Category: Nerdery (page 2 of 5)

So how’s this for a start to the New Year?

We just got the first substantial snow this winter, so I skiied to the office, and as I went past the bar with the mechanical bull, their loudspeakers started blasting Guns of The Magnificent Seven. Pretty good music for the opening credits of 2012.

O Christmas Wreath, O Christmas Wreath…

Since Paul and I are gone so much during the holiday season, and neither of us are at home for the actual holiday, I feel guilty about killing a whole tree for Christmas decoration. Fake trees are just… not right. So this year we decided to go a more sustainable route and bought a wreath from a local charity. It really spruces up the living room. (Get it? Spruce? I kill me.)

If you look real close, you can see the Catbus and TIE fighter ornaments. Because we are gigantic nerds.

How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn’t.

View more presentations from Terri Oda

Rest in peace, Anne Inez McCaffrey 1926-2011

Oh, Anne.

Your books got me through so much. You were one of the most influential writers in my life, right up there with Vonnegut and Bradbury and Dahl. I was obsessive about your writing: I didn’t care if your characters changed names between books or your dragons gained or lost ears, and I was way too young to understand the creepy way that F’lar treated Lessa or know that a tent peg can’t turn anyone gay. I only knew that I had three of my own imaginary fire lizards and an imaginary green dragon that I rode to fight thread just like Mirrim. I wanted to sing crystal and take a ride in Helva, to have psychic powers, to leave behind my claustrophobic home planet and live with dinosaurs or giant cat people. I owned all the spinoff books. I took painting lessons with Robin Wood, and stole jealous looks at her originals of Moreta and Leri, with their gorgeous sparkling jewel-toned oils.

You wrote me back. I was thirteen, and wrote to you with the earnest heart of a lost middleschooler, and that same heart nearly exploded when I got your handwritten postcard in my rural mailbox, five thousand miles away from Dragonhold-Underhill in County Wicklow. I vowed that I would always write my own fans back, if I ever got them, and I’ve tried, as best I could. You made me want to be a writer more than any other author.

Thank you, Anne, for everything. Especially Menolly.

Who tries, does.
Who wills, can.
Who loves, lives.

Shieldmaiden of Rohan

So I kinda went berserk for Hallowe’en this year. It was a lot of fun. I got to live out a lifelong dream and go as Éowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan.

I took these photos this Saturday at the Nature center:

Today, at the company Halloween party (yes, I wore 25 pounds of real steel chainmail, along with a mix of real leather, pleather, and cardboard armor for a full twelve hours at the office) I killed the Witch King. There was a soundtrack. And a smoke machine. I love my job.

And then me and the Witch King made up over drinks.

And then I went out and found something I’d always been searching for:

Clockwork Game Update: 10/20/11

And that’s the end of the Napoleon scene. These pages were some real fun to draw! I also went back and added a few more notes to the earlier pages, so if you were confused by some of the banter between Napoleon and Maelzel, those might help clear it up a bit. There’ve also been recent updates to the cast and Historical Reference pages.

Signal Boost of the Week goes to my old college buddy Mike Zawacki, whose new movie The Wars of Other Men is really starting to gain speed prior to its release. Last week they released a trailer to critical praise around the web. Mike’s been working on this movie for years now, pulling shoots together with no budget and an all-volunteer cast and crew — and the results are nothing short of amazing. They’re finishing up the last few special effects shots now, and if you want to follow the progress up until the release date, you can friend them on Facebook. I’m so excited about this movie I can hardly stand it.

Awl article about The Muppets

I liked this article very, very much:

Let me preface my next statement by saying that I know it will seem ridiculous to the casual reader, inflammatory to a good many fans, and downright specious to the expert of rhetoric, but for me watching Steve Whitmire’s Kermit is akin to watching someone imitate a mythic and longed-for mother—my mother—wearing a my-mother costume in a my-mother dance routine. This person’s heart is in the right place, which only makes it worse. “You should be happy,” the person pleads with me, “Look, Biddy! Your mother is not gone! She is still here.” Now, no one would ever do that. No one in her right mind would think it would work. A child knows his mother’s voice like he knows whether it’s water or air he’s breathing. One chokes you and one gives you life. Strangely, I feel the same about Kermit. Whitmire is an amazing performer—especially as the lovable dog Sprocket on “Fraggle Rock”—but, when he’s on screen as Kermit, I can feel my body reject it on a cellular level.

Yes. This.

Nerd Humor.

A web developer walks into a bar, sees they’re using tables, and walks right back out again.

h/t Boing boing.

The Floating City

As regular readers know, my husband Paul has been doing a whole lot of work with the amazing Thomas Dolby, and there’s a big new part of that work debuting right now: a game called The Floating City:

“Based on a crazy idea I have been nurturing since I began my new album nearly two years ago, it is the fruit of several months’ hard work by a dedicated all-star team of developers and writers, and it’s the prelude to my album ‘A Map of the Floating City,’ which will follow as the game reaches its climax,” Dolby said in an advance.

Here’s an exerpt from Paul’s own blog:

Concept-wise, this is a really cool idea from Thomas; have a game that people can play, meet other Dolby fans from around the Earth, learn about his previous music, and hear bits of his new music. It’s a little post-apocalyptic, a little steampunk, a little “Mad Max”, and 100% geek-tastic! As deep and complex as Thomas’ songs are, this game is exactly the same. And it’s a game that rewards you for being smart, inquisitive, and willing to solve problems and think ahead!

