As any nerd will be happy to tell you, at length, Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. His discoveries and inventions were the basis for the modern technology that we use daily. Some of his inventions like radio and the AC motor were big money makers for the business titans who backed him. Others were shelved and their brilliance was not discovered until long after his death. Unfortunately Tesla succumbed to the madness that often accompanies genius. As he become more erratic his main backer J.P. Morgan pulled Tesla’s financing. Tesla eventually had to sell the sprawling property that housed his workshop, lab, and half built inventions. The property, which was called Wardenclyffe, was sold to a photographic developer. After several years it was abandoned and left to decay with some of Tesla’s belongings and inventions still stored on the property. Despite his contributions to science there has never been a museum or learning center dedicated to Tesla.
In late summer of 2012 a non profit group that wanted to build a Tesla museum was given a once in a lifetime chance to buy the Wardenclyffe property. The state of NY offered to match any donations the group managed to raise to buy the property up to $850,000 to come up with the $1.7 million asking price for the property. If the group managed to raise the necessary funds the state of NY would declare the property a historical site to protect it from further development. Tesla’s original lab still stands on the property. That’s when the group turned to the Internet to enlist the help of science nerds around the world.
Matthew Inman, who created the popular Internet comic The Oatmeal, threw his support behind the project. He started a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo to help the group raise money. He donated signed comics, bumper stickers, and other items as incentives for people to donate and got all of his fans to publicize the campaign. Without his support the project may never have reached their funding goal. But with his support the response to the campaign was immediate and overwhelming. Nerds everywhere were thrilled at the chance to help build a Tesla museum on the site of Tesla’s actual lab. Contributions of $5, $25, and $50 started pouring in from all over the world. Then larger and larger contributions started coming in. By the end of the first week of the campaign the group had the $850,000 they needed. But contributions kept rolling in.
Several corporations and large donors contributed thousands of dollars. Tesla Motors, named for the iconic scientist, contributed a large amount of money and promised more support for the museum. By the end of the 30 day campaign nerds everywhere had given more than $1.8 million to buy Wardenclyffe and restore it, with a learning center and museum to be housed in Tesla’s original lab. The sale went through and the museum is currently in the planning stage thanks to the power of the Internet.
New Anchorman Film Promises Fans of the Cult Comedy More Hijinks
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is one of the most often quoted cult classic comedies of all time. Although the movie came out nearly a decade though the characters made famous in the movie are still quoted in conversations daily and still appear on the list of most popular Halloween costumes. Finally a sequel to the film called The Legend Continues is in production. The film is slated to be released in the late winter of 2013 and fans couldn’t be more excited.
The cast list for Anchorman: The Legend Continues reads like a who’s who of comedy gods. Will Ferrell is back as Ron Burgundy. Also coming back for the sequel are Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Kristin Wiig and Greg Kinnear. Some of the stars who are scheduled to make guest appearances in the film include famously funny actors like Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amy Poehler, John C. Reilly and Tina Fey. While the studio and stars have been close mouthed about the story and the script everyone agrees that the sequel to Anchorman will not disappoint fans who are expecting it to be funnier than the original. With a cast like that there’s almost no way that fans could be disappointed.
In the sequel Ron Burgundy will be going to New York City to pursue further fame and fortune. His signature style and his friends are sure to cause all kinds of mayhem and hijinks in The Big Apple. While not too many plot details have been released it has been leaked that the new film will definitely include bowling in some capacity. That should keep fans of the original film happy while enticing new fans to explore the legend of Ron Burgundy.
