Showing posts with label A Song of Ice and Fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Song of Ice and Fire. Show all posts

This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone. Woo boy. We're all still a bit worn out from PAX East 2016, but there's plenty of content to help push us through that post-con fatigue. No worries, you'll get all the goodness from PAX in the very near future! In the meantime, let's get down to the Week in Geekdom.


DC has fired Shelly Bond, executive editor of Vertigo, and announces a not-yet-detailed 'restructuring of the label.


Blizzard comes clean about their cancelled successor to World of Warcraft

Video games are estimated to garner nearly $100 billion USD this year.

Meet Project Nova, the first-person shooter by CCP that's trying to establish a solid foundation for itself. Oh, and, by the way, it's an Eve game.

Sony hasn't come right out and said as much, but it has dropped some strong hints that the PS4 may be the last console it ever produces.

The Xbox 360 received its official death notice from Microsoft this past Thursday.

Kerbal Space Program gets 'Turbo Charged' in the first large-scale update since the game's release.

Red Dead 2 seems as though it is a very, very real (eventually playable) possibility.


Somewhere on this planet there exists 39 episodes of a Star Wars-based animated series that we may never get to see.

The showrunners have confirmed that they are approaching the end of the narrative for Game of Thrones

The latest companion for Doctor Who has been revealed.


Is it possible that the entirety of the known and unknown universe is actually just an elaborate computer simulation? Neil deGrasse Tyson and some of the other brightest minds in science concede that there's a chance this could be the case.

On a similar note: is it possible for scientists to prove that a multiverse exists?

The potential physical states of water are some of the best known in science, but, given the results of this study in the latest edition of Physical Review Letters, there may be a whole lot more to the molecule than previously believed.

While we're on the subject of water and the amazing things that we're just discovering it can do, researchers at Kyoto University have managed to isolate a dimer of the substance using a technique called molecular surgery. 

Image credit
A robot monk? China's Longquan Temple now counts a mechanical member among its monastical ranks.

Vulcanologists are adopting a new type of statistical analysis in their studies, one typically employed by economists.

Need a few moments of beauty? NASA has you covered with these videos of the Aurora Borealis as seen from space. 

Obi-Wan may have believed them to be an elegant weapon, but lightsabers would actually be far more dangerous in real life than their cinematic depiction would have you believe them to be.

Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are producing AI Squared: an AI protocol capable of stopping cyberattacks.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Oh, hey guys. It's that time again, isn't it? Studying is creating what seems to be even more distortions in the space-time continuum than I'd normally expect from this time of year. It's going to be a very interesting few months to say the least. It was a very busy few days though, due in no small part to the annual Consumer Electonics Show. In case you missed out on CES, here's a round-up of some of the highlights. Add to all that goodness, these fun highlights from This Week in Geekdom!


Unlike George R.R. Martin, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon adheres to her deadlines.


Final Fantasy IX will be available on Steam within the next few months and here's what you can expect.

Did Jurassic World spark your desire to live in harmony with dinosaurs? You may want to check out ARK: Survival Evolved.


J.J. Abrams has been a very busy man. Check out the trailer for his latest project: 11.22.63, a time-travel series for Hulu based on a Stephen King novel of the same name.

Despite working the publicity circuit for The Force Awakens and 11.22.63, Mr Abrams was not too busy to stop and address complaints that the latest installation of the Star Wars franchise bears too strong a resemblance to its founding chapter.

Back in December, the Huffington Post published a lengthy list of 'plot holes' in The Force Awakens. Here is a very thorough point-by-point rebuttal.

Game of Thrones will return to HBO on April 24th.

While we're in an HBO state of mind, the network has given the official green light to the development of a Deadwood movie.


Oculus Rift officially hit the open consumer market this week as it opened itself up for pre-orders. The catch: a set will cost you an eye-popping $599 USD. Perhaps this is where Fortune got its projections of the virtual reality market being worth $5.1 billion USD this year alone.

NVIDIA wants in on the autonomous car game. 

Thanks to the efforts of many researchers and one very, very specialized telescope, we may get a chance to see the event horizon of the black hole at the center of our galaxy by 2017.

Experts believe it will look something like this.
Speaking of black holes, NASA's Chandra telescope is presenting astrophysicists with new data derived from observations of this...ehm...interesting behavior from the Whirlpool galaxy. 

Aside from observing black holes, NASA is also occupied developing this, the successor to the Hubble telescope.

It's official: the periodic table of elements has four new members.

If you weigh 220 lbs (99.79 kg) or less then Ehang may have a very interesting way for you to get to school or work.

Desert sand is so efficient at capturing and retaining heat that researchers at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology want to develop ways to turn it into a thermal energy storage medium.

