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Weekly Geekery #1

Let’s face it,  geek culture and the skeptical movement overlap in a big way.  And although not all of us are geeks, I know a lot are, myself included.  I can’t offer any evidence or numbers to prove this, all I can offer is anecdotal evidence.  The best kind of evidence! :)

So what does it mean to be a geek?  Honestly I can’t think of a suitable definition.  Geek culture encompasses a lot of things.  Gaming, movies, TV, comic books, science, etc.  I listen to a few geek culture podcasts and those seem to be the big themes.

So I decided to write up a quick blog post every week dealing with geek culture and hopefully add a little science and skepticism in the mix.  There’s no set format.  Just stuff I’ve come across during the week.

James Randi in a Schwarzenegger Film
So I was watching Last Action Hero the other day (I cure boredom in curious ways) and happened to notice that none other than James Randi himself is in this film some form.

Here’s IMDB’s synopsis of the film:

Young Danny Madigan is a big fan of Jack Slater, a larger-than-life action hero played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. When his best friend, Nick the projectionist, gives him a magic ticket to the new Jack Slater film, Danny is transported into Slater’s world, where the good guys always win. One of Slater’s enemies, Benedict the hitman, gets hold of the ticket and ends up in Danny’s world, where he realises that if he can kill Schwarzenegger, Slater will be no more. Slater and Danny must travel back and stop him.

So Danny’s friend, old man Nick, is a big fan of magic ever since Harry Houdini gave him the magic ticket.  He seems to collect magic memorabilia, or at least posters.  Here’s a shot of the projection room in his theater.

Randi in Last Action Hero

If you look just above the old man’s head, you’ll see what I’m talking about. It just made me smile to see that poster.  Too bad it had to be in what is arguably Arnold’s shark jump movie.

Captain Janeway Confuses me About Evolution
I’ve been taking in the Star Trek Voyager series for the first time and I’m currently on season 2.  In the thirteenth episode of the season, entitled “Prototype“, the crew discover a robot floating in space.  He is part of a race of robots whose makers have all been destroyed in some conflict years earlier.  They have no knowledge of how to build their power module so they cannot “reproduce”.  Torres thinks she is capable of giving them that knowledge but Captain Janeway refuses on the grounds that it would violate the Prime Directive. Which, on a side note, I find odd since she’s violated it a NUMBER of times to get where they’re at at that point.  Anyway they have an exchange about it and it includes this laughable quote:

Janeway: What you’re talking about is giving them new abilities. Which is the equivalent of altering their genetic structure.
Torres: To correct a flaw.
Janeway: You can’t call it a flaw, this is the way they were designed.
Torres: I’m trying to save them from extinction.
Janeway: Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution.

That made me shudder, and laugh, and a range of other things I can’t describe.  Am I the only one?

Pointless Geeky Quickies

  • Did you all see the EPIC Dead Island announcement trailer?!  Holy shit!
  • iPad 2 was announced yesterday.  Want!
  • I dinged 85 on my mage recently in WoW.  Woot!
  • Rift is out this week, I’m getting it this weekend.  And some of the rogues too.
  • Charlie Sheen is WEIRD! – “Defeat is not an option.  They picked a fight with a warlock.”
  • I heard the movie Primer is good, anyone seen it?  I’m thinking about watching it sometime soon.
  • What’s everyone reading?  I need a good book to immerse myself in.
  • I just found out The 7th Guest is on iOS!  That was my first CD-ROM game back in the day on my brand spanking new $2100 486 DX-40 PC.  Oh nostalgia!

My Geek Card

Post some comments… anything… I love comments.  Especially people who point out my spelling mistakes! :)

8 comments to Weekly Geekery #1

  • mugwump29

    If you think that’s bad, wait till you watch Threshold, where they go at Warp 10, and that causes Paris to “evolve” into an iguana-like thing. That episode hurt on so many levels, I stopped watching Voyager entirely.

  • I just got to Threshold this evening. And Star Trek has reached a new low….

    I’m determined to get through the series, but christ, there’s 4 1/2 more seasons of this to go?? I’m hoping the hot borg chick shows up soon.

  • petrucio

    Primer is FREAKING AWESOME! That’s all you need to know.

  • Actually, you’re right. That IS all that I needed to know. I just put on top of my Netflix “to-watch” list. I’ll report back when I’ve seen it.

  • wb4

    I just watched Primer last night, and yes I agree it is very well done. It reminded me of The Prestige.

  • Mersh

    Read the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin if you haven’t already. Also, Rift is an amazing mmo. Playing as guardian on Dayblind, kind of addicted.

  • Vance

    I watched “Primer” a couple of months ago and realized that I had read the story many years ago. IMDB and Wikipedia both make no indication that it was ever released in written form and, of course, I don’t remember whether it was a short or a novel, never mind its name. Long and short: having read it made it accessible on the first viewing (and actually more interesting, since it allowed you to follow the characters intentions better); for anyone looking to watch, I would suggest viewing it several times.

  • [...] week in WG #1 I wrote about noticing a poster of James Randi in the film Last Action Hero. That made me curious [...]

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