In an era when 24 hour news is becoming more and more of a joke due to real time gaffes, perceptions of insensitivity and other flaws the satire in Anchorman is timely and dead on. But it’s not the social commentary that will keep fans coming back. It’s the way that Will Ferrell and the collected ensemble cast play off each other to create humor that just doesn’t stop. You can expect the Anchorman sequel to be one of the most popular films of the year.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic British hit Doctor Who and there is an entire year of specials and events lined up to celebrate. Doctor Who and his blue police box time machine the TARDIS are an intrinsic part of modern culture. As one of the first science fiction TV shows Doctor Who influenced modern science fiction in a way that few other shows have done. Doctor Who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running science fiction show of all time and generations of fans have grown up watching the 11 incarnations of The Doctor travel through time and space. The show first aired in 1963, but went on hiatus in 1990. A made for TV movie followed in 1996. The show did not return to air as a full series until 2005, when Doctor Who returned and was almost immediately a smashing success.
One of the reasons why Doctor Who continues to be so successful is The Doctor’s ability to regenerate. As new actors come to take over the role The Doctor regenerates which allows for the continuity of the character while also allowing each actor to put his unique spin on the character. In the second series of the revamped Doctor Who David Tennant took over the role from Christopher Eccleston and become the most beloved Doctor of all time. Previous to David Tennant’s portrayal of the Doctor the most popular Doctor was played by Tom Baker. David Tennant continued as The Doctor until 2011 when Matt Smith successfully took over the role.
The Doctor’s companions also have changed through the years. In the modern series several of the companions from the early series made guest appearances including the much loved Sarah Jane Smith and the robot dog K-9. Sarah Jane Smith rejoined The Doctor for several episodes and then was given her own spin off aimed at children called The Sarah Jane Chronicles.
So far the writers and producers of the show have been very tight lipped about whether or not all of the 11 actors who played The Doctor will appear in a very special television movie set to air in November 2013. Several of the early Doctors who have since passed away will be represented in flashbacks. Fans are hopeful that the special will feature all of The Doctors. Other special events are being held as well. Each month of 2013 one of the early series of Doctor Who is being aired. Special Doctor Who commemorative postage stamps have been issued. There are many public appearances, costume contests, and meet and greets planned at comic cons and other events to let fans tell the writers and actors how much Doctor Who has meant to them throughout the years. There will also be books, podcasts and other media for fans to enjoy. For the first time the entire series of Doctor Who including the TV movie and a wide range of extras will be available on DVD also.
Scientists come close to making a real invisibility cloak. If you have always wanted an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter’s science is one step closer to making you one.Recently scientists were able to use ultra fine metamaterials combined with silk to make a square of fabric that hid a seven inch rod from terahertz waves. Scientists are hopeful that will be able to use this discovery as a basis to someday create a fabric that will hide whatever is underneath from visible light as well as from terahertz rays. Some researchers want to go even further than that and use metamaterials implanted into raw silk fused into the body to allow scientists and doctors to see inside tissue and organs for medical research and diagnostics.
If you spend any time on sites like Facebook, Reddit, or Pinterest you have probably seen dozens of images of an adorably grumpy cat face with funny captions. That cat, named Tarder Sauce, is one of the most recognizable memes to ever hit the Internet. In just a few months Tarder Sauce, nicknamed Grumpy Cat, has become the face of the Internet. In what may be the successful viral story ever Grumpy Cat has taken over the Internet and now does a few public appearances, has a book in the works, and has become a licensed image sold on everything from clothing to greeting cards.
Cats are wildly popular online. Sites like I Can Has Cheezburger have made cute pictures and videos of cats a staple of online entertainment. They say that the Internet is made of cats, which isn’t really a surprise if you think about it. Many hard core Internet buffs are very catlike. They prefer to eat and sleep at odd hours, spend hours everyday looking at nothing, and prefer their human interactions to be limited and on their own terms. Tarder Sauce’s grumpy appearance is the perfect vehicle for memes of all kinds to make people laugh or think. Internet users love an underdog, or an undercat in this case. Grumpy Cat’s odd appearance which might make some people shun the cat is exactly what made Internet users fall in love with her.