Acoustics experts at Australia's RMIT University may revolutionize the way that stem cell treatments are delivered to patients by combining two different sound waves.

The artificial pancreas is two clinical trials away from being a consumable reality.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

What do you get when a Disney storyboard artist combines the aesthetic of Calvin & Hobbes with The Force Awakens? These awesome cartoons, that's what.

It's no secret that we at the Care and Feeding of Nerds love us some excellent infographics and here's an excellent series depicting the fact that half of the Earth's population lives on 1% of its land mass.

And here's a fun infographic breaking out all of the character deaths in Shakespeare's oeuvre.

Amateur astronomer Michael Sidonio thought he was taking pictures of galaxy NGC 253 and ended up discovering a galaxy of his own.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

2016 is off and running and we're officially back from our holiday break. Woot! Let's keep the momentum going, shall we? Down to the Week in Geekdom!


Much to the surprise of exactly no one who has been following the exploits of George R.R. Martin, the author officially conceded what we've long since expected: that Winds of Winter will not be ready before Game of Thrones returns to the airwaves. 


George Lucas has taken just about every possible position with regard to the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the subsequent development of Episode VII but, following the smashing success of the latter, the director is no longer attempting to conceal his angst.

On that note, Disney chairman Robert Iger has confirmed that we will be getting another cinematic dose of Indiana Jones.

The 50 best X-Wing pilots in the Star Wars universe, ranked.

We are mere weeks away from the premiere of the X-Files revival series. If those few weeks are still too damned long (not that I feel that way...or anything), then this making-of featurette may help you bide the time.

Image credit
These are 12 of the most burning questions we have concerning the future of the Marvel cinematic universe. Fortunately, we'll likely get some answers to these this year.


If you're on the hunt for fun, informative and all-around excellent sciencey podcasts, look no further.

It's a promising sign for those of us excited about the status of future space-faring missions: plutonium-238 has been produced in the United States for the first time since 1988.

Speaking of space-faring, just how plausible/feasible is interstellar travel?

What if the various computer programs you use every day never needed another update again but, rather, were continuously self-correcting? MIT and Adobe are teaming up to develop exactly that.

It's a theme that pops up on this site with no small degree of frequency, but why does time seem to speed up as you age?

General Awesomeness

These 10 artists are capable of creating mind-blowing masterpieces with simple paper.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi guys. Hope you're all having a great weekend thus far. The past few days have been a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the past few weeks (and the torrent of amazing gaming news coming out ahead of E3). It's giving me a chance to push ahead with Steampunk Hawkgirl and for all of us to tackle the last few entrants to the Playtesting Lab before we put the latter into Gen Con hiatus (the Lab will open again on August 11th). Gah, Gen Con is so soon! But ok, let's get back to the Week in Geekdom.


This week Marvel undid one of its most controversial decisions and Spider-Man may never be the same.

Not content with just that change, Marvel is on the cusp of launching the reboot of its entire roster. We got a glimpse of what the new incarnations of our favorite characters will look like earlier this week.

The horrified gasps you may have heard (or uttered yourself) earlier this week were doubtless from readers of the new Marvel Star Wars comic line. Star Wars #6 gave us the first real taste of what life will be like in the new Expanded Universe (warning: link contains spoilers).

Action Comics #41 gives us this look at the newest incarnation of Superman.


The past week has been chock-full of gaming news, not least of which was 2K's enormous announcement that XCOM 2 is not only very real, but will be coming our way later this year. We got a few more details about humanity's struggle with the alien invaders. And, if you missed it, take a gander at the announcement trailer.

We also got our first look at Fallout 4. As the Care and Feeding of Nerds is based in Boston, we were particularly fascinated by how Bethesda depicts our fair city post nuclear apocalypse.

Just in time for the forthcoming Summer Sale, Steam put forth a new refund policy that's sure to make our wallets weep just a bit less.

The policy was only one bit of big Steam news this week. Valve also released long-awaited details concerning its controller and Link system. Both items are now available for pre-order and will allegedly ship in October.

Turbine confirmed on Tuesday that it will be shutting down the free DC-centered MOBA Infinite Crisis. The game will go dark on August 14th.

The first peek we'll get of the Episode VII universe will come from Star Wars: Uprising, a mobile game.


Big Trouble in Little China will be the subject of a remake and the Rock will be in the starring role.

Mega Man is already prepping for his 30th birthday celebrations. The diminutive Capcom icon will be getting a 26-episode animated series airing in 2017.

George R.R. Martin gives us 5 characters from a Song of Ice and Fire that he wishes weren't missing from Game of Thrones.


We've been following the upcoming release of Windows 10 for a bit now, but this week we got an official release date. You'll be able to upgrade beginning on July 29th (and can put in your 'order' for the free upgrade right now if you're running a Windows OS by clicking on the little icon in the lower right-hand corner of your UI).

