Centre is a kind of creepy labyrinth made of corrugated metal, dusty asphalt and misery.

Jakob relives childhood glories from his days in the Rebel Alliance

Inside pavilion 4a though, was the antithesis of misery. Inside this makeshift cathedral was the glorious, blinking, chiming, flashing Xanadu that is pinball.

Like any true nerd-dom, pinball surpasses mere diversion and entertainment and becomes a religion. Mandi and I mingled with the flock, the laymen, the devout and the Papacy of the Church of the Silver Ball. Some, like us, were there to decide if this was a faith suited to our lifestyles. Others were there to learn how to better suit there lifestyles to the higher calling of the gleaming orb.

After three and half hours of solid play, I left with strained forearms and frazzled synapses. If I’d sinned at all this week, my penance was paid.

Though there were many Williams games at TPAGS, there sadly wasn’t any Funhouse. In my top three favourite pinball games, if not number one outright. That Rudy creep can sure talk up a storm.

Episode 64 – May The 4th Be With Us

May 7, 2010

We were sick when we recorded this episode on May the 4th, Star Wars Day. Not having the energy to work up to tackling this venerable topic was probably the only way we were going to work up to tackling it. In roughly the same frame of mind as Luke when he was half-dead and delirious in the Hoth tundra, we dove headfirst into this Sarlac pit. We give this beloved franchise about as much respect as a Wookie feels for himself after waking up in bed with a  couple shaved Ewoks and a killer hangover.


Episode 63 – BSG: Psychodyke and the Razors

April 30, 2010
helena cain, six, starbuck, razor

This week we’re joined by Ro Karen of the Starbase 66 podcast to discuss the BSG movie, Razor, and the psychodyke admiral known as Helena Cain.

Other guests include the esteemed Kathryn Janeway and everyone’s favourite unemployed supernanny, Mary Shelley’s Merkin, who join Igor and The Banana on a double-date.

Epside 61 – Complete TOSsers

April 16, 2010

This week Jakob and Mandi talk about the show that, ultimately, brought them together. Without “Star Trek” being in his online dating profile, Mandi wouldn’t have had anything to say  “Brave move” about. Well. One less thing.

Anyway, the original Star Trek must be a big deal because so many people have parodied it over the years.

Episode 58: Geek Chic

March 26, 2010

They say the clothes make the man. Do the clothes also make the nerd?

Yes. More than anything clothing is what separates the nerd wheat from the normie chaff. Or is it vice versa? Depends on which side of the wheat and chaff you fall, I suppose.

Above is the traditional popular conception of a nerd. You can buy this costume at Value Village at Halloween. The package will say something like “Authentic Nerd Costume.”

You can buy that costume, but you won’t be a nerd. You’ll be a typical hipster. If you want to be a nerd, you have to buy a Darth Maul T-shirt and some stained sweatpants. You can also buy these at Value Village, but on the regular racks and not just at Halloween.

Mandi, Kathie and Jakob in their egg smoking den.
Photo: Makito Inomatamakito.ca


Episode 57 – Gag Reel 2: Electric Nerdaloo

March 22, 2010

Igor’s got some ‘splainin’ to do! While Jakob and Mandi were in Coombs, BC, their faithful manservant edited together this GAG REEL for your enjoyment.

Episode 55 – Flynn Lives in Tron-to

March 5, 2010

This episode, where we report on the Tron Legacy trailer preview event in Toronto last weekend, is the culmination of our series of Tron-related posts of late. It’ll (probably) be Tron-free business as usual until next december from here on in. Mandi will be glad to hear that. She was so utterly broken by the event, it seems to have tainted this classic in her eyes forever. Though when she watched it for the (ahem) first time ever the night before, she didn’t seem too impressed.

Really, the shownotes for this episode have already been posted here, in a piece I wrote for our badass friends www.mediasaurs.com. If you got here via the link to “shownotes” on our Simply Syndicated episode page, sorry for redirecting you again. I know it’s a lot of work to click a mouse.

But that’s in the spirit of the Flynn Lives treasure hunts. Imagine if I made you go on a scavenger hunt where you met up with an “operative” who gave you a cell phone which lead you to codes which unlocked a website which allowed you to click on that link… Now imagine if there were only two sentences waiting for you at Mediasaurs after all the work I put you through… Yeah, you’re getting the picture of what the vibe was at the Flynn Lives screening in Toronto. Fortunately, I’m not Disney. I supply the goods.