While the cat’s uniquely grumpy expression may seem Photoshopped it is real. Tarder Sauce is a real cat who was born with feline dwarfism and a severe underbite. Those traits give the cat a permanent grumpy appearance. Tarder Sauce and her brother Pokey both suffer from genetic abnormalities that make them undersized and give them their unique looks. Despite her appearance Tarder Sauce is a relatively healthy cat. And her owners say that while she always looks grumpy she in fact is a very happy and easy going cat.
The Grumpy Cat phenomenon started when one of her owners posted a picture of Tarder Sauce on the popular site Reddit. Tarder Sauce was born in April 2012, and in September 2012 the first picture of her was posted. Reddit users instantly were intrigued by the permanently grumpy expression and dubbed her Grumpy Cat. Then the memes started rolling in and took off like wildfire. While most viral stories and images die down after a month or so Grumpy Cat love is still going strong. Recently Tarder Sauce was a feature celebrity at the mammoth SXSW festival in Texas and was one of the biggest draws of the festival. People waited for hours, including celebrities, in lines that stretched more than three blocks to get the chance to have a picture taken with Grumpy Cat.
Animal rights activists raised concerns that Tarder Sauce is being treated badly by being forced to make public appearances and photographed constantly but her owners say that public appearances are limited and that they do not allow others to handle her. She also has photo sessions just once a week and only for a short time.
Have you ever had a nightmare about a monster fish? Well, it may be coming true. Monster goldfish have taken over the Internet and Lake Tahoe. Videos of people with enormous goldfish, ranging from six to eight inches long and weighing as much as four pounds, started to pop up on YouTube lately. But Forest Service workers who monitor Lake Tahoe have been aware of the problem for awhile. Part of their job is to keep an eye on the fragile ecosystem of the lake which can be impacted by other species of fish invading the lake. Lake Tahoe has been gradually warming and attracting warm water fish like rainbow trout and brown bullhead. But the most striking new species upsetting the balance of the lake are these giant goldfish.
It might seem like something out of a nightmare if you are swimming, boating, or fishing in the lake and suddenly see an enormous goldfish swimming near you. But this nightmare is real. It can be hard to imagine tiny goldfish predators but the large goldfish living in Lake Tahoe seem vaguely threatening because it is such an unfamiliar sight. The goldfish are not native to the area and yet are appearing with alarming frequency. These fish are not migrating though. They are deliberately being added to the lake and left to wreak havoc on the existing ecosystem.
The goldfish are believed to have been dumped in the lake by people who were emptying their home aquariums who didn’t want to kill their fish. But once the goldfish enter the warm waters of Lake Tahoe they feed on other species in the lake and their waste makes destructive algae grow faster. Forest Service workers strongly encourage people to find other homes for their fish. They spend a portion of their time removing the goldfish and other species of fish from the lake so that the ecosystem of the lake doesn’t collapse entirely. The popularity of the photos and videos of the fish concern Forest Service workers who are afraid that more and more people will dump goldfish in the lake deliberately to create these monster goldfish to star in more videos.
The appearance of the giant goldfish is a great illustration of how fragile the ecosystems of lakes and waterways can be. The animals who live in the lake are at the center of a system that provides for thousands of animals and thousands of animals. While it might be tempting to empty your home tank into the lake so that you can get some great fodder for YouTube it’s not worth the potential damage to the lake so if you really want to rehome your fish find another way to do it. Goldfish that were bred to be pets don’t belong out in the wild. Goldfish that are used for bait are also sometimes released into the lake and also contribute to the problem so when you’re done fishing take your bait with you.
Congress is getting closer to passing legislation that will require all Internet retailers that take in more than a million dollars of sales per year to pay sales tax. That tax will apply no matter what state the retailer is actually located in. Internet shopping is not totally untaxed now, since retailers have to pay tax in the state in which they file taxes, but the rate of the tax that they pay may go up as a result of Federal legislation. Brick and mortar retailers say that requiring Internet stores to pay tax will level the playing field a little since they are required to pay taxes. In an economy that is still struggling many brick and mortar businesses are looking for any advantage they can get to bring in more customers and keep current customers from going online to buy items.