Physicians in Brazil have pushed the boundaries of what's possible with 3D printers after implanting a portion of a human skull printed in pure titanium.

What would you see if you were to fall into a black hole?

At first glance, it may seem like ordinary black paint but this substance may be the key to harnessing solar energy like never before.

The latest edition of Science includes details concerning this test that can reveal every virus you've ever contracted.

We may have already developed pharmacological weapons against the Ebola virus and just didn't know it.

If you're one of the millions of people for whom sleep doesn't come easy, MIT would like you to try on this hat.

Beginning this past Wednesday, the Large Hadron Collider ran (and will continue to run) at full power.

A group of British doctors have released data indicating that dual-faceted treatment with a pair of drugs is immensely effective against melanoma.

Feats of Nerdery/General Awesomeness

Meet Boyan Slat, the Dutch 20-year-old whose ambitious plan may be humanity's best hope to rid our oceans of man made debris.

ASUS, Republic of Gamers, and In Win have combined their powers to create this gobsmacking 'transforming' PC tower.

After years of a decidedly antagonistic relationship, Godzilla and Tokyo have officially buried the hatchet as the former was made a citizen and ambassador of the latter.

I'll leave you guys with this video footage of a remote-controlled R2-D2 fridge! As always,  best wishes for an excellent week ahead.

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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone. Hope you're all having a great weekend thus far. The GIR and I are still a bit giddy after our first foray into 5th Edition D&D yesterday. It felt so incredibly good to be back at a table again. We've done a handful of online-based games, but there's definitely something to be said about gathering friends around a screen and physically rolling our dice. But enough reminiscing; let's get down to the Week in Geekdom.


The big buzz this week centered primarily around the release of Age of Ultron. If you or your friends were inspired by the movie and want to dive into the source comics, this is an exeellent primer to help you do so.

Check out these extremely cool custom manga covers on the Japanese translations of the Song of Ice and Fire series.


The PC version of Grand Theft Auto V may be only days off the proverbial release block, but Rockstar Games has allegedly already put the kibosh on the development and use of mods.

Four years after it was released in alpha, Kerbal Space Progam touches down in the annals of in PC Gamer.


One of the most fun and enjoyable scenes in Age of Ultron is the fight between the Hulk and Tony Stark wearing the Hulkbuster version of his Iron Man armor. If the trailer or the movie has you wondering just how hard Tony had to hit the Hulk in that scene, this is your answer. 

Speaking of Ultron, the Blu-Ray release of the film will include extended footage and an alternate ending.

News out of Dimension Jump Convention included this confirmation that the classic sci-fi series Red Dwarf will be making a comeback. Not one, but two new incarnations of the show will be appearing on the UK's Dave network in 2016 and 2017 repectively.

Director Josh Trank would like to set the record straight concerning his departure from the Star Wars franchise.

This may be our first look at Will Smith as Deadshot in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.


40 years ago NASA scientists began gathering satellite images of the Earth. These are some of the time-lapse videos that came out of that collecting and they provide us with some stunning video clips illustrating the footprint that we've created on Earth's surface.
Artist's rendition of MESSENGER's last moments

Speaking of NASA, earler this week they bid farewell to MESSENGER, their Mercury orbiter, after the latter ran out of fuel and smashed onto the surface of the diminutive planet.

As the agency turned its eyes away from the center of our solar system and looked out to the farthest reaches of the latter they were met with what appears to be a polar ice cap on the most controversial of the dwarf planets.

They're also allegedly working on an ideal way to get from point A to point B by edging closer to making a functional warp drive.

IBM appears to have solved one of the most persistent problems plaguing quantum computing.

Duolingo, the free app designed to help familiarize users with another language, has added Klingon to its list of teachable tongues. 

Have you ever wanted to hack a Tesla? You may get your chance this summer at Defcon. 

Researchers at the University of California at San Diego are hard at work developing sustainable plastics from oil products derived from algae. Their first commercial-level results? Surfboards.

Meet the latest weapon in the global fight against Tuberculosis: highly trained giant African rats.

You can also get acquainted with Chilesaurus, the newly discovered so-called 'platypus dinosaur'. 

The latest edition of PLoS Computational Biology includes this study indicating that the current rule set concerning the drafting of scientific abstracts may be missing the mark.

Researchers at the Salk Institute believe they have breached new ground with regards to the human ability to 'edit' mitochondrial DNA.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

There's loving Legos and then there's remodeling your house to accommodate your love of building with plastic blocks. Seattle architect Jeffrey Pelletier did the latter to astonishing organized and comprehensive effect.

