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"As a friend of mine once said, I'd like to test that theory."
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December 19 2007

We made it onto the list of '50 Nerdy Things To Do Before You Die'... twice! There are more than one items on this list I'm working on, but in particular numbers 27 and 9.

are they making a harry potter theme park or is that just distant wishing on the writers behalf?
Yes, the Harry Potter theme park will be right here in Florida, inside Universal, I believe.

What a fun list. #26, the Butter Cow -- wow. I didn't know such a thing existed. I googled it and there is a picture. How does it stand without falling?
7. Feel again like you felt the first time you saw "Star Wars."

Sorry, I wish never to feel the way felt when I first saw Star Wars...
I like #25. I almost have enough Miyazaki DVDs to make that work, too.
27. Go to an underground sing-along screening of the Buffy Musical. (When Buffy is outlawed, only outlaws will sing-along to Buffy.)

That made me sad. I'm going to pass on #9. I would much rather ask them a million questions each.
I was eight when I saw Star Wars for the first time. I guess. I don't actually remember seeing Star Wars for the first time. It's like it's always been a memory, don't remember the installation of it. Oh mahgawd. I didn't start tabula rasa...there was'a space opera in me. My whole life guided by the kid, the chick, the fur, and the gun. Oh, mammy, mammy, mammy.
Yeah, one of my first childhood memories is seeing Return of the Jedi in theaters at age 3, so I don't know how I felt first time I saw Star Wars. Instead, I will strive to feel again like I felt the first time I saw Serenity.
I'm disappointed, I was hoping the Harry Potter theme park would be in Scotland.... But I feel I'm doing pretty well on this list:
49. I've played with most of my action figures
30. I've been to Riverside, IA
18. I have petted Hemingway's cat's descendants
9. I've been hugged by Joss
(it is a very nerdy list!)
hrm, i got at least 10 of those. i'm not sure how i feel about that...

very good list.
Star Wars was just leeched into my brain, bit by bit, by the muppet babies. By the time I actually saw it, I knew the whole story and yet still remember being confused. I think I was most confused by the lack of Kermit the Frog anywhere in the movie.

I haven't done anything on that list. Just when I was feeling very nerdy, too.

Okay wait I just went back and read the list. I've definitely hit a few of those suckers. Nerd credentials are still intact.

[ edited by ailiel on 2007-12-20 07:34 ]
Maybe I'm just not as nerdy as the rest of you, but memorizing the value of pi is pointless...unless you were somehow sent back to a time before calculators...where you had to calculate some sort of circular or curved thing to...get back to your time or save it. OK, I take it back. *memorizing*
I've done #18. Hemmingway's cats are pretty cool, as is his backyard. Not to mention, only basement on the island. That's a plus.
Great list. And my performance is:

48. I took my puppet Angel out of the box.
42. Fire power is key. And, also, luck. It's easier in SMB3 than in the first one, even if it's a harder game overall.
38. I went through a Narnia phase as a kid.
34. I met Adam West and asked whether Burt Ward was no fun at first, so, sort of?
11. Where does 35 digits of pi fall on the scale?
Well, I might have a super-power, not so sure about bionic limbs, though. hahahaha
WilliamTheB, 35 is impressive ... ly weird ;). Frankly, anything past 3.14 is gonna impress most non-geeks (used up to 8 in a pub quiz once where the question was - roughly - "Complete the sequence: 31 41 59 .. " and when a similar thing appeared on a TV show recently - "Numb3rs" ? - it was nice to "get it" before the heroes ;).

Not done many of those, it's fairly US-geek centric. Watched 12 hours of '24' once (12 actual hours, not 12 episodes) and was close to hallucinating but then I did have the flu at the time (that 'Beechams' is some good shit ;).

The 'Star Wars' thing is totally age dependent I reckon - if you're into sci-fi at all and watched it in its first run at the cinema between, say, ages 5 and 12, I just don't see how you weren't blown away. It's fashionable to slate George Lucas nowadays, and for some good reasons, but 'Star Wars' changed films forever.

(another good one for me is watching 'Superman' for the first time in the cinema - luckily I already recreated what that feels like by watching 'Superman Returns' in the cinema, though i'm aware many disagree)
OK, I've managed:

48. (two of them, anyway)(Spike and Giles, since you aked)
45. But some on TV - does that count?
38. More than once. Mostly when I was 13.
19. Oh, OK, being an English teacher doesn't really count, does it? I surrender.
14. Twice. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead when I was 17, Travesties ten years later. What? I'm an English Lit nerd. So sue me.
1. Because in my head it does already.

27 - just makes me sad, and 9 - Joss is so taken it's not a joke.

As Saje said, it's a very US-centric list, with so many of them multiple thousands of miles away. I'm not sure what Europeans could replace some of them with, though touring the CERN facility would probably count. (Not me, but several of my friends.)
22/7 gets you home again, dreamlogic. Far easier to remember and to deal with than a decimal.
Saje - Star Wars - totally agree, very very age dependent. I was seven when it came out and to say it blew my mind is a very mild understatement. It is probably the single thing that I can point to that led to my love of sci-fi/genre programs. This is not to say that all roads lead to star wars but the profundity of the original film/(trilogys) influence is hard to overstate.

