Tag Archives: nerd


Life Expectancy in Middle Earth (plus Bonus Doctor Who Nerdery)


FIrst, there’s this via Andrew Sullivan via Wired:

[click to embiggen]

Emil Johansson is a Swedish chemical-engineering student who moonlights as a genealogist—of men, elves, hobbits, and dwarfs. Creator of the Lord of the Rings Project, Johansson is on a quest to track every character from Tolkien’s fictional world. He started by creating a massive family tree, and from there he crafted an interactive map of Middle-earth and a timeline of events in Tolkien’s stories. He has even performed statistical analyses on the characters’ race, lifespan, and gender.


After laying out the tree, Johansson wanted to see how the number of characters changed over time—something he could do because of Tolkien’s remarkably detailed world. For Wired, Johansson plotted the population of beings for whom Tolkien provided birth and death information. (Elves, as everybody knows, never die.)

And then here’s a Delorean TARDIS, just because:

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Fourth of July for Math Nerds

Happy “Drink Beer and Try Not to Blow Off an Appendage” Day!

You’re welcome.


A Dog vs. Alan Turing

Nerdy Delights

You’re welcome.

(H/T DeistBrawler!)

[cross-posted here and such]

"Hella" May Become a Scientific Term?

Bay Area residents claim, “That’s hella nerdy.”

I was playing (and sucking) at my daily game of QRank yesterday, when one of the questions said something about “No Doubt would be happy that this word may become an SI prefix.”

My first thought was Sports Illustrated and something to do with swimsuits.  I don’t remember what the other choices were, but I said to myself, “Fuck it!” and I chose “hella.”


Apparently, a University of California-Davis physics student (Austin Sendek)  is petitioning the International System of Units (SI) to add “hella” as a scientific measurement (like “giga” and “tera” and “mega.”)  “Hella” would be the prefix for 1027, or 1,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000.1

Check it out:

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Wanna waste 13 minutes of your life to see if you are as big of a dork as I am?

This is my new favorite video, and NOT for the reason that is first going to pop into your head.

If you are a true nerd and/or if you know me personally, online-ally, or have a sense of the crazy that lurks in my brain because you have read more than… I’ll say… ten of my posts, then you know exactly why I’m cracking up. Continue reading

Angry and Black: Even Visual Thesaurus Agrees

Somebody’s collar is about to get popped, yo.

Tumer Willis… she has been activated.  As such, I’m trying to decide whether to set something on fire, stab something, or stab something while at the same time setting that very thing on fire.  I’m angry, is what I’m saying, albeit irrationally and hormonally so (probably Minotaurally, too).

And thanks to Visual Thesaurus (a program that is the coolest fucking program I’ve ever used in my entire life, and no, I’m not exaggerating, and yes I’m a big word nerd), I can say that Tumer is making me not only angry, but also wrothful, irascible, umbrageous, and smouldering (with or without unnecessary U!), choleric, and hot under the collar, which leads me to wonder: If you are hot under the collar, but you are wearing more than one collar,  are you hot under each collar?  Or just, like, the bottom collar?

I’m only asking, because this guy:

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My Band Nerd Skills Gave Me Great Satisfaction the Other Day

I was a dork.

So, I was a band geek.  I admit.  I was in high school band; regular and jazz.  I started playing clarinet when I was 8, and was in a variety of city and youth orchestras all through middle, junior, and high school.

On Saturdays, I would wake up at 8 a.m. so I could get to Philadelphia Youth Orchestra practice by 9 a.m.  After Youth Orchestra ended at noon, I would rush down to South Street where I had woodwind quintet from 1 pm to 4 pm.  By the time I took a bunch of buses and subways home, I was wiped.  But I kept doing it.  I loved it.  And sometimes I hated it.  But mostly, I loved it.

I ultimately ended up at Oberlin College, which has one of the top conservatories in the country (alongside Julliard, Curtis, Berklee, Peabody, Eastman, Indiana University, New England Conservatory of Music yadda yadda yadda)–not that I got in or anything.  Even though I was one of the top clarinetists in my high school (and in the city I guess, although I never made it past second chair in the Philly Youth Orchestra), I really was shite compared to the clarinetists who were accepted into the Conservatory.  I was good enough, however, to take lessons with the associate professor of clarinet (I can’t for the life of me remember his name.)  If at the end of my first year, it was determined that I had the stones to be in the Conservatory, then they’d let me in.  That was cool, I guess.  Except, by the end of the year, I was over it and dropped out.  I decided to be a lawyer and an English major.  It does too make sense.

The point is, while I was a music major, I took a lot of music classes: on theory, classical era, romantic era, baroque era, jazz.  I was all music all the time.  I remember in my Classical WhatevertheHell Music Class, the professor would play us a piece of music and we’d have to determine who the composer was and what key it was in.   It was some serious shit.  Needless to say, having spent 15 years playing and listening to and studying classical music, I have a pretty damn good ear for it.

Which leads me to the point of this rambling: The other day I was listening to Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony. It’s one of my favorites and I’ve listened to it a hundred times.  But this time, I noticed something:

JAWS, y’all.  I’d never noticed it before:

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Mondegreens, Alot, and Stairway to Heaven

Yes, I really am this batshit insane.

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a nerd who loves words.  I’m a word nerd.  And so, it should come as no surprise that I simply love mondegreens.  On my old blog, we did a “Mondegreen of the Week” for a while, and when I imported my mondegreen posts, I left the “Mondegreen of the Week” title even though I don’t do them weekly.  Or even monthly.  I just do them whenever I fucking feel like it.  Since I’m blogging solo now (for the most part), I don’t have to stick to a schedule.  It’s just a free-for-all over here.  A clusterfuck, if you will.  Or even if you won’t.  I don’t really care.

“What’s the point, crazypants?” is what you’re asking.   Well just simmer down, Sparky.  I’m getting there.

A conversation on Facebook this morning got me thinking about one of my favorite mondegreens from Stairway to Heaven:

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul

There walks a lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

The Jew will follow you a lot The tune will come to you at last***

When all are one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll

As far as mondegreens go, this is a pretty weird one.  I mean, why would a Jew follow you “a lot.” A Jew might follow you “all the time.” Or “always.” Or “from time to time.” Or “on occasion.” But “a lot”?  That just doesn’t make sense, grammatically.

And then I got to thinking about one of my favoritest blogs ever of all time, Hyperbole and a HalfAllie, as she says, feels a “compulsive need to correct other people’s grammar.”

I feel her pain.  It’s a compulsion.  It’s almost a disorder.  It should be in the DSM-IV.  I seriously just can’t help it.  If you use incorrect grammar, even if I don’t say anything about it, you can bet your labia that I’m judging you.  On the inside.  And not in a good way.

One of her pet peeves is when people say “alot” instead of “a lot.”  So she created an imaginary creature called The Alot, in orde to help her deal with grammar-related stabbiness.

Here’s Alot:

She describes him as a cross between a yak, a bear, and a pug.

If you haven’t read the post, I suggest you promptly do so.  It is hilarious.

Not only do I love her blog and her writing and her sense of humor, but I love that she helped me with my cognitive Stairway to Heaven mondegreen-related dissonance.

Because now I know for sure that the Jew isn’t following you a lot.  The Jew is following you, Alot.

So, Alot?  Look behind you.  I think there’s a Jew there.

[Stairway to Heaven video after the jump, if you want to go ahead and ruin your day.]

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