This Week in Geekdom

Hope everyone's having a great weekend thus far. It's been a pretty exciting week here on the Care and Feeding of Nerds. We're meeting those content goals we talked about last week and, as part of that effort, we officially brought the GIR on board as a regular contributor. If all goes well, the GIR may have company in the authorial department in the not-so-distant future which would translate into even more (hopefully) fun things to read!

As the blog grows and takes on its new shape I watch the transformation almost in disbelief. In a few short years we've gone from a simple collection of my various nerdy mutterings to a dynamic place that hundreds of people from around the world visit every day. All this was made possible by you, the readers. You guys are amazing and I can't thank you enough. 

Ok, I promise I won't get all mushy on you today. I'll just give a quick virtual hug <hug> and get down to the Week in Geekdom. 

Games

Over the past few months, we've talked quite a bit about how this year is the 40th birthday/anniversary of D&D. As another part of the ongoing celebrations, here's a look back at how the groundbreaking RPG has developed and changed in its 40 years of adventuring.

While we're on the subject of gateway games, here are 10 facts you may not have known about Duck Hunt (including how to enact vengeance on that forever-mocking dog).

Psychology researchers from Florida State University wanted to know which was better for your brain: the billed-to-be educational game Luminosity and the classic puzzle-platformer Portal 2.  Their answers, though only semi-conclusive, are definitely amusing.

Dead Island had one of the most singularly gut-wrenching game trailers known to humanity. Now Dead Island 2 aims to build on that emotional capital.

TV/Movies

Constructed languages, a.k.a. conlangs, have become increasingly popular features in both movies and TV over the course of the past decade but, as this article delineates, their origins and impacts have much deeper roots.

It's only been six years since we got the first cinematic incarnation of I Am Legend, but Warner Bros. has confirmed that a reboot is already in the works.

Also in the category of face-palmable movies that are apparently being made is Tetris: the Movie.

Science/Technology
Image courtesy of MIT

If given a choice, the vast majority of people would rather swallow a pill than get a shot. Now researchers from a joint effort between MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed this special pill that is capable of injecting drugs directly into a patient's digestive tract. Their findings appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and may have myriad applications for diabetes sufferers and other patients that rely largely on injectable medicines.

Ever wonder why you can't seem to resist the siren's song of junk food? Here comes the science.

It may be the first work of Bayensian statistics to include a spoiler warning, but for good reason. Richard Vale, a mathematics professor at the University of Canterbury, has produced this work which uses the predictive capabilities of Bayensian modelling to ascertain who will live and who will die in the forthcoming two installments of the a Song of Ice and Fire series.

As virtual reality edges closer to becoming actual, mass-consumable reality, scientists and hardware producers alike are eager to discover the potential applications of the technology. One potential effect: virtual reality may make humans nicer. 

The phrase 'snap-judgement' may be more apt than originally surmised. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have concluded that, though humans often make judgments before their brains can even process the information being presented, we can make predictions about those judgments based on the ancillary brainwaves.

Double rainbow, what does it mean? Apparently the 'meaning' may have something to do with concentric circles if NASA's image is to be believed.

Speaking of NASA, they would like you to know that, if you happen to live in North America, there will be a total lunar eclipse during the morning of October 8th. Read here for more information on when to spot this eclipse of the 'Blood Moon'.

The ongoing feud between Apple and Samsung may get even more heated as Samsung is in the midst of trying to acquire a certain bit of interactive voice recognition software.

Will the TARDIS get a green makeover to better align with the new color scheme of police call boxes?

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

Are you a huge fan of zombies? Do you live in or will you travel to California? If the answer to both of those is yes, then this may be the interactive experience for you.

Crowdfundables for your Consideration

Attendees of Gen Con will likely be familiar with True Dungeon. Now, the makers of the much-beloved true-to-scale dungeon crawling adventure game bring you UpWorks: the Ultimate Modular Castle Building System. The project strives to live up to that bold title, bringing backers a wholly modular and highly durable set of tools with which to build castles and other architectural terrain for 25mm scale miniatures. Upworks is also being run by Jeff Martin, president of the much lauded terrain crafter Dwarven Forge. The project has already met its initial funding goal, but there's still plenty of time to jump in and benefit from the many available stretch goals.

Uber Entertainment is hoping to create Human Resources, a real-time strategy game for PCs. The title is meant to be a bit amusingly misleading as the human resources in question are not a corporate department, but the literal ammunition and supply line of various gargantuan invaders bent on global domination. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has put together this excellent summary of this intriguing, tongue-in-cheek, and visually arresting project. There are 30 days left to get in on Uber's Kickstarter if you're keen to wreak some planetary havoc. 

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!

1 comment :

  1. GIR here to chime in that while Dead Island's trailer my have been gut wrenching the game itself failed utterly to live up to the hype. The only thing gut wrenching about it was how terrible the game play was so I have low expectations for the upcoming one. I start the game with a pipe as my weapon - ok - oh HEY a nicer Lvl5 pipe......that I can't pick up because I don't know how to use it....because I forgot how to hold a pipe like the one I'm holding? Also best of luck to Deep Silver's PR and Marketing teams; Pro tip guys: Do not sell dismembered bloody bikini clad torsos as "Collectors" items. Oh Deep Silver you make my eyes act like dice, ya know - rollin'

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