Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Star Wars Universe Wars

            Sorry for not posting anything as of lately.  I've been quite busy with life.  I had to be out in public and get a new laptop of my own and new headphones and stuff.  (What?!  I want to blend in with the background, to make it impossible for y'all to see me!  I'M INVISIBLE TO YOUR OCULAR SENSORS!  MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!)

            Anyways…..I figured I should post SOMETHING to keep people from going, "OH, NO!  SHE'S DEAD!"  (Well, at least the people who don't watch my twitter feed.  Those who do, or those who are friends with me on Facebook, or interact with me regularly on Deviant Art know that I'm alive and well.)  That and to rant a wee bit on Star Wars.

            Okay, more than a wee bit.  But I do have some nerd frustrations that need to be unleashed.  (No, not THOSE nerd frustrations!  Gawd, get your minds out of the gutter!)  That and some funny shit to share.

            So, sit back, relax, tune out to "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," (the"Deadmau5 remix" according to my library) by Daft Punk (which Papa Spock needs to listen to more).  And remember that at the time of my drafting this, I am actually very tired.  My butt was kicked by Thursday, and I still haven't recovered much; instead, I've been reading Bill Nye's Undeniable and Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy in bed, like I "should" be doing.

So Far, So Good…. I Think…..

            So, a status update: I don't exactly know what I'm doing right.  I have tons of cleaning to do (still), a few appointments to either check up on or set up, a whole dozen others to attend, and a bunch of distractions in between.  I've accomplished stuff, made the opposite of progress on other stuff, and there's not enough time in the day to do it all!!!  Really, the word, "Bleh," pretty much sums up my current mental state.

            Let's do a quick run-through here….

~~Public speaking—I've had to do a couple of presentations in "public" to a group of young adults with disabilities about social media.  Yes, apparently, I'm an expert.  (What I did, however, was share my firsthand experiences online with these people.)  And I enjoyed the satisfaction of surprising myself with how well I did (according to audience feedback), which is a really good booster for my low-to-medium self-esteem.  And yes, I got paid for it in gift cards provided by the sponsor, which is a very popular large (national?  world?) retail company found all over the US.  And when I was done, I was also given a gift (that isn't exactly necessary but very, very, very helpful, since I can't take my not-so-portable desktop computer everywhere) that was provided by this sponsor: a new laptop!  BUT, I still don't have Internet at home.  Oh well.

~~Exercising: My FitNerd Journey—I've also started doing a sort-of-kind-of exercise routine.  Basically, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go out in exercise clothes to do some…. PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!!  Yays!!!!
            What?  Did you expect me to just say, "I go out to some lunkhead dungeon to have a stranger yell at me to work through the pain of my muscles tearing as I try to do the impossible, only to return home in tears and swearing to punch them in the face next time I go before passing out on the bed"?  Seriously, I know for a fact that the scenario I just described is detrimental to any sort of routine construction, and destructive to the nerd psyche many of us tend to have.  That and because I'm worried about certain other medical conditions, which means I'd rather take a step between "regular workouts at the gym" and "not exercising very much."  That step, for me, is physical therapy.  No, I'm not injured; I just want to start in a supervised setting that will allow me to get the fitness-and-health-goal cheese wheel rolling down the hill.  And so far, I've been doing really well, exercising my legs and my arms and increasing my endurance a bit so I don't feel like I'm dying when rushing to catch the bus.  I've figured out the ideal posture (which is just like the posture I had when I was doing horseback riding: spine straight and tall, shoulders down and back a bit, sitting on your tailbone with your legs relatively underneath your profile, but relaxed, with your stomach tucked in), and I've also been able to do better leg curls and bicep workouts.  It's awesome, and a really good self-esteem booster.

~~Home and Internet—Right now, both of them are separate: home is meh, since I'm still trying to clean it up more and more.  Internet is also meh, because I'm getting behind on so much!  I've been doing the Crash Course videos ("doing" as in watching), specifically the Astronomy series.  I've already put together a playlist of the videos I've added so far.  Surprisingly, I've found a lot of the lessons to be the same in Bad Astronomy!  Like, Phil's repeating himself for the crowd who is more likely to watch YouTube videos than to read actual books that were published in 2002 or 2003.  But you can't beat the graphics from Thought CafĂ©!  They're really well done and funny and awesome; I wish that I have a well-funded web series that has them doing similar graphics to the ones you can see in the episodes!  5/5 plungers and a ton of POINTS(!) to them for their creativity, style, and their humor!

            That's all for now, with the updates.  You can find more on Twitter.  As for the Team Savage-vs.-Team Bagans internet battle, I've put together a journal entry on Deviant Art, complete with links to tweets, blog posts, videos, etc., so if you want to find out everything quickly, go check that out.

            That's it for now, mostly because there is a disturbance in the Force that I've been ignoring up until now—and I can't take it anymore!!!!

Star Wars-Episode Everything: The Approaching Doom

            Alright, even though the official teaser is cool (with the Garth Brooks version made by @midnight being super funny—POINTS(!) to them for it)……

……and there are pictures of what's happening behind the scenes, I am worried about the fate of the current Star Wars universe.  No, not the one Disney has constructed!  The one that existed before Disney decided to fuck us nerds over!

            You see, I've been prowling through the Nerdist site lately, and I've found some awesome articles that I've shared with people on dAmn (the Deviant Art messaging network, which is basically just a bunch of chat rooms created by DevArt staff and users).  But lately, I've come across some news that should excite people, but actually just made a lot of us nerds angry with grief over how a sandcastle empire (that each of us nerds and fans and nerdy fans have contributed to with careful precision and painstaking effort to make it juuuust right) was destroyed by Disney just stomping their way through.

            As many of us are all aware, Disney bought the rights to Star Wars and have hired J.J. Abrams to direct the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens…..  Shouldn't that be "Reawakens"?  Because last I checked, at the end of Episode VI-Return of the Jedi, it was already awake, but feeling quite lonely!

            So, when THIS article was posted, I was shocked.  I could only skim through part of it, before immediately jumping down to the Comments section to post my complaints:

Before long, I got some responses:

And I felt the frustrations rise, which resulted in me posting a response to one:

However, I was fortunate enough to have a brief encounter with some extremely funny nerds on there, offering replies that made me laugh hard!

            Thank you, kind strangers of the nerd population, for giving me a bit of comic relief when I was still feeling the sting of having Disney smash what we had to pieces.

            Seriously, what happened was that the Expanded Universe (much of it documented on Wookieepedia) was just erased from existence.  None of it (the books, especially) is canon anymore.  The only stuff that is canon is everything that is in all the movies, plus the Star Wars: Clone Wars series and whatever specials that they have.  That's it; the Thrawn Trilogy books that I have yet to read, anything that involves an agreement as to how Boba Fett escaped the Pit of Sarlacc, what happened with Darth Maul, all of that is no longer "accepted" as Star Wars lore.

            I expressed these frustrations to Papa Spock recently, and he responded with his usual Spockish answer: It's because what was already there was too restrictive for them to do anything creative with the storyline in order to draw in more people.  I suspect that J.J. was a large part of that decision, seeing that he was the one who did the Star Trek: Alternate Universe movie series!  And because of that, the Star Trek Online game was completely changed!  Like, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!  It's frustrating, especially since people are going to respond with "It's Disney, not ours.  They can do whatever they want with it, seeing as it's their Jeep and no longer the Jeep that George Lucas has allowed all of us nerds to go joyriding in.  They can change the radio station presets on it to whatever they want, and you shouldn't worry about it."