If you’re curious to hear a completely different take on the Flynn Lives event, the Aussie podcast Chaotic Geek (www.chaoticgeek.com) gushes about the Melbourne screening here. They did get to see the trailer twice, but I’m still not sure I understand their level of enthusiasm. Though I do envy it .

Links: The awesome ENCOM dummy site.

Blue in ’82.

There’s no GalacTALKa this week due to… well, we just didn’t feel like watching or talking about BSG. Not even for you. It wasn’t personal. We just needed some time apart.

Episode 54 – Throw Owen from the Train (Wes Anderson films)

February 26, 2010

Wes Anderson. You know him. He helped start that whole quirky indie comedy thing which doesn’t seem to be going away.

He’s the guy who makes films about rich douchebags with trivial problems. Movies generally populated by a baker’s dozen of  Holden Caufields all grown up and still douchebags. Which is what’s both good and bad about them. It certainly can be a hurdle. Not so much a nerd hurdle as a douche hurdle. Which really could be it’s own podcast.

Which Episode 54 pretty much is. Since we really don’t get around to talking about Wes Anderson films (which are actually quite good). But after discussing vaginal hairstyles we do talk about…

This compilation of 20 years of anti-drunk driving ads from TAC. And how it’s juxtaposed with Australia’s draconian internet policy (which might block Nerd Hurdles by way of our compadres, Hooked):

And about Gretzky lighting the Olympic thinger. Not Michael J. Fox.

Mandi also impresses with her recital of the complete lyrics to The Maple Leaf Forever  and Scotland the Brave.

Unfinished Business. Thank the gods that business is now finished. We finally know why Apollo actually got fat and the worst UST in TV history has been resolved. Don’t listen if you haven’t gotten past disc 3 of season 3.

Episode #53: Schlock Holmes

February 19, 2010

There’s a certain type of nerd who adores Mr. Sherlock Holmes. This variety of nerd is called the Holmesian. Unlike most fandoms, Holmesians don’t just write fanfic, they get into the weeds and write Holmesian Studies.

What do we deduce from the detective’s devoted disciples? What makes Sherlock Holmes an object of such fascination as to inspire people to write speculative essays about the character 123 years after his first appearance?

It’s elementary. Holmes is clearly a high-functioning autistic savant and a role-model for persons of a similar persuasion.

Curiously, the latest cinematic incarnation of the character (Guy Ritchie‘s 2009 film Sherlock Holmes) both highlights and downplays this aspect of Holmes. Where previous depictions of Holmes showed him to be a man of thought rather than action, Ritchie paints Sherlock as a man of action who does his thinking largely off-screen.

Robert Downey, Jr. adds enough awkwardness to his Hugh Jackman impression to indicate Holmes’ genius comes from a  difficult place, but Ritchie has him too busy jumping in and out of explosions to really develop the character. It’s too bad since given room—and time—to breathe, he could have been a fascinating interpretation. Of a character who really isn’t Sherlock Holmes at all.

It’s somewhat of an odd move. Though a detective who solves a crime by observation and quiet introspection might not be box-office fodder in 2010, that’s who Sherlock Holmes is. To change, or heavily downplay, that aspect of the character is to actually make a movie about someone else entirely. Unlike J.J. Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek, which stuck to at least the spirit of the original series, Ritchie’s film really is HINO (Holmes-In-Name-Only).

Even the basic structure of the film is wrong for a Holmes story. What is a Holmes story? A mystery, right? There is no mystery in Ritchie’s film. You’re told everything that’s going on from the beginning. It’s a thriller. The thrills come from dramatic irony—the audience knows what Holmes does not. The trademark of a good Holmes story is Holmes knows everything and the audience is left to figure it out (alongside Watson) until the big reveal in the final act.

By the time Sherlock makes his big reveal in this film, he just looks like an idiot because the audience has known what’s been going on for about 45 minutes. The cartoonish villain had laid out his cartoonish plan to his cartoonish minions in monosyllabic words so small children could understand without disturbing other members of the audience by making their parents explain it to them.

It’s ultimately too bad the movie was called Sherlock Holmes. Simply giving the character a new name would have given us an interesting new Victorian era action-hero. Though, in that case, I’d be knocking him for being derivative of Holmes, wouldn’t I?

This week we watched disc 2 of Season Three. Don’t listen if you haven’t gotten this far. Starbuck and Apollo turn into total douchebags, each in their own ways. Daddy Adama utters gruff, meaningless epithets. Characters you know aren’t going to get killed off, don’t get killed off. It’s business as usual back on board the Battlestar Galactica.

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