Yes, time and the prequel trilogy have led to a perceived devaluation of its importance in some circles, and Lucas-bashing is vitually a cottage industry nowadays but I have a feeling an awful lot of people in the 35/45 age bracket working in sci-fi/genre programs at the moment would cite the original film as a major, if not fundamental reason that they do what they do.
Great fun & I actually didn't realize it was so U.S.-centric. Although both Star Wars and Buffy are products of the U.S., both are universally ;) loved, as Harry Potter is a product of the U.K. but universally loved (Ok, not so much by me, but I do get it). And you Brits get to claim Tolkein, which trumps most everything.
And the International Space station is .... well, international. Although you'd probably have to hop a U.S.Shuttle to get there. This is my #1 fantasy but a space walk must be included.

As for feeling what you felt when you first saw Star Wars (I was much older than a kid but still a SciFi geek to my core & not yet hopelessly cynical), I experienced that all over again, first time I saw Lord of the Rings. To see it brought to visual life with such perfection was just beyond comprehension, I was in tears throughout most of the film.

Also already there with #1. I mean, who doesn't enjoy looking at the pretties but for how long can that really hold your interest? I'll take the sexy brains any day.
Fun list.
You all are making me feel ancient. When Star Wars opened I was working at the other movie theater in town which meant that I got free tickets, but also that I had to wait. Their theater had already been bisected, so I saw Annie Hall, 2001 a Space Odyssey and a bunch of other other cool movies with sound from Star Wars bleeding through the walls. I don't really remember how I felt the first time I finally saw it though. But it was a thing, people went every week or daily.

As for the rest of that list, some, I'm just not that sort of geek, I guess. so I've done
#4- repeatedly (not the Sunday one though, but I knew someone who used to do the Sunday New York times in pencil then erase it so her husband could do it, too)
#19-I'm sort of an editor I proofread one guy's writing.
#38-lots of maps to non existent places. Maps are fun. 16 if you count working in one for 3 years, sadly it was a pretty boring specialty store
#14- well sure, well sort of...
#21-well, not really, but my daughter was in a play with zombies and they killed them with a dance-off, so I thought I'd share that piece of advice, y'know in case of zombies (same reason everyone should know how to drive a stick shift)
as for # 36- wouldn't you have to go back in time to visit the Champ-bana computer labs before 2001? and I've only done that virtually through PLATO-the pre-internet internet back in '79.

As far as the rest of the list sign me up for the Chandler LA tour and drinks at the Algonquin.
48. All of my 35+ Buffy/Angel action figures are out of their packages..and some hang out in the Sunnydale High library all day. Puppet Spike gets snuggles from my daughter.

27. I attended every Buffy sing-a-long we had here in Austin...until they were taken away. *sniff*
Roger that Sassafras, *amends Z-word survival notes to "Remove the head, destroy the brain OR dance at them"* ;).
#50, yes, in NYC. #48 My Xena the Warrior Princess figure used to sit on my TV. Since I live in FL, it looks like I'll be doing #44, going to the Harry Potter theme park. #41 Oh, yes. I love Dorothy Parker. #33 I don't know, but I did see the castle connected to Hamlet. I'm working on creating #27 at my church. #24 I took a bunch of interns once, and kept a straight face when the science reporter told them that the security check included anal probes. #22 What if you don't have a soul? #19 Yes, at newspapers. #18 Yes, and you also should see Elizabeth Bishop's home. #9 Joss in my dreams. #8 My glasses are really strong. Does that count? #7 Many times. 1. Boohoo.

I would add: Going to the science-fiction museum in Seattle and demanding to know why they had nothing on Firefly and Serenity.
Um, I've seen the butter cow at the MICHIGAN State Fair. I suspect that one butter cow is very much like another.
Yeah, people tend to think that until they see the Iowa one barboo. It's been compared to relativity in its wide-scale cultural impact (though admittedly only by me, and not, y'know, out loud or anything).
But Sunfire, 22/7 is only an accurate representation of pi to three digits (3.14159 vs. 3.142857). You might as well just remember 3.14.
Yep, i'm never travelling back to a time before calculators with Sunfire, that approximation is exactly the kind of woolly-headed liberal thinking that gets people stuck in closed time-like loops.
I only wanted to catch that silly white rabbit!
I'd rather use a fraction than a 3 SD decimal if I didn't have a calculator, but that's a personal preference from lots of back of the envelope calculations. YMMV for your own time loop experiences.

Real nerds know how to approximate pi in a pinch using the materials onhand, anyway.
I first learned this, and remember it, as

113/355 ~= 1/pi

(two ones, two threes, two fives) but these days it's usually expressed as

355/113 = 3.141592+

which I find harder to remember; in either case a value that's ~1.000000085 * pi.