            I am worried about it.  So much has been ruined lately; nerds are being sexist with their anger, saying, "HOW DAREYOU MAKE MY GHOSTBUSTERS WOMEN!!!"  And many of us are still Klingoning (Heh, get it?!  Klingon…ing?  Never mind, I meant, "clinging on"….) to the Original Star Trek series, to Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space 9, to keep alive the memories of what we enjoyed the first time around.  It sucks!

            You see, we nerds (especially those of us on the Autism Spectrum) are resistant to change (much like conservatives and Republicans—*shudders* That felt creepier than I thought it would be….), and if you introduce sweeping changes all across the major nerdism nodes (like superhero genders, storylines we grew up with and memorized every detail of, Star Wars universe elements and happenings that take place outside of the movies and television series, etc.), we're going to be resistant.  Like, we're fine with the way things are, and they made sense; why did you change everything that was working?  You can't fix what isn't broken, and the worlds we dive into oftentimes (Marvel comics printed on paper, DC comics printed on paper, Star Trek series before effects got super high-definition cool, Star Wars the way George Lucas did it originally, etc.) just seemed to work for us.  So, it's frustrating to force us to accept sudden changes to the worlds we love.  And like I said, we're resistant to changes; you might be able drag our bodies into the theatres through persuasion by awesome trailers, but you will never be able to take hold of all of our minds and hearts that were dedicated to the original stories.

            (I'm going to nitpick here: the longsword with its lightsaber Crusader hilt, amazingly cool as it is, doesn't have to be done like that.  According to Wookiepedia, there is such a thing as a darksaber, where it's a lightsaber that seems to "glow" black, and isn't in the general rapier style we have grown accustomed to, but rather like a katana.  If you have read Wookiepedia, you wouldn't have to piss off so fucking many nerds!  Now back to my regular spiel….)

Evolution: It's a Painfully Long Process That is a Part of Life

            Now, a proposal for the solution to everyone's problems….

           Has it ever occurred to you that mayyybe Papa Spock (who is quite biased, considering that he's a Disney Geek for reals; don't go, "Team Disney," at me, Dad!) could be right in some aspects?  That they're being too limited by our expansion of the Star Wars universe, ruled over by the god known as George Lucas, who caused that universe's Big Bang with an awesome idea?

            And, Disney and other involved parties: you're losing us over your changes.  Would it really hurt to include us nerds in the process of creating this new movie?  Or are you too busy focusing on the movie and not on what the reception of the movie might be like?  (Same for you, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Star Trek, and video game companies/franchises, with your products!)  Our demographic is highly populated with early-adopters; a new gadget or video game or Marvel movie comes out, and within hours, you have thousands of nerds stampeding forth to line up for the midnight releases, shoving money into your faces while scrabbling at whatever we could grab on to while pitching tents in our pants over how excited we are for this new addition to our universes.  We live, not just in our physical universe, but also mentally in thousands of abstract universes that might actually be real universes that exist somewhere within the multiverse!  Why else do you think we play Dungeons & Dragons or Magic the Gathering?  We tend to argue over certain minute details, but we're happy to add to what we have, rather than just knocking it down and starting over.

           We should get involved with each other…..  (Oi, gutter brains!  Not sexually!  Okay?  Get back to reading!)  Nerd-sourcing, similar to crowd-sourcing, is incredibly cheap; we highly value the mental and emotional parts of producing nerdy content, which means that even if we don't get paid, we are likely to still do the work just to be a part of something special.  How else do you think Ok Go (Shit Fuck) was able to do the Rube Goldberg music video without spending way too much money?  Nerds pitched in because they knew it would be a good idea that needed to be created and put out onto the Internwebz.

            I propose that the resistant members of the nerd community rejects the rejection, and keep the Expanded Universe alive. while cherry-picking what Disney introduces to us; this is what they plan on doing to our EU, anyways, adding what they like and erasing what they don't like officially.  Nothing says that we can't have fan-created content just because someone bought the rights to something.  (Yes, Disney, there is such a thing as fan-fiction and fan art.  Also, Wookipedia is OURS!!!  So if you get lawyer-happy, we'll rally around our own kind, outright rejecting you altogether.  At least, that's what I think will happen….)

            Anyways, we should have two parallel Star Wars universes, with galaxies inside that reflect what we nerds accept inside one of them, while Disney gets to have their own universe; this way, we can both be happy!  *uses Jedi mind trick on Disney's Star Wars dept*  You will accept this idea and implement it without issue…..

            That's all I can say about this for now.  Of course, it's still up for discussion; discussion and healthy debates (and not just flame wars that involve name calling and cursing and whatnot) are good for society and its many demographics.  It's what Athens was built upon way back when; why can't we do the same?

            Chew(bacca) on that.  In the meantime, enjoy your Greedo Tacquito!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Second Existential Crisis: The Scary Question About the Human Race

            Yeah!  A new blog post!  Wanna think about it?  Try my Psybient Chillscape playlist that is a couple of days and a few minutes long in total playtime!  Chillax a ton!  Expand your consciousness!  Huh?  Oh, no, wait, it's a blog post, not an acid trip.

            Just recently, I've had another bit of existential angst on the scale of the human species.  It's not that it's a bad thing, it's something that probably everyone should think deeply about, while they do repetitive boring tasks or are spending time by themselves doing nothing that will risk their lives (like operating machinery or driving or patrolling for trouble if you're one of the cops out there).  Say, perhaps 5 minutes at a time on your smoke breaks.  That should work….

Cue the Imperial March—HEAVY METAL STYLE!……

             Anyways, this has only popped up in my head during a shower a few weeks ago on Monday evening (on February 9th, 2015).  It was like my brain just decided to open up a corner of my mind I prefer not to frolic through, mostly because it's a bit too dark.  And from that corner in all of her Sith glory emerged Darth Eden, the dark side of my humanity that I insist on suppressing.  And it was not a good thing at all; in fact, this is proof that I should medicate more often, to prevent Darth Eden from ever even seeing the light of day, or night, or evening, or whatever time I arise from my comatose sleep; she can still exist, but she shouldn't ever take an active role in my life because I want to be a good person.  Anyways, with Darth selves come dark questions, and this moment was no exception: Darth Eden just emerged while I was shampooing my hair and, simultaneously, pondering the validity of the moral and ethical conflicts that arise from deciding who should die—the chimpanzee or the little person being attacked by said chimpanzee.  ("Schwaaaaaaaa?  Where did THIS come from?!"  Listen to Nerdist Podcast episode #130,"Penn and Teller."  The link for the impatient ones is also available.)  And without skipping a beat, while I decided to try and drop the mental dilemma, Darth Eden asked with evil eyes aglow, "Why should the human race as a whole exist the way it is now? With all its faults and issues and the conflicts that we currently have?"

            That frightened me so much that I just HAD to reach out to my friends and my tweeps.  And it also helped to remind me that they are simply awesome weirdos just like me who totally get me!  So, major POINTS(!) to them!