She'll do the bedtime run in less than 12 parsecs. One particularly crafty and nerdy father built this amazing bed shaped like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon for his (hopefully grateful) son.

Tony Stark, you may have some competition in the near future from this guy, who made a fully functional Iron Man glove.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Happy Easter to all you celebrating today and best wishes for a happy remainder of the con for everyone attending WonderCon or Anime Boston this weekend. Woo for convention season getting into full swing! Also exciting: the chance to win a copy of Star Wars: Armada, get your chance by following the instructions here.

Back from getting your entries in? Great! Now let's get down to the week in Geekdom!


Comics as we're experiencing them today are the result of three-quarters of a century's worth of drafting and evolution. In that spirit, here are 50 issues that helped define the modern comics industry. 

It seems like something of an April Fools prank, but is is possible that Superman has been in the Marvel universe all along?

Is the Clark Kent disguise much better than we all thought?
Did you know that the Avengers once did battle with the Church of Scientology? Neither did we.


Old and busted: comic book movies. (old) New hotness: video game movies.

Yesterday Mr. Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., turned 50!

It's become one of the most iconic opening sequences on the small screen, but where did the Game of Thrones intro come from? Turns out there's quite an interesting backstory.

George R.R. Martin will be developing a new science-fiction TV series for HBO (sadly not derived from Tuf Voyaging). The author also claims he's buckling down to finish Winds of Winter in an effort to complete the much-anticipated tome by 2016.

While we're on the subject of Game of Thrones, Miss Maisie Williams, Arya Stark herself, has confirmed that she will have a guest role in the next season of Doctor Who.


Want to get your game on but you're a bit short on cash? Check out these 10 Steam games that are completely free to play.

Speaking of free, click here to play a hybrid of Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Pong for the low, low price of nothing.

You can also play this level of Super Mario 64 that's been painstakingly re-made in HD.

Fans of Star Citizen have thrown a combined $77 million USD at the title's developers, but, three years after its Kickstarter closed, they have yet to receive a complete, bug-free game.

The guys behind the insanely popular party game Cards Against Humanity have released a science-themed expansion. Awesome bonus: all the proceeds from sales of the new pack going to fund a scholarship (a full-ride for an undergraduate degree) for women in the STEM fields.


Astronomers using two pictures from New Mexico's Very Large Array have been able to capture the birth of a star. Extra impressive: the images they used were taken 18 years apart.

The technicians at CERN were keen to get in on the April Fool's fun with this claim that they had confirmed the existence of the Force.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum also tried to pull a fast one on Wednesday with this 'exhibit' featuring Wonder Woman's invisible jet.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham were amazed to discover that a nearly 1,000-year-old folk remedy made from garlic is able to eliminate one of the most feared infections of our time: MRSA. 

Nuclear submarines have fascinated the public for decades, but decommissioning them is a laborious, lengthy, and extremely hazardous process. Where do nuclear submarines go to die?

General Awesomeness

These programmer proverbs will likely prove amusing to all you software devs out there.

We started off this post with a mention of con season getting into full swing. Here's a fun, but poignant reminder of why conventions are so important.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone, and I don't know if it's technically a convention, but best wishes for a happy event (con) to those of you at SxSW this weekend. I've never been, but that seems like a really unique experience. Maybe the GIR and I will add it to the List of Events to Try Out (along with Emerald City Comic Con and SPIEL). Anyhow, on the subject of cons, we're finished decompressing from last week's PAX East 2015 and are ramping up preparations for Gen Con, which is only 135 days away as of this writing. Gah! There'll be plenty more written about the latter in the coming weeks but, for now, let's get down to This Week in Geekdom.

Image Source: the Washington Post

On Friday the world got a bit darker with the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett. 

Bill Watterson gave this extremely rare interview to the Washington Post and talked about why you should definitely get your eyes on his new book.

The upcoming Star Wars novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith will add a new layer of diversity to the characters that inhabit that galaxy far, far away.


Authorities in the Cayman Islands announced late this past week that they were suspending their search for DC/Marvel artist Norman Lee, who is now listed as having been lost at sea.


It's one of the the most prolific sound effects in the history of film: the Wilhelm Scream.

People of Springfield, Illinois be warned: Cobra Commander has been given control of your city!

Netflix regularly invites its developers to mess around with its code, which sometimes yields amazing results. Other times, like at this year's first 'hack day', they end up with amusing, if wholly impractical, things like being able to port the streaming service into an original NES.

HBO is clamoring to have Game of Thrones stretch into 10 seasons rather than the originally planned, ties-back-to-the-number-of-books number of 7.

Kevin Smith has confirmed that he's working on a sequel to the 1995 cult film Mallrats.


IBM is allegedly working on a Bitcoin-eqsue technology that would create viable all-digital currency.

