Monday, September 17, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

It’s been a shitty month for Sci-Fi/fantasy fans.

It’s been an even shittier month for Sci-Fi/fantasy authors, particularly those for whom the word “time” figures heavily into their masterworks.

Earlier this month, we lost Madeleine L'Engle, whose award-winning A Wrinkle in Time has delighted children and confounded adults for nearly a half-century. And yesterday, she was joined in the sweet literary hereafter by Robert Jordan, whose The Wheel of Time series displayed a similar love of both intricacy and whimsy.

If we can take any solace at all from these losses, I believe it to be this: people remember.

L’Engle and Jordan live on through their words, and, as hard as it is to fathom – particularly in modern America – people still read.

And that, my friends, is the ever-spreading light.

  • Beam me up: Not to dwell too much on the subject of death, but Church recently hipped me to this press release concerning Star Trek branded funeral products. Yeah. I suppose it could be argued that “vanity caskets” are in poor taste, but I ain’t gonna tell you how to live and I sure as hell ain’t gonna tell you how to die.
  • Help a father out: As a gamer and a dad, I’ve always felt a kinship with the titular Gamer Dad, and recently Andrew’s had a run of bad luck. A heart attack necessitated quadruple bypass surgery and more surgeries are needed. If you’ve got a few extra coins and are supportive of the cause of gaming as a family affair, you can make a donation via the Paypal link at the bottom of this page.
  • On a happier note: The fine folks at MashupTown have released yet another themed bootleg compilation. Relive the 70s with less generic beats and slightly more fashionable attire with Blame it on the Bootie. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Clarification corner: A recent blog post from Beef Thompson himself may help to clarify the facts surrounding The Grammar Club project to those of you still scratching your heads. *cough*MattandChurch*cough* Beefy writes that the GC is a “side project [he’s] very much involved in, but [unsure of how much he’s] allowed to talk about.” He does reveal that the other major players are “the amazingly talented Shael Riley, Glenn Case, and DJ Snyder.” He also goes on to say that the contributors are still very hard at work, and that even the track revealed via video last week on the group's Web site (known as “Bank Holiday”) “has been punched up and [now] sounds … much sexier.”
  • Hot-Wired: Despite my misgivings about many of their musings on the subjects I hold dear, the folks at Wired cranked out a pretty nice piece about Tycho and Gabe last month. they even posted a song that Tycho created using UbiSoft’s recently released DS guitar sim Jam Sessions. Fun stuff.
  • I'm both excited and deeply disturbed: mc chris was asked to be on the Tyra Banks show. No shit! mc seems reasonably excited about the prospect but alludes to the previously canceled Halo 3 party he was asked to headline, almost as if to let us know he’s not counting any chickens. Personally, this reminds me of MC Router’s recent talk of a Tyra Show invite. Could the two be related? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • More questions: Karl Olson recently posted a couple of interesting images over at his site. Does this mean that OpenSource Lyricist has indeed made it to print? More importantly, if so, will my review copy arrive soon? /doe-eyes
  • Keep on Wrocking in the Free World: It appears as though a new Wizard Rock festival is in the works. Matt just tipped me off to Magus; saddened by the fact that they couldn’t make it to October's WrockStock, a handful of your favorite wrockers have taken it upon themselves to set up a festival for the coming spring. While the dates and location are sketchy at present, the roster is shaping up nicely and more information will be made available as it surfaces.
  • He did it his way: Wrocker The Whomping Willows, who just so happens to be on the aforementioned roster, unveiled that his first album will shortly be making it’s way to iTunes thanks to a service known as TuneCore. TuneCore also supports Rhapsody, Napster, and eMusic, so if you musical-type dorks are thinking of making the jump any of these distribution channels it might behoove you to check the site out.
  • Kiwi Nerdcore: Dan, of Nerdcore For Life fame, recently discovered a piece from New Zealand’s TV3 in which Nightline host David Farrier looks nerdcore hip-hop. Not only does the story touch on MC’s Frontalot, chris, and Hawking, but it also mentions NZ’s own MC Stormtroopa. You can view the vid at good ol' YouTube.
  • Bad ol' YouTube!: Richard Dawkins banned from YouTube? Inconceivable... and yet true. The Rational Response Squad have lost their YouTube account. The allegations are that Creation Science Evangelism Ministries have been submitting DMCA copyright requests directed at RSS-posted videos that use footage copyrighted by the CSEM. Oddly enough, a Wired article points out that the ministry’s own Web site states that “none of the materials ... are copyrighted, so feel free to copy these and distribute them freely.” Whether you support the ideas of creationism, evolution, or some delightful mix of the two, this really comes down to a simple matter of fair use. And, while I try my best not to get overly political, I’m gonna close with the following vid. It features the RRS’s… um.. response, accompanied by a track from atheist rapper Greydon Square. Which is, now that I think about it, pretty damned nerdy on its own.


Karl said...

Yeah, getting Opensource out the door is underway (just need to finalize the cover art, get the discs printed, get the covers printed and add it to my crappy store,) and you will probably get the second copy of it I make (first copy I promised to a friend of mine about 2 years ago.) I need to finish the Romance Language reprint first though (I owe people copies,) so this will just have to tide you over Z:

Z. said...

Well that's just good news all around, Karl! Thanks for keeping me in the loop, bro. :)

Geof said...

Well ho-ly shit! Nerdcore? In my old city? It's more likely than I thought!

Z. said...

It's springing up all over, Geof. When it makes it to Taiwan I expect you to let me know ASAP!