The Questions of a Young Padawan to Jedi Master Leonidas

            First, let's start with a response from my friend Jesse, who I absolutely SWEAR is the Jedi Master version of Leonidas!  He was wise, he totally understood where I was coming from, and he's a Spartan!  Really!  (Ever heard of the Spartan Race?  I think that once I become a ninja Jedi, I should run in it!  *adds to list of currently unlikely dreams*)  His responses were really insightful and what's also interesting is that he thought that my question was so good that he shared the conversation on Facebook:
A friend of mine, Eden Pyrithea, asked me a question that had come to her mind, and its a good one, and we had a conversation about it and i thought i should post it here because i do believe every word i said to her"Should we humans, as a whole, exist the way we are?"i thought about my answer for a while before responding, "No, we should exist and work daily to improve ourselves and the universe around us. Simple acts can lead to mighty changes. Go speak at a town meeting on views that you believe in, volunteer at a soup kitchen to help those less fortunate then you and make the world, and the universe a better place""Huh. What about the general current human state There are evil people who live inside of the lies they spread." was her next question"They only exist in power because we allow them to. So by beginning a small movement that can then become a large movement you can resist them, a perfect example would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.""But they carry influence like we carry mass.""Only because we allow them to. I think a time will come, and sooner than some think, that we as a people will rise above things like hate and greed to become the utopia Gene Roddenberry believed we could"and yes i do believe we could be as great as The Great Bird of the Galaxy thought we could be, but its up to us to start finding small ways to help each other. Like my thoughts or not, but i will stand by them to the end.

            He's right, though it does seem a little frustrating.  There are so many good people in the world, but there are all these larger-than-myself issues such as war and ISIS and the anti-vaccine bullcrap (as well as the anti-autism fears people have related to it) and us having a really corrupt Congress (and possibly POTUS if the antichrist twins Koch brothers succeed in buying the election) that, despite each drop into the bucket of liquid influence causing a small ripple, I just want to kick the whole bucket over, spilling its contents, shaking up everything to the point where people can finally figure out what really works and helps everyone vs. what doesn't.  But maybe once I start attending town hall meetings and speaking out on issues that I'm passionate about, my drops of influence could become rocks that get bigger and bigger.  I should become more patient.  And I probably shouldn't be so impatient; as Mahatma Ghandi once said:

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

            Perhaps maybe the world could change quicker and for the better if we work together….

Into the Twitterverse: When You've Found "YOUR TWEEPLE"!

             Another good friend could be one you have met online through Twitter.  Fellow Nerd @LisaR_M (who is actually a hardcore Chris Hardwick fan, but not to the groupie level that @DiHard11 is at) was able to provide some insight of her own.  Here is her series of tweets that helped me onto the path of personal enlightenment:

            I was able to take to heart the "ego check" one, because sometimes, when you're on the Autism Spectrum, you don't always think of the world through a perspective outside of your own.  This (in my case, especially) often leads to moments where you feel as though you have all the answers!  ALL OF THEM!  Including the Answer to Life , the Universe and Everything!  (That one is easy to obtain; just read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and ask, "What is 6 times 7?")

            It does get frustrating at times, and she's right: we shouldn't think that way.  Even if you're not on the Spectrum, if you're just a nerd, it's still the same principle.  Chris Hardwick has already pointed this out on page 105 in a subsection titled "The Third Reaction" in his book The Nerdist Way, saying, "Nerds know they're smarty-pantses—in fact, it's part of how they define themselves, so sometimes we come from a place of 'everyone is stupid but me.'  This is shitty and wrong.  It also leads to spontaneous emotional reactions to situations rather than calm, well-thought-out ones."  So, as a member of this community of differently-wired persons, we should work on understanding what makes sense to other people, instead of dismissing it as "utter crap".  In fact, that's what I'm adding to my XP goal chart: "Understanding and Communication," because I know that once I understand where my debate opponents (like the anti-vaccine….. *struggling* people) are coming from, I can communicate my way around their defenses to see if I can help them open up to (at the very LEAST) healthy discussions that are highly educational for both sides of an issue.  This is also made difficult because everyone understands something their own way and are often convinced that they know the "truth" behind certain topics; and everyone living their life as a story, and they are the hero of it, regardless of whether other people regard them as heroes or villains.

            (Small parenthetical paragraph note: Another great way to help people get a better understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders is to talk to us!!!!  So often are we excluded from the conversation that I'm sure there is misinformation out there, provided by people who are thought to be the voices of the "autistic people," when they're not really speaking for us, but rather for themselves.  Yes, this includes Autism Speaks; they don't really pay attention to what we're figuratively saying.  Just talk to us or ask us about ASDs and living independently!  We can answer questions!  Either tweet to me or to @chromesthesia; we can give you insight!)

            So, as I was saying, I was given pearls of wisdom that I'll be fashioning into Earrings of +20 Wisdom, thanks to my friends.  And it has led me to perhaps what the goal would be for the world.

My Hopes for the World in Commercials

            This discussion about humanity has led me to having hope for the future of the human race; it's not a very big anti-vampire spotlight of hope, because it's a lot of work to set forth a giant tidal wave of change.  But now that I typed that sentence, I am realizing that I shouldn't work on creating a tidal wave, but rather just create my own small waves that will erode at this rock of evil that I see before me.  And I can do it similarly to this commercialfrom Liberty Mutual:

One way to start, just hold the door open for the person entering or exiting the building you're entering or exiting from, or keeping to the sides of the grocery aisles, shopping cart and all.

            Maybe once that gets going, we can live life like these adorable animals in this Android commercial that has been making the rounds of the advertsphere:

In any case, I should enjoy what I can, taking the good stuff to heart and cherishing it emotionally while leading the bad stuff to my mental laboratory to analyze it, determine if it's an endeavour to take on with the experience I have or to pass on it, buying more time to learn about the issue that is staring at everyone in the face.

            (And can I point out that we have a time limit here?  I mean, come on!  Asteroid Apophisis coming!  TICK-TOCK TICK-TOCK!!!)

            In any case, I hope you agree with me on this and have decided to join me on this journey towards world improvement.  And to make the journey more enjoyable, why don't we ride a burrito boat?  JUST BECAUSE!  Heehee!  In the meantime, enjoy your mindful tacquito!

Friday, January 23, 2015

An Open Letter to Adam Savage of MythBusters and Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures

            This is a letter directed mainly to both Adam and Zak in regards to the "online controversy" that occurred on January 8th, which I sort of covered in my previous blog post that was published that evening.  It's also, in some way, directed to all the fans of both Ghost Adventures and MythBusters, to try and clarify everything that possibly was already clarified, but….not enough, apparently.  The reason why I am doing this is because I realized, after listening to Adam on his Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project podcast episode that referred to this controversy (Click here if you're too impatient), that it's my fault.  So, please, lend me your ears/eyes.....

            Dear Adam and Zak,

            I know we probably want to move on from this fight that started up on Twitter (we know which one), but….  I couldn't.  Not just yet.  Not when I'm having dreams where I'm discussing in person with Adam the tweet that started it all (Sorry, Zak; I think my subconscious too afraid to invite you into the dream!).  There was so much guilt and so much wincing that I am overdue to issue an apology.

            Yes: I'm sorry for starting it all.  I'm the one who started that shit storm, creating the opportunity for us all to ride the leaky raft down Shit Creek all the way to the bottom of Asshat Falls (and to add to it, we ran out of duct tape to repair said leaky raft).  I am the person who is responsible by accidentally creating a flame war with a simple mistake.

            I should not have tagged you both in the tweet.  I know Adam meant well as a confirmed skeptic critical thinker (I'm sorry for calling you a skeptic.) that he thinks ghosts don't exist, that ghosts are made up, and that Zak was offended by (somewhat rightfully) misinterpreting the response.  But I was the one who created the opportunity that I should not have made, by tagging both of you in the tweet instead of my Dalek tweeps, or human tweeps, or even the two to five Darth Vader parody accounts who follow me.  Or how about the Sontaran?  I could have asked ANYONE else in the entire Twitterverse (including God, R2D2, a Stormtrooper Intern, and Wil Wheaton's cat), and instead, I asked you two because I stupidly thought, at the time, that it was a "good idea".