It's been over a year since China's Chang'E-3 mission successfully landed on the moon, but its lunar rover, Yutu, is still working hard and sending back novel data about our favorite satellite. 

We've chatted a bit about some of the ambitious and sometimes fantastical projects that NASA is working on. On their present to-do list is this: building the world's most efficient passenger plane.

Image Credit: NASA
Our Sun is so omnipresent that it's kind of astounding to think that we didn't even know the particulars of how it worked until the 2000s.

Ever wondered what would happen if you stuck your head in a particle accelerator?

Today is the 30th birthday of the .com domain name.

General Awesomeness

Artist Stuart Witts is big on minimalist posters and, in his latest round of work, he brings us these interpretations of vintage computers.

Antarctica just had its first sunset of 2015. Here's a shot of the otherworldly frozen terrain.

Crowdfundables for Your Consideration

There are 10 days remaining to lend your support to the legal visual novel Regeria Hope. The Kickstarter for all this courtroom goodness ends on March 25th.

Adorable Pandaring, the fast and, yes, very cute game by Asmadi Games is fully funded, so there's little stopping you from using the Kickstarter to get your own copy of panda panda pandas!

Speaking of fully funded, Dwarven Forge's latest campaign, this time featuring urban versions of their trademark terrain tiles, is over 1000% funded, meaning you can benefit from their many, many stretch goals if you support the Kickstarter now.

As always, hope you all have an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone and best wishes for a happy remainder of a con to all those attending PAX South right now. The GIR and I are trying to distract ourselves as we prepare for housing registration for Gen Con 2015. Regardless of what happens today, the Care and Feeding of Nerds will definitely be at Gen Con, as we are an officially accredited media outlet for the convention! Still, it will be a huge load everyone's shoulders once this nervewracking piece of the process is over and done with. In the meantime, you can make your last-minute entries into our XCOM: the Board Game giveaway and get down to This Week in Geekdom!


For some entirely unfathomable reason, Marvel is taking a page from DC's book and will be rebooting its entire universe this summer during a campaign titled Secret Wars.
Image Credit: Alex Ross, Marvel Entertainment

It may not have Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellan, but X-Men: Apocalypse will have Sophie Turner (a.k.a. Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones). Storm and Cyclops have also been cast.

It's a rumor that never seems to truly vanish but, rather, makes a fresh appearance every so often. Here's the latest incarnation of the 'we're going to make more X Files' saga. Stop teasing me Fox!

Games has added six new classic Star Wars titles to its library. The site claims that even more such games will be made available on the site in the next few days.

If you are an owner of the Xbox One, you may want to read up on Windows 10, as the latter will become the OS for that console in the coming months.

Poor Nintendo continues its downward slide with this announcement that it will be ending its Club Nintendo rewards system on June 30th.

Beginning June 9th, you'll be able to play Elder Scrolls Online without paying a subscription fee. The change is designed to coincide with the release of Tamriel Unlimited, which will still include microtransactions.

League of Legends debuted a new drafting system, the Nemesis Draft, into their public beta this week. It has not garnered too many fans.

One of the biggest stories in the board gaming world this week was the phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign for Exploding Kittens, the card game formally known as Bomb Squad facelifted with artwork from the Oatmeal creator Matt Inman. Inman gave this interview about the campaign and his efforts with the game.

If you are one of the pioneering fans of World of Warcraft, then Blizzard may be sending you this commemorative statue to honor your decade of loyalty.

Firaxis announced that its post-Beyond Earth effort is called Starships and will be a turn-based tactical game set in the same universe as BE. Here's hoping we get to see more of this at PAX East.


Microsoft spent much of this week buffeting us with the details of what its latest OS, Windows 10, will be like. Well, now you can see for yourself with this free preview download.

We've talked more than once about the sometimes outlandish sounding projects that NASA's cooking up and we can now add one more to that astonishing/amusing list: a helicopter for exploring the surface of Mars. (bonus: includes fun concept video)

Antarctica is home to some of the most extreme and inhospitable conditions on Earth but, earlier this week, a team of scientists and ice drillers discovered several species of fish and other marine life that thrive in the total darkness below the colossal ice sheets.

It seems like a straightforward question: Is glass a solid or a liquid? But researchers at the University of Bristol and Kyoto University have found that the response isn't quite so simple.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

This enterprising eighth grader built a fully functional braille printer using a robotics kit and Legos.

This simple, but fascinating photo essay depicts a set of both simple and very complex objects that have been cut in half.

Wired put together this interesting peek into the sometimes odd and often highly competitive world of science fiction writing.

Crowdfundables for Your Consideration

It's already fully funded, but you have 4 days to get in on the Kickstarter for Deluxe Orleans (a.k.a. the winner of Best of Essen 2014).

