Star Wars Nostalgia

As all you beautiful nerds are aware, Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens comes out in less than two weeks. It just makes me giddy in anticipation. So much so that I’m going to include the trailer again here, just so you don’t have to go hunt it down to watch again.

In anticipation of this event, I wanted to reminisce on my introduction to Star Wars and my love affair with it through my early teen years.

Nerdy Star Wars Darth Vader T-shirt
And here’s awkward middle-school Rob with his rebellious (get it?!) middle hair part and airbrushed Darth Vader t-shirt.

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The Hugo Awards Debacle

For many years, the Hugo Awards have been a well-respected industry award for some of the best science fiction stories. Originally dominated by white men, the Hugos have realized that there is a much wider audience for science fiction with vastly different perspectives and have begun including those authors. The variety and quality of works recently are, in my opinion, the true golden age of science fiction.

Hugo Awards Logo

Numerous times when I’ve been looking for a new book to read, I would just go to the Hugo Award winners or nominees for the past couple years and pick something out. It’s how I discovered Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, among others. I’m currently reading (very slowly, I might add) The Hugo Winners Volumes I and II, which collects the Novella, Novelette and Short Story winners from 1955 to 1970. There are many titans of the science fiction world collected in that book: Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, and others. In short, the Hugos meant something. Until this year.

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Nerdy Music

I have been busy lately helping my fiancée Maria with a rather time-intensive project on her blog, one that involves quite a lot of (extremely basic) HTML coding. While I was working on it, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs, Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton. If you haven’t heard of Mr. Coulton and are nerdily-inclined in any way, I highly recommend him. The particular version of Code Monkey that I thought of is this delightful dance interpretation by another fan found here:

The “Proud to Be Awesome” shirt with the pink PJ pants is quite the combo.

Mr. Coulton has created many other delightful songs, including a song about the presidents of the United States (surprisingly enough, titled “The Presidents“), a song about Christmas in a space mine/prison, and a song about an NPR host secretly being a rave dancer. These are just few examples of a pretty large catalog, of course. There are two other songs you may like to know about, both of which I will include videos for. The first is this delightful tune composed entirely from random Flickr photos Mr. Coulton found:

Mr. Coulton also composed this closing song from a video game near and dear to my heart, Portal:

Look at me still talking when there’s science to do