            That was incredibly stupid and shortsighted of me for doing that, especially now that this little mistake of tagging you two instead of my Twitter peeps was an experiment that was doomed to epic failure before Adam even responded: Before tweeting, I should've realized, you're both already somewhat professionally biased in terms of my options, because you both would want me to watch your respective shows (which I can do, one at a time), instead of the other respective show—because it's YOUR SHOW!  You put so much hard work into putting it together (or being the hot, handsome talent in front of the camera) that it would not help either of you if I opt to watch another show instead of yours; then again, you both have millions of fans, so I wasn't going to cause too much of a difference—but I did, by asking you two for your (obvious) opinion on Twitter instead of my Twitter Peeps, or texting one of my friends.

            I feel so guilty for this dumb mistake.  And it was made with 2 of the most awesome people I admire.  I was just….an idiot, a fool with matchsticks inside of a professional-grade fireworks factory with exposed fuses.  I was playing with fire, and it wound up being funny at first (as you can tell from my previous post that was mostly directed towards the fans), but it was both aggravating and terrifying.  I was dragged along for the ride, because I kept getting tagged in all the tweets that were responding to Adam and it just wouldn't stop.  My phone (which is a dumb phone, as opposed to your smart ones) can get Twitter updates via text, and I've got my updates set so that my phone gets all my @Mentions, which is set to "Receive all, including people you don't follow," which resulted in a phone that kept going off because Twitter was texting me all the tweets that tagged me.  That's how I knew: people kept tagging me and wouldn't let me even utter a word of the sentence, "STOP THE RIDE!  I want to get off!"

            This apology should've come earlier, but I was either too scared or distracted with ducking my head with latent tweets and it was only after listening to an episode of Adam's podcast (the specific episode that addressed this) when I was walking home that I realized that it was all my fault!!!  California Dalek (aka, Cali) was right; I just hope he doesn't rub it in….

            Anyways, I should probably shut up; I really do not ever want to start up the flame war again.  I'm sorry you both got shit for this, when I was the one who should've gotten it.  Really.  Also, Adam is not a cyberbully (or a robot or Vulcan) who is "anti-science" or "closed minded" or whatever; he's totally pro-science, and amazingly hilarious with an awesome career (CEMENT TRUCK!) and a really cool, grounded perspective of the world who, to be honest, could've reworded the response he gave so it's not one that would open the door to the cyber abuse the Interwebz is known to be a platform for.  And Zak is not an idiot or a fool who chases his imagination (though he looks like a hot jock) because he believes in ghosts and can bet his electrons on the personal experiences he had in his life.  And we're all human, which means we're bound to make mistakes, and we're nerds because we're passionate about what we like, to the point where, if someone confuses Star Trek and Star Wars, or Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street, we (at least both Adam and myself) would write a 2-page thesis—1 tweet at a time—about how they are different.  (Don't deny it, Zak!  You are a nerd of a specific type, being a horror movie buff and a believer in the paranormal—yes, paranormal nerds exist!  And don't worry because nerdy is the new sexy!)

            I'd suggest ways to fix this, but I'm also afraid of getting my ideas shot down by you two.  It's because I'm a total fan-squirrel (squirrelly fangirl) who belongs to the third camp: the one that sits between the skeptical-of-ghosts-and-the-paranormal MythBusters Adam Savage fan camp and the believer-in-ghosts skeptical-of-skeptics Ghost Adventures Zak Bagans fan camp, and it's the one that has fans who, like me, enjoy both of your shows.  But I hope we can FINALLY get past this without getting any more weird dreams that is really our subconscious scolding us.

            Also, one more thing: I'm sorry that this ever happened, because I'm very, very, absolutely sure that there is now a fanfic genre of the two of you….er, you know…..  Rule 34?  *DUCKS!*

            Anyways, one last apology (I'M REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SORRY!), with an update: I've solved my problem—each week on Saturday, I'll watch one of your shows at 9pm EST, and then catch the late night repeat, but it'll alternate so that one week will have MythBusters at 9 and Ghost Adventures at midnight and the next week will have Ghost Adventures at 9 with MythBusters at 11pm.

            Just be glad that Doctor Who Season 9 didn't start yet; if I added that third option, the nerdy fan base shit storm will end up evolving into a shit hurricane, and all we would ever be able to do is hide from the Interwebz until it passes completely, hanging onto each other for dear life as though it would make everything better, with me sobbing quietly into the darkness.

            I've learned my lesson: DO NOT ASK THE ON-SCREEN TALENT WHICH OF THEIR SHOWS I SHOULD WATCH!  Because if I do, open-season on the Interwebz starts up and everyone will have to run for cover.  *writes note to self to "Wear a bullet-proof vest everyday from now on"*

            Anyways, thanks to the both of you for your awesome shows, and please know that I nerd over the both of you equally!  Though, now, I'm sure I started the war up again…..  HIT THE DECK!

           With much nerdy love,

            Lady Eden Pyrithea

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Lives of Stephen Hawking, and of Subatomic Particles

            Hi, y'all!  Yes, I said y'all—I blame my time is West Virginia for that.

            Anyways, I'm back, still ducking my head from that flame war I was quite privy to whenever people are trying to criticize scientifically-and-humorously-minded and CONFIRMED SKEPTIC Adam Savage of MythBusters, mostly due to how I was still being tagged in all those tweets.  It's not that I regret doing it; I'd totally do it again, but with two separate differences: First, I'd NOT tag Adam Savage and Zak Bagans directly in the tweet again; Second, if I did tag them and Adam responded in the same way, I'd text my family and friends that I can't text right now, if you need to talk, CALL ME OR WAIT, while plugging my silenced cell phone into the charger due to an oncoming FLAME WAR.  *facepalms*  At least I learned something from this experience, and, as a bonus, figured out a contingency plan so I don't have to suffer ever again.  At least  I was able to feature the HILARIOUS tweets!  Note to hardcore paranormal-til-death Ghost Adventures fans: Adam Savage is a CONFIRMED SKEPTIC and prone to making assumptions, so don't get your panties in a twist any time a CONFIMED SKEPTIC says something negative about one of our favorite series, and also, if you're going to flame someone, at least make it funny, so I don't have to feel shitty inside, like the guilt just left its muddy fingerprints all along the lining of my intestines, stomach and soul—I HATE THAT FEELING!

            Aside from that issue, I figured that I should continue on with my blog, by featuring "The Edge" by Nigel John Stanford as this post's optional theme song:

Hawking: The Discovery Dramatization Show Where I'm Sure of the Existence of a Friendship Between Stephen Hawking and Benedict Cumberbatch—Translation: SQUEE!

            You guessed it: being a fan of science, I'm going to talk about Discovery's recent broadcast/airing of the 110-minute dramatized documentary of Stephen Hawking's earlier life (in this case, life in college), and his discovery of the Big Bang, as well as his battle with another noted-at-the-time scientist over the universe being in a perpetual static state vs. the ever-changing state that we now know it is.  I also tweeted about the "battle" between religion and science:

            But I loved it!  I loved how Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch (*said with a bit of British class*) was able to portray him, how he was able to carry across the struggles that Dr. Hawking had at the time, how he was able to be profound and smart and classy and brilliant and fighting a battle that he was not expected to win in a role that was only mirrored by Eddie Redmayne in the movie The Theory of Everything.  It was beautiful!  In fact, because of all this, I decided to look up tweets that tagged this feature film and include them here:

            Extra-special double-unicorn magical thanks to Jenny The Bloggess Lawson for introducing me to Storify in her blogs.