Are you one of the Parks & Recreation fanatics that got in on the real-life Cones of Dunshire event at Gen Con 2014? Do you wish you were one of those lucky gamers? Well, Mayfair Games may have a crowdfunding campaign just for you: this Kickstarter to make Cones of Dunshire a real, mass-marketed game. Parks & Rec star Amy Poehler hates the game, but thinks you should back it anyway.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Hi everyone; hope you're all warm and cozy as you read this. We're back up to something near normalish temperatures for January (about 28F/-2C versus the -2F/-19C we had most of this past week) though, honestly, between our latest giveaway, the goings on in our Playtesting Lab, and a few more fun developments that will hopefully be headed your way soon we haven't had time to give much thought to how freezing it's been. It is, however, a little surreal to think that PAX is just over 50 days away. Gah! I promise, there will be all sorts of details about fun new things and what you can look for during PAX in the very near future. For now, let's get down to the Week in Geekdom.


It's no secret that 2014 was chock-full of comic book movies. Well, what if they were all one movie? This trailer gives us exactly that.

Rich Ross, the new president of the Discovery Channel, is planning to return to programming akin to what the channel was once known for. No more anaconda stunts or misleading 'documentaries'. 

Fans of the Belcher family rejoice! Bob's Burgers has been renewed for a sixth season!

The new season of Game of Thrones will premiere on April 12th. If that's just too long for you to wait, two episodes are being digitally remastered and will be shown on your local IMAX theater in the interim.

The ladies of Downton Abbey playing Cards Against Humanity. That is all.

This is a library of over 2200 MS-DOS games available to you for the low, low price of free.

When people think of virtual reality gaming, the Oculus Rift almost immediately springs to mind. The Sulon Cortex is in the process of trying to change all that.


The bitter cold of this past week was at the forefront of the minds of just about everyone in North America. If a team of Stanford researchers is successful in their venture to create hyper insulative cloth, cold may be merely a passing thought.

Biologists at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences believe they may have unraveled the mystery behind what allows certain individuals to be able to practice the art of throat singing.

When two stars get a bit too close to one another the gravity between them can result in strange and astounding behaviors. Little things like, say, time and light being distorted. 

Speaking of the wonders that gravity is capable of, turns out that the force may just be the thing that allowed our universe to survive in the presence of the Higgs boson.

The Hubble telescope delivered some new images of the Eagle Nebula to us this week and they are positively astounding.

Did you miss any of CES 2015? Catch up with the best and the worst of what the show had to offer. Amongst the highlights of CES is this perpetual motion machine.

We've gotten a steady stream of buzz about self-driving cars, but Australian company Seeing Machines wants to add some automated safety features to existing vehicles. The firm has developed a series of sensors that alerts your car if you are fatigued or distracted, allowing the car to try and bring your attention back to the road.

Microsoft hasn't confirmed it yet, but this screenshot may depict the successor to Internet Explorer. This. Is. Spartan.

We've talked a bit about how 3D printing can revolutionize palliative care for those individuals who have lost limbs and the technology continues to expand in that arena by leaps and bounds. Check out the newest incarnation of 3D printed prosthetic limbs.

The discovery of antibiotics has had a massive impact on public health and even how we cultivate our food, but their overuse is resulting in resistant strains of bacteria among other unforeseen maladies. Researchers at Northeastern University may just have a response for this.

Does the temperature of your nose determine the probability that you'll get sick? Researchers at Yale believe that it may.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery
Image Credit

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (better known under the acronym JPL) has produced some incredible technologies during its history, but it's not always serious business for the organization. Check out these beautiful, fun, and informative posters that JPL put together advertising to would-be travelers to various exoplanets.

It took him two years to complete, but player Koala_Steamed was able to build a fully functional word processor in Minecraft.

How much snow does it take to cancel school in Canada? What is Point Nemo? What are the least populated areas of North America? These infographic maps will answer these and so much more.

The alphabet, as brought to you by Marvel. 

A team of Polish archaeologists have unearthed what may be the world's oldest palindrome. 

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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This Week in Geekdom

Happy Sunday everyone and best wishes for a happy con to those trying to squeeze the last few minutes of awesome from BGGCon right now. The GIR and I are giving serious consideration to attending BGGCon in the near-ish future, perhaps as a substitute for Gen Con should the latter morph into an exorbitantly priced kerfuffle in 2015. One of the brilliant side effects of the Nerdaissance is that we're seeing new, innovative conventions pop up as others outgrow their infrastructure. Bringing excellent games to more people is never a bad thing. 

Before I get down to a serious session of pie-baking for this upcoming Thursday, let's get down to the week in Geekdom!