Great list.
I've changed my mind. I would travel back to a time before calculators with Sunfire so long as it wasn't also a time before frozen hot-dogs.
48-I keep the boxes around, though.
45-done it. Just avoid the bad "updates" done in weird costuming
choices, like grass skirts and a South Seas theme.
44-43 Can I sob? Sobbings not girly, is it?
42-did it.
31-I'm proud of it.
29-does throwing up on it's foot count?
9-can't I just blow kisses from across a crowded room?
7-every day. It helps to dress up, to get in the mood.
6-I was on Jeopardy...ALex Trebek does not seem like the "hold me" type.
Own at least two copies each of "Firefly" and "Serenity"
Really needs to be on that list...
Looks like I score 1. I have one action figure and didn't keep the box.

Over 45 visits to Ireland and I've never been to Bloomsday. But my friend performed at it twice, does that count?
I've only got one: maps of imaginary places.

But, given that I've made over twenty different fictional maps, can I have twenty points?
Ok I have done:
48 (most of my action figures are outside their boxes)
42 (beat Koopa a few times)
38 (i make maps of just about every place when I write, it's much easier when you do)
18 (been to Hemingway home and museum a few times but I don't remember any cats, sorry- so only partial credit I guess)
07 (I have had the Star Wars films for my whole life- but I can imagine what my reation would have been and i have had more than a few films give me that feeling and then some. if you need an example then Serenity will do I am sure)
05 (I'm not going to explain what all of the shows are about though LOST, TP and the Prisoner can be summed up as they're shows about people who live in strange places where majorly effed up things happen but are actually about deep social and personal issues. As far as Oprah goes, who doesn't want a smart sucessful person to tell you how to live you life better- well not me but lots of people do.)
So I get 5 and a 1/2, but i do plan on doing a few others.
Not so good....

I've made a map of a non-existent place. (So has almost anyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons. Should this really count?)

From the comments, I've been to Space Camp, sort of. It was a two-week summer camp on science and technology, and it included a tour of the Vehical Assembly Building when it was still outfitted for Saturns instead of shuttles. It had a Saturn under assembly, but they didn't let us see it.

I've never seen a butter cow, but I have been to Minneapolis when it was so cold they shut down the ice festival. (That was the business trip when I took Buffy season one on DVD to check it out, and got hooked.)
45. See all of Shakespeares' histories performed. Yes, even the crap ones. (Helloooooo, King John!)

Okay, I haven't seen all of them performed, but I did see King John - not so crappy, just not terribly memorable, and Richard the 2ND (not "now is the winter of our discontent" etc.). Also Timon of Athens, and if I don't get points for sitting through that, I'm just not playing anymore.

Anyway, I think it is far geekier to have actually studied the Wars of the Roses in order to understand Shakespeare's histories. As it turns out, the Yorkists had the more legitimate claim to the throne, and Richard the III is considered by historians to have been quite a good king, who had the bad luck to be on the wrong side of probably the world's best publicist. Shakespeare, alas, was a Lancastrian apologist.

[ edited by barboo on 2007-12-21 21:46 ]

[ edited by barboo on 2007-12-21 21:48 ]
What? No Doctor Who task? RIGGED!!! I agree it's VERY US-centric.

I thought this list did not apply to me, until I realised how many of these I have already done. So-

50. Andy Hallet complimented me on my outfit. (But he was drunk at the time.)
49. Didn't marry on the Enterprise replica, I did stand on it and yell 'Beam me up, Scotty!'.
48. Done. I like playing with my toys.
46. Didn't do the Bloomsday festival, but have done the Ulysses walk.
45. Does the Shakespeare Abridged play count?
44. Already asked my boss for leave to go to Harry Potter World in 2009!
43. All bets are off on the tears of joy, though.
39. Toured Raymond Chandlerís Los Angeles? Done.
38. Draw a map of a nonexistent or fictional place? Do this for fun.
37. Haven't been to DC Comics, but I've been to Dark Horse which actually means more to me.
31. A friend made me a lightsaber as a gift, but that counts, right?
27. Hosted my own Buffy Sing-A-Long!
24. Witness a live space shuttle launch. Done!
23. Added to quite a few wikis.
20. Not quite, but I've nailed 'Singstar'.
19. Teacher. Same thing, more errors, less wages.
18. Done!
11. I can do 10 digits. Fun at parties, if they're populated by geeks, and impresses my students.
9. Both married, so morally, NO. But I've met Joss.
8. I have a hearing aid and am waiting for a cochlear implant. Does that count?!
7. I am embarrassed to admit that it's only this year that I've watched the entire 'Star Wars' series all the way through. It was great. I made a musical of it for my class to do.
1. Live to see the day when smart and witty wins out over hot and shallow every single day of the week.
Waiting for Dollhouse to come along and make this one come true!
My favorites:

This is very great. It really made my evening.
If anyone is still here, what the hell is a "wiki"? In Hawaiian, it's a word that means either "fast" or "hurry", but this is obviously not the context ;)

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