Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Upside Of Being An Introvert

This week's Time magazine's cover story begins with an anecdote I am all too familiar with: I have never been to a party, where I did not hide out in the bathroom for ten minutes. It's nice and quiet in the loo. So, shhhh.

"The Upside of Being an Introvert (and why extroverts are overrated)", explores the difference between introversion and shyness, lists some pretty awesome introverted public figures (we get Hillary Clinton!) and discusses research that shows how highly reactive babies tend to be hyper-sensitive and more likely to grow into introverts.

Time has some lovely side-along online content at, "Shhhh! The Quiet Joys of the Introvert", where you can take a quiz as well.

Hey, even though Myers-Briggs has been agreeing with me since I was 16, you might need a second opinion.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paper City Paris

Made by Joel, carries this, "Paper City Paris," set that you can download, color (if so desired) and put together yourself. He's got other cool printable toys, too, like a little paper dollhouse you can make using magazine covers and a super-neat Memory Game.

Why are you just stiting there? Go download! Download now!

P.S. Dear Joel-- Ahem. Paper City London? Thanks.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Social Networks of Superheroes

In two great articles by Samuel Arbesmans, "The Inbreeding Coefficient of Superheroes," for Wired and the Social Networks of Superheroes for The Atlantic, Sam compares the statistics of relationship making in fictional worlds to the real-world ones.

The result?  Surprisingly not so different from the dynamics of our own mating habits and social interactions.  (Though, I really would like to take a closer look at a Facebook for Superheroes.  Why was no one created this alt?site  Get to work nerds!).

Kudos to Sam, for including an annotated version (above) of the X-Men Family Tree (Joe Stone's original here).

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Nerdy Dozen: 12 Must-Hear Songs of 2011

Thanks GeekDad, for "The Nerdy Dozen: 12 Must-Hear Songs of 2011" a lyric-slanting collection of Star Wars worshiping, vowel slurring, rap-spouting, musical-high inducing, geek guzzling off-the-hook robot rock tunes.

Also, I learned the meaning of nerdcore. You can you, too.

Dude. Where IS my AT-AT at?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Every city should have a Washington Monument

The 2011 east coast earthquake did significant damage to the Washington Memorial in DC, including cracks and chipped corners. Sadness!

Repairs means closing my favorite obelisk for a year.  I sure hope the pick pretty scaffolding like Clinton did.

So in honor of its cracks I present a poem.

Every city should have a Washington Monument

I find my eyes searching the skyline,
Scanning for moments from childhood,
For a ghost, a memorial towering in clouds,
Which in every city I expect to find,
Yet strike no sun-limned figure,
This pillar familiar, this tribute to humanity,
In marble rainment, blinding white,
It's vast trunk a work colossal,
Forever imprinted upon my mind,
Absent, yet still, commanding sky.

--Anika Ismel,  August 16, 2010

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drops of God

What, I ask you, what combines the two best-est things in the entire world?  If you said comic books and wine tasting, you'd be right. Right? Because nothing could be better than comic book about wine tasting.


Shin and Yuko Kibayashi's manga, Drops of God, follows the education of hero Shizuku, who after snubbing his family by working in the beer industry, stands to lose the hefty wine horde inheritance from his recently deceased father, a world-renowned wine critic.

Wines mentioned in the manga have had sales shoot through the roof and the July 2009 issue of Decanter called it "arguably the most influential wine publication for the past 20 years". GiltTaste has a great review.

However, what is telling and interesting is that in Japan, the comic reached popularity because it was an easy and entertaining way to learn about tasting and enjoying wine.

The US translation is published by Vertical. Remember to read the panels right to left, people.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

King of the Cosmos

Carl Zimmer's profile of Neil deGrasse Tyson, "King of the Cosmos," appears in the new issue of Playboy. I know, I know. But the profile is almost as awesome as Neil deGrasse Tyson (I love you!), himself. Thankfully, Zimmer has posted the proflie in its entirety at CarlZimmer.com. You should also check out Zimmer's blog, the Loom, at Discover magazine and his book, "Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed," but that's another post.

Meanwhile, is it any surprise that Neil deGrasse Tyson is quickly eclipsing Uhura and Geordi La Forge on my secret list of science role models? He's even a real person!

 Also, I'm really terrible at keeping secrets.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Marching band plays Rage Against the Machine

There is nothing not cool about being in a Marching Band. Nothing! Boing Boing posted this completely effing awesome and totally Marching Band justifying youtube video, "Marching band plays Rage Against the Machine," of George Mason University's Green Machine marching band playing Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name,"

To quote Boing Boing: they crush it.

Enjoy. Especially at 0:11 where the flute section screams their heads off.

Monday, January 9, 2012

When Star Wars droids suffer from low self-esteem

io9 posted " When Star Wars droids suffer from low self-esteem" under their concept art section.  It's a most excellent series of wallpapers from PaperBeatsSciossors.

Guess I finally found something as cool as my StuntKid chicken-man wallpaper.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

USC Film Students Practice Artistic Craft Through Games

Read, "USC Film Students Practice Artistic Craft Through Games," Wired's overview of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts' intriguing method to introduce freshman an active learning environment through an immersive alternate reality card game, called 'Reality'. Yes, the idea of a card-trading game with real-life stakes is intriguing. And Nerdy. Even nerdier? The recognition by the game concept designers that, "A face-to-face mechanic, that prompted casual discussion and ramped up to collaboration was what was needed," and that's why they built a card-game instead of solely a web portal in the first place.

However, the best part of this article is the super project collaborated upon by rival competing teams. The students learned that success was more probable under "forced collaboration", because in real life there is no such thing as winning. That's right, I'm going on the record to say that Donald Trump and Lord Sugar are wrong and Dr. Phil is right. Winning is a paradigm concept. It's a moment. And you can't win life because life is an infinite collection of moments. You can't win them all. You can't even win most of them. It's classically forbidden at the quantum level. Things show up where they are not supposed to be all the time.

So why not collaborate with some friends, or enemies, and build something. Build something then play with it. Than let other people play with it. And let them build on it. By continually adding energy to the system you can give entropy the middle finger.


Too geeky?

Learn more about the projects the students created as a result of Reality by checking out the game’s online archive of deals, where highlights (suggested by Wired) include a special effects-ridden science fiction trailer, a satiric dramatization of students’ experiences with the project, and a game of live-action Minesweeper at IndieCade.