Telltale Games drew everyone's attention with the announcement that they will be making one of their signature interactive story games based on Game of Thrones (the show, not the books). While the first chapter of this title won't be out until mid-to-late 2015, we can get a little taste with the below teaser trailer:
Goat Simulator is now an MMO. That is all.

One German town has installed small terminals on street corners that will allow users to play the classic arcade staple Pong while they wait for the signal to cross.


Season seven of Star Trek: The Next Generation will be released to Blu-Ray on December 2nd. To promote the upcoming release, this gag reel of some amusing never-before-seen moments from the show has been put together.  

These 21 storylines may have poor standing among  Whovians, but are these episodes actually better than initially believed?

36 years ago this past Monday brought the Star Wars Holiday Special to the small screen for the first time. This retro review of the Special provides an amusing account of how the show was initially received. 

Monty Python finally bids us all adieu.


On Friday a piece of NASA hardware history went off to proverbial pasture. The massive horizontal countdown clock that allowed spectators to measure the minutes and seconds until the launch of a shuttle or other rocket has been officially retired.

A mission to Jupiter's moon, Europa, just got a whole lot more likely thanks to Texas Congressional representative John Culberson and none other than Bill Nye.

Despite last week's mindboggling triumph of the Philae Lander, the European Space Agency is beset with squabbling derived from, you guessed it, politicking. The latest victim: Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover. Her crime: relying on scientific evidence. 

This is what happens to uranium fuel rods in the event of a nuclear meltdown.

Is this the real life, or is it just (computer generated) fantasy?

Emilott Lantz had a microchip implanted into her hand as part of a 50-person human trial of digital/organic enhancements. 

Researchers at Stanford University have created these specialized, gecko-inspired pads that allow for a wearer to easily scale walls. Spider-man was unavailable for comment.

Google has found that, in order to be better drivers, its autonomous cars need to act a little more human.

The Large Hadron Collider is coming back fast and furious from its maintenance shutdown. On Wednesday, CERN researchers announced that they have potentially discovered two new subatomic particles.

What if, instead of a state of matter, Dark Energy was instead a force acting upon all that we can perceive (and a lot of stuff that we can't)?

A cadre of scientists from Australia, Canada, China, and the United States may have solved Darwin's Dilemma. 

Crowdfundables for Your Consideration

One of our favorite video game experiences from Boston FIG, the head-to-head hybrid tactical base-builder Prismata, now has a Kickstarter. Fans of collectable card games, real-time strategy, and tabletop strategy will almost assuredly love this title. So check it out; you won't regret it.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving next Thursday, but don't care all that much about things like football or parades, perhaps consider these excellent board/party games as a potential way of passing the time until dinner is ready.

Check out these amazing watercolor prints by Artist Adam Lister. He employed his Cubist-esque style to render some of the most enduring nerd and pop culture iconography into 8-bit brilliance.
Speaking of pixelated awesomeness, these gifs will satisfy your desire for both the nostalgic and all things Game of Thrones related. 

From the Annals of Awwww. Someone took their love of Guardians of the Galaxy to a whole new level with the building of this Groot swing. 

It is a thing of profound beauty, this incredibly detailed model of the Millennium Falcon. Also, it's made entirely from cardboard.

As always, best wishes for an awesome week ahead!
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Cosplay: Who Wears The Pants?

Say what now? Costumes…in November? In all honesty, costumes have been all but shunted to the proverbial back burner for almost a month now. The combination of implementing the (hopefully) fun changes to the site, the approach of the holiday season, a deluge of new games, and a bit of delayed burnout from the marathon of costume construction this year has left me quite content to shelve the sewing machine and hot glue gun for a bit. I’m normally big into planning, so it was a bit of a guilty pleasure to procrastinate. You’ve got some time…those conventions aren’t even until next year.

Last week provided an abrupt reality check in the form of registration for PAX East 2015 appearing out of the Twitterverse blue. Not only is PAX just over 100 days away, but registration for Gen Con 2015 is even sooner. We’re in the very, very early stages of planning what has the potential to become a seminar at Gen Con, but we’ll produce more details on that if it should come to fruition. The GIR and I are also pulling out all the stops to try and ensure that we avoid the housing nightmare that we encountered last year; fingers crossed that those efforts work out.