          So, yes: I really was sure that there is a friendship between (*British class*) Benedict Cumberbatch and Dr. Stephen Hawking (*clears throat, resuming to normal*), because I had recently watched Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking on DVD (meaning, I did it last year) and noticed that Benedict Cumberbatch did voiceover for him on that DVD!  It could also be that Mr. Cumberbatch did an excellent job as Adam Turing in The Imitation Game, leading to his casting, but it's too much of a coincidence for that to be true!  *CONSPIRATORIAL FACIAL EXPRESSION*

            Overall rating: 6,000 beautiful nebulae out of 10 stars!  Or if you want it in Dalek terms, it'd be 60 plungers out of ten!  (The 6,000 is a reference to Creationism being stupid by denying the evidence of the trillions of years that the universe actually IS, with its birth being the Big Bang.)

            From Astrophysics to quantum physics-and-mechanics, I just had a really interesting and weird thought about protons and electrons and the Force of Star Wars!

What the F*ck Are They Thinking?  The Inter-Subatomic Particle Dialogue of the Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons

            So, yes, I tend to be a bit a crazy, quite weird, in a lovable and fun way that I'm very sure isn't annoying (*pointed glare at hometown*), but I did have a recent thought that pretty much was Shinto or Animist in principle, but it was on the scale of atoms: what the hell are protons and electrons thinking?!

            I'm sure that it goes like this:

~Protons (+, the Jedi): We're the good guys!  We balance out the bad guys, we want the universe to be good, because we're positively charged!  Yays, positivity!  Come here, electrons, so we can f*ck with you in multiple ways!

~Electrons (-, the Sith): We're the real good guys!  We provide the real balance in the universe because whenever , and even though we are smaller than our positive counterparts that like to stick together in the nucleus, where it's "nice and safe" with the Strong Force keeping them all together, we're free to orbit around them, messing with their Up particles and Down particles, and we're behind the formation of molecules with other elements!

~Protons (+): No, WE'RE behind those formations!

~Electrons (-): NUH-UH!

~Neutrons (o): *munches on popcorn* This is interesting, so we're just gonna sit around and watch.  We ain't taking sides, so….you're on your own, here, boys and girls.  We also have good cheese here, and manufacture awesome watches.

~Electrons (-): But…but….they're so….stuck together and stuff!

~Protons (+): Yeah, but you like to move only in straight lines!  It's no wonder the cool dudes at CERN picked us to be in their Large Hadron Collider!

~Neutrons (o): *Chris Hardwick voice* Points to the Protons!  Also to the Electrons because we don't take sides, we're just here, partying in different isotopes.

            You get the idea.

            And then I had that tiny bit of an "Ah-ha!" moment: the electromagnetic force is the Force in Star Wars!  I mean, come on!  Emperor Palpatine was able to shoot lightning from his fingers to wrongfully kill the badass Mace Windu (who wants his motherfucking Sith off of his motherfucking ship!!!), but that's what electrons do!  I mean, come on!  If anything, Disney shouldn't ever kill off all the Sith, because it will throw the Star Wars universe out of balance!  I mean it!  Get to tweeting at or emailing to JJ Abrams, because he HAS to keep this in mind!  It's not too late to save Star Wars!

            Huh?  Am I doing this JJ Abrams thing?  No, I'm just watching you guys do it.  *munches on the Neutrons' popcorn*  Because this is interesting….  What do you mean, which side am I on?  I've already picked between the Light Side and the Dark Side!  I'm a Grey Jedi and I'm proud of it!

            So, if any astrophysicists or particle physicists, or quantum physicists want to start complaining, go ahead.  I just want you to say, "What if protons, neutrons and electrons could talk?  What would they say?"  I'd love to see Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Phil Plait aka Bad Astronomer, the ghost of Carl Sagan, Dr. Stephen Hawking, Leighann Lord, Chuck Nice, Eugene Mirman, Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Seth MacFarlane provide their input on this.  Yes, that's an invitation to discuss this, y'all.  I'll be expecting to hear from you soon (if you would just please, please, please talk about this and then get back to me!   PLEASE!)

            So, yeah.  Not sure what else to say, except to check out Diane Martin's Di-Hard Podcast.  Because she's awesome and hilarious.  And a band-o—YAY MARCHING BAND!!!  And  to listen to StarTalkRadio, to watch StarTalk TV on National Geographic, check out both MythBusters and Ghost Adventures, and to buy the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey DVD/Blu-Ray because SCIENCE!  (#neilwithit)

            With that, I shall leave you with this picture.  Enjoy it, AND YOUR TACQUITOS!

P.S. In case you REALLY wanted a showdown between MythBusters and the paranormal, here's one of those Epic Rap Battles ofHistory!

NOW, we're done!  So, please, STOP TWEETING ADAM ABOUT IT!  *ninja-poofs!*

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Post—and Old Battles Still Being Fought on Twitter

            Happy New Year, y'all!  It's 2015 and EVERYTHING SUCKS already!  *sniffles*  Sorry, just went through a hard time, and still doing so; I'll explain why when the time is right.  However, I have a few things to express.  First of all, I have a few goals for this year: EDUCATE people about how vaccines do NOT cause Autistic Spectrum Disorders AT ALL(!); explore how humanity is getting worse and worse (especially American society and government); how ghosts MAY exist or how your brain can trick you; celebrating science and positive changes being made in the world, etc!  I'll also continue to review books, movies, television shows, and continue to nerd my pants over certain shows and celebrities.  I plan to lose mass (at least better than I have been last year—it fell apart from lack of momentum!) and become more confident, and I have an even better reason to do so now (the hard time stuff).
            Anyways, I should also add that what happened with the satirical magazine in France is TRAGIC!  ISIS is a group full of assholes and they should be EXTERMINATED!  They retaliated in the wrong manner in response to a cartoon that was published by a SATIRICAL newspaper!  The following tweets express my feelings:

            I am Charlie, and I'm not afraid!  (More will be expressed on my DeviantArt page….)

            Anyways, onwards to this blog entry's topic: Celebrities, Trolling and the Schedule Conflicts of Television!  For the optional theme song, check out the Steve Angello x Jacques Lu Cont remix of Depeche Mode's "Soothe My Soul":

Two Shows I Nerd My Pants Over, One Time Slot (Porno, Anyone?)

            So, yeah, that subheading title is a reference towards that Two Girls, One Cup porno (which should NEVER be watched or googled), but it's in regards to a dilemma I decided to tweet about, tagging Adam Savage of MythBusters on Discovery Channel, and Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel:

            I did not expect to get a response….but I totally DID!!!!  From Adam Savage—SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!  His response was almost typical because I expected something along the lines of "MythBusters because we're real."  I did NOT expect the fans' reactions!  My cell phone (Obamaphone, free unlimited text messaging, I get mentions, direct messages, favorites and retweets directly on my phone through text message…) started blowing up with responses!  A ton are funny, but a lot were REALLY uncalled for!  I can't just embed them ALL into my blog post at once because that's a LOT of tweets to embed and it makes the blog post here TOO DAMN LONG!!!!  So, I've decided to Storify it…..

