Mar
14th

Happy Pi Day!

No, not “pie,” but “pi” – that mathematical symbol we all know and love! March 14th is “Pi Day!” (Get it? 3/14? Yeah.) So, celebrate by watching “Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind!” A classic weird scfi parody of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” You’ll see why! Never seen it? Then I have a treat for you! Watch it HERE:


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Be patient and watch the WHOLE thing! (It is under 13 minutes, you can do it!) It is HIGHLY silly! (Can’t stand it? Skip ahead to 7:50 to get the joke!)

And, just for good measure, and for no particular reason, here’s Ernie Fosselius’ other grand master stroke of a movie, the great “HARDWARE WARS!” (“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss three bucks goodbye! Get in line now!”)


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This the Special Edition, with enhanced special defects!

Jan
3rd

NC City Councilman Pens Resignation Letter in Klingon

Klingon KouncilmanUh huh. A Klingon City Councilman… hummmm… I think we need more, not less!

NC City councilman pens resignation letter in Klingon

Cnet – “It takes a special kind of politician to end his term by signing a resignation letter ‘chaq DaHjaj QaQ jaj paj.’ That’s ‘maybe today is a good day (to) resign.’ In Klingon.

David Waddell, a city councilman for Indian Trail, N.C., decided to send his resignation letter to Mayor Michael Alvarez written in Klingon as an inside joke. ‘Folks don’t know what to think of me half the time,’ Waddell told The Charlotte Observer. ‘So I might as well have one last laugh.’

The politician used the Klingon translator on Bing.com in case the mayor wasn’t fluent in the well-known ‘Star Trek’ language. In fact, Waddell didn’t just write his resignation using standard Klingon, he chose the beautiful, pointy-looking written Klingon language of Kronos.

As a ‘Star Trek’ fan, Waddell must have known that Klingons are more about action and less about talk. So it makes sense that he’d resign from a position that undoubtedly required having to endure endless council meetings. After all, SuvmeH ‘ej charghmeH bogh tlhInganpu — ‘Klingons are born to fight and conquer,’ not debate.

Waddell is resigning from his first term on the board as of January 31. Originally, his four-year seat would have expired in December 2015. According to The Charlotte Observer, Waddell left his post early because he was frustrated with how citizens’ requests for public information were addressed.”

Dec
18th

Picard Sings “Let in Snow!”

OK, so I know we already have a Geek Culture from the last post, but this is just too good! Somebody was bored out of their minds to assemble this video!


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Dec
17th

SuSE Linux Parodies “What Does the Fox Say?”

SuSE Chameleon LogoThis year’s big YouTube hit was, “What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis. So… if you get a bunch of Linux folks together, they will make a parody of it, highlighting SuSE Linux’s mascot, the chameleon! So, “What Does the Chameleon Say?”


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Sep
19th

Arrrr… Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, Maties!

So, we be’in talk like a pirate today, arrrr! In the grand ol’ tradition o’ the Internets! So, swab ye poop decks and shore up yer mis’n masts, me hardies!

Don’t ya just love ye ol’ Geek Culture?

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2013

Aug
31st

Geek Culture: You Know That You Want One! The ‘Bacon Car!’

Yes, geeks LOVE bacon! I know I do! I totally need one of these!

Ford Fiesta with Bacon!Bacon-wrapped Ford Fiesta pays homage to America’s favorite snack

Newsday – “No, the bacon craze didn’t reach the apex of its absurdity with the establishment of Aug. 31 as International Bacon Day, or even with the inclusion of the salty swine snack in an ice cream sundae at Burger King. Rather, the obsession may have climaxed earlier this week when Ford announced its newest automobile design option: bacon-wrapped 2014 Fiestas.

The automaker said it would offer the custom stylings to buyers of new Fiestas. There are three ways for Fiesta owners to express their fondness for the fatty treat:

1. The full Bacon Wrap calls for 10 giant strips of bacon rolled around the entire car.
2. The Bacon Racing Strips includes two pieces of bacon on the car’s hood resembling classic dual racing stripes.
3. The Side of Bacon option wraps two individual strips of bacon over the rear wheel.

‘It’s no secret that bacon inspires a lot of passion, and that’s what the Fiesta celebrates,’ Liz Elser, Ford Fiesta marketing manager, said in a statement. ‘Our customers have a hunger for self-expression. Plus, it’s just awesome to drive down the road in a piece of bacon.’

The stylings can be a nice gimmick for your favorite bacon buff as they start at less than $100 through FordCustomGraphics.com. But anyone who is passionate enough about the pork product to shell out the $3,347 plus installation fees for the full bacon wrap had better hope the option becomes available on Explorers or F-150s. Because it’s unlikely they’ll fit in the cramped interior of the pictured compact hatchback.”