In the meantime, there’ve been bits of progress on Steampunk Hawkgirl that I haven’t had time to sit down and write about until now. So let’s catch up!
After completing all the structural tests for the wings I took some time away from physically crafting just to sit and brainstorm. With one exception (my books-version Daenerys Targaryen, which pre-dates the blog), all of my costumes have been a direct reproduction of a character from visual media. This was primarily due to the fact that, most of the time, I’m a purist who defaults to the original source material. The other reason why I tend to go the purist route is because I cannot draw for the life of me. Seriously, cannot draw to save my life. So, by necessity, all costumes go from conceptual to physical reality in one step.
While there are a handful of images out there for various imaginings of a steampunk version of Hawkgirl, they vary considerably from one another and, to be honest, I wasn’t in love with any one iteration. So there was copious daydreaming and a lot of scrolling through Pinterest before the shell of an idea began to form. I focused on the individual pieces that will be the foundation of the costume, then slowly worked outward from there. As of now, those individual pieces consist of leggings, boots, a corset, a bolero of some kind, and a helmet. Since every piece of this costume is being made from scratch, almost all of those pieces will probably get their own post in the not-so-distant future.

The first item to go from brain candy to wearable garment were the leggings to be used in the costume (the second item is the corset that will serve as the base for the wing harness). I chose leggings over a skirt for two reasons: 1) Nearly all depictions of Hawkgirl show her wearing some sort of pants and 2) I don’t know how the final version of the wings are going to lie relative to my back and legs; pants guarantee a bit of protection from potential feather-derived irritation. I may add a bustle over the leggings later on, but that will depend entirely on how the wings turn out.

Making leggings is fairly straightforward, definitely easier than sewing, say, a catsuit, and you can make lots of fun derivations with very minimal changes to a given pattern. Speaking of which, there are quite a few excellent patterns out there to choose from. Butterick B5788, Kwik Sew 2797, McCall’s M6173, and McCall’s M6404 are all fairly easy to find and are fairly cheap. If, for whatever reason, none of these fits the scope of your project, this website provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating your custom pattern for leggings (bonus: it’s completely free).

I’m anticipating that between the wings, the mace, and whatever headgear I end up making, there’ll be a lot going on visually in the top half of the costume, so it would probably be a nice contrast to have the bottom half be a bit less busy. To make the leggings interesting while still harmonizing with the rest of the outfit, I wanted to include a few strategically placed complementary fabrics.  I selected McCall’s M6404, then ended up making some edits to the pattern to get the blend of textures and colors I wanted.

The end goal was a modified version of the pants you see over on the right. They provide an excellent foundation for other pieces, directing the eye efficiently without being bland. The colors needed to be a bit less saturated for the leggings to be steampunk, as the genre tends to feature muddled, subdued hues. With that in mind, I chose this fabric (in 'Hunter') to be the base, with this olive color and this burgundy faux-leather to serve as the accents.

Once the fabric arrived, it was largely a matter of measuring, cutting, and arranging the cloth to lie how I wanted it to. If you’re using a commercial pattern it will list the exact measurements you need. Commercial patterns for leggings usually also include guidelines for how to scale the pattern based on both your measurements and the type of fabric that you may be using, since almost all leggings call for cloth with some inherent measure of stretch. If you’re not familiar or comfortable with stretchy fabric, you may want to read this post from earlier this year that talks all about it.

It actually took longer to measure and cut the fabric into the right pieces than it did to sew them together. Since both of the green fabrics are spandex, I was able to use the same type of zigzag stitch that I used to make the green and red scalesuits for both iterations of Mera.  The waistband is just your run-of-the-mill 3/4" (1.91cm) wide knit elastic with the top edge of the leggings folded over it. Depending on the strength of your fabric, you may have to fold it around your elastic more than once, so it's a good idea to build extra allowance along your topmost edges. I used successive rows of zigzag, then straight stitches (so one sits on top of the other) to affix the folded fabric around the elastic.

Once the waistband was in place, I added the swaths of burgundy so they rest along the hips. Since that fabric was faux-leather rather than spandex, it didn't have a lot of stretch and I could use standard straight stitches to sew it on. Something to note if you're using faux-leather: despite it being, by definition, fake, this type of fabric can still be very thick and give your sewing machine a hard time. You may want to do a few tests with some swatches of the faux-leather just to ensure that your settings are correct and that your machine can handle the fabric.

This is what I've got so far:
While I'm really happy with the fit and the overall shape, I have this nagging notion that the base Hunter green color doesn't jive with the olive or burgundy. Since everything else turned out well, I'm not keen on buying new fabric and starting over. Instead, I'm going to alter the color and part of the texture with a combination of fabric paints from Pebeo.
The new base color will be the moss green you see on the left; the portion on the upper legs will be enhanced with a tiny bit of the 'suede effect' paint on the right. These fabric paints are applied with a broad, stiff-bristled brush, and are then melded with the fabric itself using an iron on a low grade heat for five minutes. After the ironing, the paint takes permanently and is supposedly indistinguishable from the fabric itself, even if you should wash the garment you paint. It claims to be able to hold up even to dry cleaning, which is pretty bold as far as fabric paints go. I'll let you guys know how it all turns out! 
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