            Those last few tweets bashing on Adam is just really dickish!  Since when is it okay to tweet to an influential someone to say, "FUCK YOU!  I'm never watching your show again!  Your an asshole!  Suck a dick and go die from a demon attack at Bobby Mackey's!"  (For your information, I would NEVER endorse the last one!  Bobby Mackey's, if you're unfamiliar with their reputation beyond being a country club already, is really infested with demons!  These dickhead demonic entities are really nasty to the point where if you ever mention Zak Bagans' name inside that place, you get attacked!  It's really insanely bad energy inside there, and to suggest to a skeptic to go in there, mouth running off with insults and saying Zak's name over and over is irresponsible, mean, dickheaded, immoral, and all out WRONG!  Especially if they did not have any experience with a demonic entity scratching you, insulting you, trying to possess you, oppression and attachment, etc.  It's a real danger—which is why I vehemently CONDEMN such a response!)

            Has anyone ever heard  of Wheaton's Law?  Anyone?  If you're that good of a nerd, you'll already know it by heart, but I'll share it here as a refresher:
It was first stated by Wil Wheaton (friendly co-performer at W00tstock to Adam Savage) to his team at PAX one year, and before long, it was being quoted in forums and on websites and it earned the name "Wheaton's Law," and it's a REALLY GOOD LAW TO HAVE!  In fact, when I was in Nerf Club at college, when we first drafted up the rules, Wheaton's Law was Rule #1; Rule #2 was "Always follow Rule #1!"

            So, when one is a fan of Ghost Adventures and MythBusters and reads Adam's tweet, they're obviously going to take it a bit too personally, assuming that it's negating their beliefs in an afterlife.  Granted, Adam is a definite skeptic, and he doesn't believe in ghosts and demons and what-not, but to raise a stink over a single tweet?!  That's immature and ridiculous!  I'm sure that Adam did NOT mean it like that at all (then again, he could have—I don't know for sure; I also am not affiliated with him in any way beyond being a fan of his and MythBusters), but don't call him a cunt and a dick and an asshole just because he shared his opinion and input in response to my dilemma to ME.

Let's Break It Down!  *Beatboxes*

            MythBusters is an excellent show, promoting critical thinking and applying common sense to life so that you don't have to spend time and energy worrying about something that isn't true or factual (i.e., water heater explosions, earthquake survival, the JATO rocket Darwin Award myth), and learn what it takes for things to be real, as well as being surprised by things that are real.  So, even though Adam isn't, as Phil Plait would put it, a "classically trained scientist," he still has experience with the Hollywood special effects tricks of the trade, being able to bust myths that stem from movies, television shows, etc.  And who (besides terrorists) can go wrong with explosions?!  That cement truck just disappeared like Alderaan!  So, even though the show's name is "MythBusters," it's not proof that they're "fake"!  It's a short, easy title that describes EXACTLY what they do: they bust myths!  Also, they're based in San Francisco; Hollywood is a "little" TOO FAR SOUTH to be where they're at!  (However, if they want to take a field trip there, they certainly can!)

            As for Ghost Adventures, it's not a show that "looks for ghosts," the way Finding Bigfoot tries to find a Sasquatch; it's actually a show that is all about gathering evidence in support of  proving the existence of ghosts, as well as researching what a ghost could be, and even possibly helping homeowners or property owners and their families and friends realize that they aren't crazy!!!  Or that what they're afraid of really isn't dangerous at all.  So that weird feeling that trolls get in their pants when tweeting their rage at Adam with misspellings and all isn't a ghost; it's just them cranking one out from being a dick (thereby violating Wheaton's Law).  It's obvious that a lot of fans love this show, especially since the members of the investigation crew are the producers, the camera crew, the host, etc.; they created the show, they film the show themselves, there's no glamour or Hollywood involved—it's raw, it's real, it's almost indie and very, very organic.  Stemming from a self-shot documentary from the early-mid naughties (2000-2009), this is also a way to help boost tourism to certain locations, which helps generate revenue for the locations and tax dollars for the cities and states these are all located in.

            Also, I should point out that the science labs aren't the places that are haunted, it's these places such as the Washoe Club, the Winchester Mystery House, the Sun Inn located in Bethlehem, PA, etc.  And any good scientist should know that if you can't create this situation in the lab to study, you should conduct a field study.  So, discounting ghosts completely without fully investigating the culture and approaches and the evidence is just…..I don't have a word to describe it, but it's equivalent to mixing up, "close-minded, presumptive," and either "fearful of the results" or "lazy".  And don't assume that one show was running longer than the other: Ghost Adventures started airing in 2008, and MythBusters definitely started earlier than that, with 10 YEARS under their belt!  So, they both have a ton of positive points.  So, tweeting, "FUCK U!" to someone really isn't the way to go…..

Ethical Criticism: Why the Internet Has a Larger Underbelly Than It Should

            Most hate-tweets are very unproductive and have a total lack of class and character.  Criticism is helpful because it allows people to improve in the areas that are addressed.  However, haters and trolls just do it to be a dick.  Trolls gonna troll, haters are gonna hate, and even them Sontaran taters are gonna tate, no matter what.  BUT, you can ditch these labels and provide tweets that are better constructed.  Adam won't listen to "EAT A DICK!" (I received this tweet directly; my response was, "As long as it's not yours!") but it's very likely that instead of allowing your emotions to be in charge of your twitter feed, you provide a calmer response that goes along the lines of "I disagree with your statement, because…"

            Bad: "Ghost Adventures is REAL!  So, fuck you, loser!"
            Good: "I disagree: it's real because….."

            Bad: "You're an asshole!  I'm never watching your show again!"
            Good: "I now feel like my beliefs have been devalued.  Thanks!"

            I hope everyone gets this, because I don't ever want to cover this topic ever again!  We have the ability to use a wide range of words that will make us sound educated; why not use it?  (Flame wars are pointless; don't engage in them!)

Diffusing the Rage

            As many of the tweets have suggested, several Ghost Adventures fans believe that Mr. Adam Savage should go on Ghost Adventures to prove his point.  "Why?  It'll just be a waste of time!"  How would you know that if you've never conducted an experiment to prove or disprove this hypothesis?  The only way to prove that it's a waste of time is to 1.) Be patient and 2.) just join Zak and crew on a lockdown.  Just make sure that it's the Ghost Adventures Crew, and not some other paranormal investigation crew, because if it's someone else, the camera crew might be allowed in, and their job would be to film the talent, not the evidence or activity.  So, if it's just Zak, Nick, Aaron, Billy, and Jay, with the camera crew hanging out at nerve center, there's less contamination, and a better likelihood of capturing evidence that isn't easily debunked.

            So, I agree: Adam Savage should go on a full 12-hour lockdown with the GAC on their show, and try to debunk the evidence if he would wish to.  At least he'll know (without assuming anything) that ghosts do exist, and that Ghost Adventures isn't fiction.

            But I'm very sure that I've said all I needed to say, and that it seems like I should start taking cover before the bullets start flying between the fans of Mythbusters who are hardcore skeptics of ghosts, and the fans of Ghost Adventures who are hardcore skeptics of skeptics!  (HA!  See what I did there?!)  In the meantime, keep it cool, keep yourself warm, enjoy your tacquitos, and above all, DON'T BE A DICK!!!!!

            *dons dragonskin vest and other armor, then takes cover in a warm bunker!*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dalekmas/Nerdmas/Sithmas Holiday Gift Guide!