May
31st

Luddite’s Are Us? NOT!

Are you a luddite? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says a luddite is: “one who is opposed to, especially, technological change.” I suspect that is not true of our audience! But, there are a lot of them out there!

12 Obsolete Technologies Americans Still Use

From Live Science: “In my apartment, the cordless phone sits right next to the 2,400 baud modem … in my drawer of outdated gadgets. My last VCR sits at the bottom of a landfill, buried right next to my VHS copy of ‘Y2K: The Movie.’ But for some consumers right here in America, ancient technologies are still a part of everyday life as they continue to buy brand-new cassette tapes, subscribe to dial-up Internet and make calls from a pay phone.

‘It can take a surprisingly long time for technologies to really fall by the wayside,’ Steve Koenig, head of Industry Analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association, told me. A CEA study indicates that only 13 to 15 percent of consumers are early adopters, while more than 60 percent are content to wait a long time before upgrading to newer and better technologies. Whatever the underlying reasons, these 12 timed-out technologies just refuse to die.

1. Dial-Up Internet

The last time I had a dial-up account, I set it to download the Starr report. I said bye bye bye to Earthlink right after that and started getting jiggy with a broadband connection.

However, according to a December study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 4 percent of American adults still use a modem to get online. That’s more than 10 million people accessing the Web at 56.6 or slower speeds. Some of these folks are among the 6 percent of Americans who live in areas without broadband access, while others either can’t afford or are too cheap to pay for high-speed services.

2. Pagers

In the early 1990s, there was no greater status symbol than a pager. If you carried a beeper, that meant that, like a trauma surgeon or a Fortune 500 CEO, you were important enough to be reachable at all times. Within a few short years, cellphones replaced pagers because they let you send and receive calls and text messages directly, a huge improvement over running to the nearest phone to return a page.

Despite the huge popularity of mobile phones, there’s still an active market for pagers. According to the CEA, in 2012 Americans bought approximately $7 million worth of new pagers, somewhere under 10,000 units. If you want to be reachable, but not too reachable, pagers provide a built-in excuse for avoiding phone conversations.

You might imagine drug dealers, who are paranoid about wire taps, using pagers for illegal activities. However, many doctors and hospitals find pager networks more reliable, particularly in emergencies where cellular systems tend to go down

3. Dot Matrix Printers

Is that the sound of a printout I hear? Just let me grab my ream of green-and-white striped paper from the closet and we’re good to go. According to research firm NPD, Americans bought just less than 20,000 brand-new dot matrix printers in 2012. You can still find an entire channel on Amazon.com for dot matrix printers with pricing starting at a lofty $205, more than double the least expensive inkjet.

So why would anyone want to use the best printing technology of 1983 in 2013? Apparently, many point-of-sale, warehouse inventory and other business systems still require carbon copy and multipart forms that work only with the hard impact of a dot matrix printhead and its continuous tractor feed. And, really, who can blame businesses for not modernizing their processes to use inkjet, laser or thermal printing? They’ve only had a couple of decades to think about it.

4. PDAs

Oh, how I miss my old Palm Pilot. Sure, it was grayscale and I had learn the Graffiti alphabet to write on it, but it lasted forever on a charge and fit easily in my pocket. Later, I loved my Cassiopeia more, because it had a color screen. However, my love affair with PDAs came to an end when I got a smartphone that could not only keep my contacts and appointments, but also connect to the Internet from anywhere.

However, according to the CEA, last year there were 350,000 new PDAs sold in the U.S. Are there just a whole bunch of people pining for old-fashioned organizers? Not quite. CEA’s Steve Koenig told us that a number of vertical markets still use PDAs for data collection in places as diverse as warehouses and hospitals.

5. Pay Phones

Good news for costumed superheroes and Maroon 5 fans, the U.S. still has 305,000 working pay phones, according to the American Public Communications Council (Q3 2012 data). But those public handsets are not made for decoration. The APCC also estimates that people used those phones to place around 50 million calls in 2012.

Why would anyone need a pay phone in 2013? Low-income users who can’t afford a cellphone may need a pay phone to communicate from the road or, if they have no landline, to communicate at all. Users whose cellphones run out of juice or can’t get service rely on pay phones in a pinch. Still others may use these phones to remain anonymous when they call.

6. 13 Million Blank VHS and Cassette Tapes

These days you can download music or stream it from an online service. Or you could act like it’s 1985 and wait for your favorite songs to come on the radio so you can tape them. You can record TV for later viewing on a DVR, play it via on-demand cable or stream it from a service like Hulu. But, if you think DVRs are for wimps, you can still rough it with a VCR.