Now all of you! Go play the game! You get free stuff! And the prize for solving the game? Well, I can’t tell you what it is, but I know what it is, and what it is is AWESOME. So you should play, in hopes that you win it. And, you know, because Paul did all the artwork for it, which makes it even cooler than it would’ve been, otherwise.

The Bear and the Bow

Looking at the screenshots and teasers for Pixar’s upcoming movie Brave, it feels like Pixar phoned up my 6th-grade self and asked, “What would be all the awesomest things you could possibly think of to put in a movie?” I seriously cannot wait for this to hit theatres.

Granted a peerage

After listening to the proceedings of the royal wedding this morning, Paul pronounced us the “Duke and Duchess of Dork.”

Kickstart Pam Noles’ show!

Okay, so a while back I posted about Pam Noles’ new Kickstarter project, and now she’s posted a video, so you can see her amazing storytelling abilities!

I know times are tough all around, but if you have a buck or two, please consider donating to Pam’s project. She’s an amazing writer and performer, and this show’s going to be AWESOME. And FORTY

Thomas Dolby on WNYC

If you can’t wait for the new album, you can hear Thomas Dolby play some of his newest tracks on WNYC’s Soundcheck. And that Toadlickers iPhone game he mentions? Guess who did the interface for it? First two guesses don’t count!

Paul and Green Brain on NPR!

Hey, that radio interview that Kyle Norris of WUOM recorded at Paul’s Green Brain Gallery Opening is on the radio! Go check out the link, there’s a lot of nice pictures of one of the best comics shops on the planet. Thanks again, Dan and Katie, for having us out. You guys are the best!

ETA: It’s gone National! Listen to your local NPR affiliate tomorrow morning to hear Paul talking comics!

Blogware question.

The Fiery Studios sites are currently using MT 4.0. I need to upgrade for a number of reasons, and I’m debating between upgrading to MT 4.3 or ditching MT altogether and moving to WP 3.0.

What I want: Threaded Comments, OpenID logins, captcha, future posting.

MT 4.3 PROS: It’s an actual CMS, has threaded comments & OpenID. All my sites are on it now, so if I get the upgrade working, I don’t have to dink around with the folder structure.

MT 4.3 CONS: Future posting’s a pain to set up, I’ve never been able to get a Captcha plugin to work, and it runs on Perl, argh. Functional Plugins are scarce on the ground, and while 4.3 seems very stable, development’s halted on it entirely, and upgrading further will mean moving to 5.x, whose future is uncertain at best.

WP 3.0 PROS: It has threaded comments and future posting built in, runs on squeaky-clean PHP. Seems to have won the blogware wars handily, and is constantly being upgraded.

WP 3.0 CONS: Managing multiple sites requires a root install, meaning it doesn’t play nice with static index pages. Functional OpenID seems an impossibility, it’s not a real CMS, and its %^&*! page creation templates keep rewriting my code. I’ll have to rebuild all my site templates, import my MT entries, and let any links to my previous blog entries die on the vine.

It’s lousy either way, but does anyone have personal recommendations?


! Death 40-Feet Tall !

Here’s something that I’ve been dying to talk about for a while and NOW I FINALLY CAN!

From Pam Noles:

! Death 40-Feet Tall ! is a one-hour live storytelling show about two best friends, giant robots and the quest to become your own Prime. It’s a storytelling show, not a showcase, about one hour long and family friendly!

Please visit the project page on Kickstarter for full details:

Pam Noles is a former cop reporter and graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Go Pam! I’m so proud of you for taking this to the next level. I

If you live in or around Los Angeles, or if you’re a fan of live storytelling (like The Moth), don’t hesitate to check this out! Pam’s an incredible writer, and I’m so looking forward to seeing this show.

He blinded me with design

So all of you guys know that Paul’s been doing a lot of design work lately for Thomas Dolby. But do you know how much design? A LOT. And now there’s more!

Another project I can finally talk about! Yesterday Thomas Dolby revealed “The Floating City”, an online game connected with his upcoming “A Map of the Floating City” album. I have been doing all the game graphics, and it’s going to be a very cool game when it launches. Here’s a peek at the design of the game. More information can be found here.

Seriously, if you haven’t yet, go check out and see Paul’s handiwork. He designed both EPs, the intro screens for the Toadlickers game, the promo work, maps and icons used in the Floating City game, and even the website itself! He’s so amazing. Yay Paul!

There’s even more on the way, so stay tuned.

Effort Shock

Man, I so desperately needed to read this article today. I have been undergoing Effort Shock on a couple of different levels lately, and this really helped put things into perspective.

H/t to Vito Excalibur for the link.

Rape Jokes

Webcomic The Rack speaks up about Rape Jokes: Thank you, Kevin and Benjamin.

Also, a female game developer talks about why she won’t be attending PAX.

I can’t speak to the experience of other women in the industry, but the final straw that caused me to quit going to Motor City Comicon was when Paul told me he sat across from a T-Shirt vendor selling a shirt with the tagline “SHE CALLED IT RAPE. I CALLED IT SURPRISE SEX!” for three days and no one from management said anything about it. Take from that what you will.

Microagressions. They add up.

(h/t to the excellent Geek Feminism blog for the links.)

Lackadaisy Culpability

I know all the world has already linked to this wonderful comic by Tracy J. Butler of Lackadaisy Cats by now, but it’s worth mentioning again, because it’s given me the push I need to admit that I have a problem with the dreaded smarm brow. Oh the embarrassment!

Thanks for the amazing work, Tracy, and for helping keep me honest.

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