            I hope you've excused me for my previous blog post about my having the universal-scale existential crisis.  I'm mostly over it now, thank goodness!  I've just been feeling dwarfed and nihilistic about our existence, how we got here and how we currently impact the universe on a less-than-microscopic scale, and just making me nuts over it all.  I'm also sorry for making you feel whatever you felt then; the feeling is still there, but only if I focus on it.  If I continue to focus on it, my philosophy will develop into nihilism, and that's not good.  I should not allow that to happen—nobody should.  That's basically defeatist programming, like "Why should I do this and why do I care?  I shouldn't care, because it doesn't matter in the grandest scale of things, which makes my actions and choices completely pointless."  That's not what I'm really about, especially when it comes to living with at least one disability.  I should make my choices matter, and I should put effort into making them matter to, at the very, very, most absolutely least, me.

            I've also had other crazy realizations that relate to a certain so-called "religion" that is against psychiatry and psychology, which led me to deciding that I am completely against Scientology, and that anyone with a developmental/mental/emotional disability should STAY AWAY from them.  I won't go any further than that, except to say that if that CULT would like to say, "DON'T YOU DARE POST THIS CRAP!" to me, I'm invoking my First Amendment rights, specifically the rights to free speech and freedom of the press, as well as the inborn rights to HAVING AN OPINION, that doesn't have to be the same as everyone else's, and is neither right nor wrong.

            Anyways, I'm upset about the whole justice system, especially surrounding Sue the T-Rex and the subject of the documentary Dinosaur 13 (which you should watch!) and around the whole racial profiling thing, as well as the torture report (reporture?) release.  Many people are speaking out about these issues—but I don't want to right now!  It's the fucking HOLIDAYS!  We should be putting these issues off until AFTER New Year's Day (not the spending bill—Congress should just pay the Davros-damn bill already), especially the protests!  My condolences DO go out to the families of the dead victims; I just don't want to hear about more riots and more protests and to have every hour being dedicated to the horrors of our country and the world!

            I think that I've already done a Christmas Music playlist post (with apologies for broken embedded videos) so instead, I should give you a Nerdy holiday gift guide!  It's the guidelines for gift-giving for nerdy people (especially to nerdy people), chiefly if you have a nerdy friend you don't really get—they can create the connection; you don't need to understand it, but it does help to write down the details and hand it to some salesperson saying, "I don't get this thing, but my friend does.  Do you have anything that fits this criteria?"  It doesn't hurt to ask for that kind of help!
            Of course, I'm providing some of the cool Christmas Music playlist post in playlist form for your optional blog post theme song to listen to while reading!

Let's get geeky, shall we?

ThinkGeek—The Store Site Powered by Monkey Awesomeness and Unicorn Magic

            If you haven't known about ThinkGeek before, you have to!!!  Seriously, it's my favorite online retailer!  They have so many cool gadgets and things that make reference to all of these really geeky, nerdy genres and the different shows and other fun cool subjects such as BACON and Zombie preparedness and roleplaying games!
            I've never been exceptionally dissatisfied by their products.  Sure, you gotta be careful about who you send your e-gift certificate to (and make sure that the e-mail is spelled properly, even though PROPER grammatical spelling doesn't matter when setting it up—which makes e-mails weird), but their customer service is awesome, they have gift certificates, they have all this very fun stuff!
            Here's a list of the stuff I (along with family members) amassed from their depository so far (of which all are awesome):
  • Butterfly Knife-styled bottle opener
  • a Book of Secrets
  • an LED light-up Critical Hit D20 die
  • a Brewzkey key ring bottle/can opener
  • Japanese abacus
  • Flip Flop solar plant
  • Star Wars Death Star Ice Mold (THAT'S NO PLUTO! A joke for Dr. Tyson and Bad Astronomer….)
  • Science beaker mug
  • Constellations heat-change mug
  • Gear ties
  • "You read my mug/That's enough social interaction for one day" mug
  • 50-year monthly calendar (complete with leap years)
  • Bacon bandages (with shitty adhesive)
  • Ninja fighting nunchuck chopsticks
  • Astronaut ice cream (edible, seriously!)
  • Mini-duct tape in black
  • Unicorn drinking horn—a MUST-HAVE! And drinking A-Treat red cream soda out of it is like drinking unicorn blood….YOU GET SO MUCH MANA!!!!
  • TARDIS night light—perfect for those times you have to wake up in the night to use the restroom and aren't ready to be awake yet
  • TARDIS "It's what's on the inside that counts" t-shirt
  • Boxes the stuff comes in that I can use for storage!
  • A "Become a Laird or Lady" kit—which I will get into later (I'm wondering if a square-foot of land in Scotland counts as an asset, despite it being a cool Kickstarter-like fundraising project. Should I also tell apartment management about this? Very important questions I must ask!)
Not only have I been doing awesome in getting my stuff in a very timely manner (four business days for me), but I've not been disappointed so far!  The customer service people are all very friendly and understanding, and they are available not only by phone or e-mail or snail-mail, but also through live-chats!  And setting up an account is free!  It's not a subscription service, and having an account will not only allow you to order quickly, but also set up wish lists your family members can see so that you don't have to flood their Facebook feeds or e-mail inboxes with links saying, "I NEEDS DIS TO FEEL WHOLE AGAIN!  Or I'll stab you with a unicorn horn!"  (Ha!  I'll never stab anyone with a unicorn horn!  Unless it's a creature powered by dark magic—THEN I'll get unicorn-stabby!)  Plus, you can get POINTS!  Similar to the shamefully canceled Subway points club thing, you can redeem these points along with a purchase of a certain amount for a FREE ITEM!  It accumulates with every purchase, so as soon as I hit 1 million points, I'LL GET SHOVELING!!!!  (I don't know what that would mean….)

            Seriously, ThinkGeek staff-members are lovely.  And they're fun!   Sure, they set up their site so they're "selling" fake products for a nonsensical amount of money (usually over $9,000!!!) on April Fool's Day (like so many awesome sites do—only they're willing to have it get made as soon as a shit ton of people click the "PLEASE MAKE THIS FUCKING THING!" button…), but they're nerds LIKE US!  But with a cool fun job!  Seriously, if they have a job I could do from home, I'd jump on! soon as the student loans disappear!  Sheesh, sending them into a black hole takes a lot longer than I thought!  Damn you, spaghettification and event horizon complications!  *shakes fist at the loans and troublesome astrophysical stuff*  Oh, well; they'll soon antimatter to me!  LOL!

            (If you're in a rush, there's two-day shipping!  Just make sure to order by 1pm _ST so that it gets to you on time; free shipping is available on orders over $40 or some other price, since it changes a lot!)

Link to web site:

            But, yeah—maybe it's not just a tangible object that you should get that nerdy person….Maybe just registering some Scottish land for a title or getting ownership of a star (in outer space; I don't mean Hollywood…or either of the Captain Kirks….) will be super meaningful!

"That's LADY Eden!" (When Buying Land Means Saving a Castle—And Other Cool Stuff)

            While trawling through the ThinkGeek Clearance Savannah, wearing khaki shorts and explorer hats while carrying around a pair of binoculars and a high-definition camera, I found this one AWESOME-WITHOUT-GETTING-IT-YET kit called "Become a Laird or Lady Gift Box".  Yeah, there's a kit that consists of a tin containing documents that have information and a registration form where you can register the gift in order to get what the kit offers: a square-foot of land in Scotland on the grounds of Dunans Castle (SHUDDUP, SPELLCHECK!), which allows you to use the title "Laird," which literally means "landowner"; of course, as a female member of the Scottish landowner population (with no Scottish heritage, only English—sorry!), I'd be allowed to use the designation, "Laird of Dunans," (which is not the same thing as "Lord," because "Lord" is a British aristocratic title) but it's equally acceptable to use the title "Lady of Dunans"—which is how I'm getting registered as, getting my non-developable square-foot somewhere on the estate, along with a free tour for two adults and lifetime access to the ravine on the Dunans side, along with fishing rights (by appointment), special stationery, including business cards, letterheads and compliment slips, my own email, access to a special "Lairds and Ladies Only" area of the Dunans Lairds' website, .

