Geek News – March 2012

Here is an assortment of good geeky news you may have already seen, but if not…

James Cameron: we knew him as someone who introduced us to new worlds through his movies (Aliens, Avatar, and fittingly The Abyss; and who could forget that he wrote Rambo: First Blood Part II), and now he’s gone and actually visited another world.

From the article:

Filmmaker and ocean enthusiast James Cameron became the first solo explorer to reach the deepest point of the ocean — almost seven miles down — when his custom-built one-man submarine touched down in the western Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench at 7:52 a.m. local time Monday (5:52 p.m. Eastern time Sunday), according to a statement from the National Geographic Society, which is sponsoring the filmmaking and scientific expedition.

The Academy Award winner radioed “All systems okay” after hitting bottom at a depth of 35,756 feet, according to the statement.

This is, of course, about the same distance under the ocean as commercial jets fly above our heads. More impressive still, he basically designed the submersible he used for the descent. He has a true talent for imagining things that don’t yet exist and making them happen – I find this very inspiring.

And, lo and behold, this guy making an ascent is also in the news within two weeks of Cameron’s descent. The bounds of man on Earth: 7 miles down and 22 miles up. Think about it: 29 miles doesn’t seem so far but the technology (and guts) needed to traverse that distance vertically rather than horizontally is pretty intense.

Lastly, geeks with perhaps too much time on their hands don’t always need to be trying to break records and make the rest of us ponder how we’re wasting our lives playing Skyrim, sometimes they can do a great good by making some sick kids smile. Can you imagine the conversation the cops had with their dispatch after realizing they just busted The Batman?

864,000 hours of video and there is still nothing to watch…

I don’t envy future historians who will explain the records from our time.  The density of information (well, life) we are now able to capture is simply astounding – and this chart (see below) doesn’t even capture the hours of witty and informed podcasts that are uploaded on a daily basis!

Then there is the Nyan Cat…


I’m sure there is something profound about a cat with a pop tart body shooting a rainbow out of its rear end but I’ll leave that to the future historians to figure out, or you may please help them out in the comments.

The Professor

Wombatcast continuing to make people famous!

Congrats to a friend of the show for getting a hat tip on the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.  (Ben, I hope you have some clean underwear…)  The clip is funny, but the particular reference starts at about 7’25″.  Enjoy.


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2012 – Super Tuesday – Endless Suffrage 2012
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

The Professor (aka, “Will”, as Matt outed me on the last show)

Weekend media

Hi all,

Rather than submit links as I find them, I thought I’d put together a weekly summary of cool, geeky, weird, thought-provoking stuff that may be of interest to the Wombatcast community: here’s a few things…

Introverts unite!

I’ll bet that a large number of geeks (of the comic-book loving, gaming variety) are introverted, and I’d be very interested to hear if the WC community agrees or disagrees.  For me, losing myself in books for hours and hours as a kid led in a direct line to me losing myself for hours and hours playing Civilization or Nintendo (and then Playstation, and even later Civilization 5) as I got older.  I figured I was just an anti-social weirdo (and I probably was) but there was more to it – I was part of a group of people that may make up 25-33% of the population but who are constantly battered by their extroverted peers to stop being a “weirdo” and be more “outgoing”.  It’s great to see people standing up for the introverted mindset these days – I certainly wish I’d know more of this stuff that follows when I was younger; it would of helped me make more sense out of who I was/am.

a great TED talk

Caring for your Introvert

If Extroverts get to you – use this


Teh Sexy

Geeky guys have a reputation for not being savvy around the ladies and therefore compensating by lusting after pneumatic comic-book heroines.  I’d always sort of figured this was an unfair caricature of geeky guys, but this tumblr page catalogues all the contorting ways it may be true…

…and speaking of sexy – this article shows what happens when someone who has read too much literary criticism plays Skyrim (the author was an assistant producer for Donnie Darko so he gets a pass for name-dropping Roland Barthes and Leopold Bloom in a video game review).  I actually think the author makes a pretty neat point so if you can get past his pseudo-academic style I think the article is worth five minutes of your time.  I’d quibble with his conclusions slightly because he clearly doesn’t know about Japanese “rape games” (and I won’t provide a link here because I wish I didn’t know about them either even if I’ve never played one)  If there was ever something that demonstrated some geeky guys have serious woman-issues it’s that genre of video games.

But, if faux-literary criticism isn’t your thing, just go watch Donnie Darko instead.  What else are you doing this weekend anyway?

-the professor