Brick and mortar stores that sell primarily high cost items like electronics and cell phones say that their businesses are being hurt by customers who come into the stores to see products they are interested in and then go online to buy them after they have had the chance to see the item in person. Some retailers think that if online businesses are required to pay sales tax people will think twice about buying high ticket items online.
But industry analysts say that businesses are wrong in their assumption that making Internet retailers pay a borderless tax will help their business. They say that in fact those same brick and mortar stores are going to end up hurting even more if a borderless tax is imposed. That’s because right now mega online retailers like Amazon deliberately stay out of certain states because of the rate of tax they would have to pay in that state. If they don’t have the incentive of a higher tax rate to stay out of a certain state they are free to open large warehouses in every state stocked with merchandise that can be quickly distributed. That will streamline the processing and shipping time and make it even more convenient for customers to shop online. Large retailers like Walmart and Amazon are also starting to use lockers to deliver merchandise on the same day that an order is placed. Customers can go to select 24 hour stores like 7-11 and enter a special passcode to open a locker and get their merchandise when it’s convenient for them.
Internet sales tax may be good for consumers who are price savvy but the inevitable closing of brick and mortar stores that would accompany it would hurt the economy even more in the long run. Already stores are stocking fewer and fewer items to keep costs down, which drives more people to shop online where they have more selection. If Internet sales tax becomes a reality and customers can order items online and pick them up or have them delivered the same day it could mean the end of many brick and mortar stores.
I tried not to watch it, but I watched King Of The Nerds. It’s taken many years but the reality TV genre is finally noticing geeks. Shows like Syfy’s “Face Off” and the new TBS show “King of the Nerds” are made to appeal to nerds and geeks all over the world. High ratings for both shows have proven to TV execs that the nerd market is a strong one. Face Off is now entering its fifth season and is a strong ratings generator for Syfy. While Face Off is focused specifically on special effects makeup and design TBS’s show King of the Nerds takes a broader look at the many facets of geek culture. King of the Nerds, which first aired in January of 2013, is the first reality competition produced by the network.
TBS originally ordered the show based on the ratings that reruns of the popular nerd hit The Big Bang Theory. The show is hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong who are famous for playing the infamous nerds in the Revenge of the Nerds movie. The show had celebrity geek judges for each challenge like George Takei, Kevin Smith, and Cosplay queen Yaya Han. The contestants were divided into two teams and competed in weekly challenges that tested their knowledge of academics as well as geek culture. The team that won the challenge was safe from elimination, while two members of the losing team were sent to a Nerd Off where they competed to see who would be eliminated from the show. Season 1 was won by Celeste Anderson, a professional gamer. The show was a hit, bringing TBS high ratings and a lot of interest. The show was renewed for a second season.
One of the most interesting things about the show is that it brings together a mix of different type of nerds and showcases the many different types of geek culture. Some of the contestants were academic nerds like a neuroscience PhD student, an engineer who works at NASA, a mathematician and a geologist. Others had backgrounds in more cultural nerd pursuits like the two professional gamers, a hacker, and a fantasy writer. Other contestants included a super comic book fan and a video game designer. The challenges that they participated in were designed to test a wide range of knowledge and academic skills. Interestingly the more academically skilled nerds were among the first to be eliminated while one of the professional gamers was the eventual winner.
Reviews of the show among nerds were mixed. Some people felt that the show was great because it raised awareness of the variety of pursuits that fall under the nerd umbrella. Others felt that the show played to the stereotypes of geeks and nerds and wasn’t really that entertaining. Like any first season show there are some kinks to be worked out but any show that makes it cool and profitable to be a nerd will ultimately help nerds and geeks everywhere.
I have come across a lot of Zombie Creators and other apps to transform your pic into a zombie. But AMC / The Walking Dead just released my favorite EVER!
I created this pic in about a minute. It is easy to line things up, different eyes, mouths (is that a word) accessories and style. Pretty awesome. Check it out at http://www.deadyourself.com/