            I'm sure you're like, "Wait, what?!  Scottish land is for sale?!" but let me back up a bit: There's a castle in Scotland (yes, the same Scotland that recently voted "no" for independence from the UK) called Dunans Castle.  In 2001, the castle was destroyed by a fire—this castle, with recorded history going back to 1590(!!!!!), was damaged badly by a fire!  Which SUCKS!  It's like Tom Wilson's paintings at this one Disney Gallery going up in flames—horribly destructive!  But it's on the rebound: the current owners of the estate took on the property in 2003, restoring and renovating it, finally opening it up to the public in 2006.  There's still a lot of restoration going on, which can get expensive.  That's why there's this crazy fundraiser going on through Gift Republic; basically, you send money to get a registration and information kit, with a form which you fill out and send back or complete online (which is quicker), and upon receipt, you get your certificate and card for proof and "directions to Dunans".  I'm sure those are instructions like, "Head East through New Jersey," and then, "Kayak across the Atlantic Ocean."  But don't worry if you are nearing the end of your life: you can pass it on to someone else; it's inheritable (provided that Dunans is informed of the changes)!  I only need to figure out if it's considered an asset or something to report to the American government or whatever, regarding income……
            Other gift tins from Gift Republic:
  • "Name a Star"—something Matt Mira would possibly dump a ton of money on
  • Become a Beer Connoisseur
  • Family History kit
  • Pet Paw Prints/Baby Footprints on Canvas
  • Name a Rose—Ahem……MOOOOMMMMMM!!!!! We should totally do this!
  • IQ Test and others
            This is all really cool stuff, even though Gift Republic is based in the UK and you have to do the exchange rate stuff to convert it to your currency and back, which is a total pain in the ass!  But I totally recommend that you get these if you can for family members and cool friends, because they would mean a LOT more than a simple trinket or foodstuff item.  Especially since stars last a lot more than square feet of land in Scotland, which lasts longer than our lives, and it'd be very useful to have!

            Surely, this suggestion would work very well……  Purely due to how awesome it is!  Unless
you think it's too much trouble……

The Underground Lair—It's NOT a Sex Dungeon, Sadly For Some People……

            How many times have I mentioned them?!  HOW MANY?!  Seriously, they have awesome shit!  They are doing GREAT!  They have artisan Harry Potter wands, artisan Sonic screwdrivers, artisan other stuff.  I just recently stopped in to chat a bit and it turns out that, despite the HORRENDOUS traffic caused by SHITTILY DRIVING tourists (who should PAY ATTENTION to make sure that they don't run a red light by just starting up again while stopped at a stoplight and the crossing signals were going with NO TURN ON RED signs all over the place….  Here's a real reason why you shouldn't be doing that, you fucking….tourists!!!  Also, a refresher on shitty driving…..), they are doing well!  They are still doing gaming night on Wednesdays, and it was fun, too!  I'm amazed at how they can run a business while having a day job—That just proves how awesome Dan and Kris are!

            And they should totally keep it going!  Like, here's how amazing business is: they recently ordered more red and purple sets of Roll-For-It (which come in two separate sets that can be combined for 8-player fun), along with the Deluxe edition, which is GORGEOUS!  This Deluxe set comes in a tin, an actual gift tin thing, and it has artistic pretty cards, with a velvet pouch and both sets of dice!  It's amazing!  And they sold out of it within a week and a half or so!!!  And now the red set is gone, the purple set is down to two left!  The game "Zombies!" has sold out, a $55 very old Apollo lunchbox was sold—OH MY GOD!  They weren't kidding when they said that business really picks up during the Christmas shopping season!

            They also have a website, and are willing to ship, I think, even though it's a pain; however, here's a tip: if you can't get it shipped in time, black out the price on a copy of the receipt, place said copy in an envelope, then the envelope in a box or a bag, and wrap as if it's a normal item!  But seriously, they have a lot of collectable stuff, they have a bunch of tribbles available for adoption—this store is very awesome!  Please, if you can get there very, very soon, just stop in on Wednesday or Thursday or whatever, you can get awesome vintage toys or Doctor Who things, or Harry Potter things.  It's very awesome!

            Anyways, I've done a ton of gushing about them—it's like…endless fansquirreling!  But seriously, check them out!  They have a JFK ceramic bank, and plastic Beatles rings still for sale; I'm not kidding!  Very good for collectors, very good for nerds, and it's all-around awesome!

            Sometimes, though, you can't just do one-time seasonal gifts (because they're easily used up) or gifts that are just toys or art; if it's the low-income nerd, I have one suggestion for you: household items.

For Gifting to the Poor Nerd……

            If anything, living on a limited income, like low-income or government assistance, can suck!  Sometimes, you have to go to the house wares department of a store and buy someone a baking sheet or a blender or even a crock pot.

            You see, it's about the usefulness.  What's the best gift to give to someone who is on the lower end of the income scale?  Something they can use for a long, long, long time.  Something like an appliance.  I can attest to this: I've received as a gift, so far, a crock pot, a blender, microwave-safe plates, and a Corelle divided plate that appeals to my OCD-fueled personal need of having different food items just not touch.  And I'm still using them!  It's the real gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving, and giving…..  In fact, Mama Squirrel once bought a BUNCH of 2-quart crock pots and just gave them out as Christmas gifts (I think), simply due to how there are many people we know who are by themselves or with one other person, who don't need a half-gallon, or even a gallon crock pot, especially because having that huge amount of cooked food would be too much for them and it would go to waste.

            But I'm serious, the appliance stuff and the Christmas bras from Nordstrom are super useful to me that they would be worth their value.  Anything that I can use over and over again, like a hair dryer, is one of the best gifts ever!  That's why I gave myself a Death Star Ice Mold; I'm using it over and over again!  LOL!

            Also, any other suggestions, just check out the following links:
            These are three suggestions that would definitely work!  You could, however, also make something, like I am itching to anticraft something for Christmas.  I have yet to buy all the yarn I would need to knit the Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf for Mama Squirrel and Papa Spock to share, until I knit a second one that the other parent (whichever one wound up without a scarf) could have, with knitting needles that are long enough to be true to the design.  That or order up the parents' own BeyoncĂ© the Giant Metal Chicken of Bloggessian legend.  But then again, I still have to finish the one ruffle scarf and re-knit the already finished ruffle scarf I did!  UGH!  Choices!
            Anyways, that's going to be it on blog posts for now until after the Christmas holiday, unless I get the chance to post a review of the Doctor Who Christmas special THAT EVENING.  Here's hoping that I get to!  In the meantime, ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS CHOCO-TAQUITO!!!!

            (Also, on December 24th, Happy Birthday to Mama Squirrel!  I love you so much, Mom!  Please have an Iceland size amount of chocolate while waiting for me to pitch in a bunch of money to take you to Melting Pot for dinner, if you choose Melting Pot!)

P.S. I have a recommendation for New Year's Eve: watching CNN's New Year's party coverage, starting at 9pm EST on December 31!  And I recommend you do this too, because of Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper.  You get those two together and giggles ABOUND!