The CEA says that, in 2012, around 13 million blank cassettes and VHS tapes were sold in America. Though the association no longer tracks sales of new VCRs, you can still buy a DVD / VHS combo recorder such as the $149 Toshiba DVR620 and the $198 Magnavox DV225MG9. CEA doesn’t track cassette recorders anymore, but it reports that 15,000 cassette-based car stereos were sold in 2012, so the old-fashioned mix tape is alive and well.

7. Landline Phones

As of mid-2012, 34 percent of adults lived in homes that didn’t even have a landline, but that hasn’t stopped the remaining 66 percent from not only using their connections but also buying new hardware. According to CEA data, in 2012 Americans bought 5 million corded handsets and 21.5 million cordless models for a total of 26.5 million landline phones. No word on how many of them are shaped like footballs, hamburgers or mallard ducks.

8. CRT TVs

While many of us still have old-fashioned tube TVs at home, most electronics companies have stopped making them, and for good reason. Not only are tube TVs dated and ugly, but the effort of procuring the necessary parts, building new units and paying to ship these heavy devices overseas just isn’t worthwhile for manufacturers.

Despite the drawbacks, Americans bought 10,000 CRT TVs last year, according to NPD. Many of these sets are apparently targeted toward children. If you want your kids to suffer with low-definition broadcasts just like you did at their age, Disney currently sells a tube that looks like Lightning McQueen from the movie ‘Cars’ and another that’s pink-and-princess themed. There’s a Barbie tube too.

9. 35 Million Rolls of Film

These days, every cellphone comes with a camera, you can buy a point-and-shoot digital camera for under $100 and high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras capture amazing photos. Considering that digital images appear instantly, you can edit and share them online or print them an infinite number of times without losing quality, there’s little reason to use an old-fashioned film camera.

However, there’s no stopping the Americans who, according to NPD, bought a mind-buckling 35 million rolls of film last year. Some of these folks are young hobbyists who like using lomo cameras and others just don’t want to part with their Polaroids.

10. Windows 98 and 2000

While most people drive modern cars with fuel injections, air bags and power steering, there’s always somebody who won’t part with their 1977 Honda Civic, no matter how poorly it runs on today’s highways. If it worked fine during the Carter administration, it should work fine today, right?

By the same token, Net Applications reports that 0.05 percent of U.S. PC users are still careening down the information superhighway in computers with Windows 98 or Windows 2000. The Computer Industry Almanac estimated that, in 2011, the U.S. had 311 million PCs in use. So you can figure that there are more than 150,000 people using an operating system from the last century.

11. Fax Machines

Fax machines became essential office devices in the 1970s, but 40 years later, with email, instant messaging and the ability to send fax transmissions by computer, there’s no need to own one. Still, standalone fax machines refuse to die, perhaps because businesses require signatures on contracts and it’s just too easy to grab a piece of paper, scribble on it and feed it through again.

According to NPD, Americans bought 350,000 fax machines in 2012, which was down 14 percent from 2011. That means more than 700,000 of them were sold in the last two years alone.

12. Vinyl Records

People were buying LPs back when Elvis first became popular, but vinyl records just won’t die. In fact, they’re making a comeback. Even though digital downloads and CDs are easier to use, more durable and hold a lot more music in a smaller space, some audiophiles just prefer the sound of vinyl.

After years in obscurity, the LP business is thriving again with more and more new albums coming out on the ancient media format, including the latest releases from Daft Punk and Vampire Weekend. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Americans bought 4.6 million vinyl records in 2012, up 17.7 percent from the year before. While that’s a pittance compared to the 118 million digital albums sold last year, it’s not insignificant.”

May
7th

The “Ender’s Game” Trailer is Out!

Our own local (Greensboro native) Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” movie is getting closer all the time! Here’s the first trailer for it!


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Check it out!

Apr
23rd

U.S. Murder Rate Tied to Internet Explorer Usage

IE Death RateThis statistic was on Chris Prillo’s Google+ feed. I have always suspected as much! Yeeesh!

As Chris says, “Coincidence? I think not.”

Hey, at least usage and the murder rate is coming down! Cause for rejoicing on both counts!

Apr
17th

An Idea For the Plot of the Next Star Wars Movie from “Parks and Recreation”

Oh my goodness! This is the most amazing improvised, string of consciousness, weirdness of Geek Culture you have seen in a LONG time! Check it out! The idea is that he is filibustering a meeting in his local city’s board meeting. But this is actually the actor doing a real riff on Star Wars, Marvel comics and Geek Culture!


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Wow! Watch and be amazed.


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