Nerd Alert

Wow, I just looked up my last “Nerd Alert” to see how long it had actually been since I put one together and it was over a month ago! I mean I knew it had been awhile, but I didn’t realize that it had been that long between posts. Part of the delay was due to the general creative funk that I was in, and part of it was because the Mysterious Mr. C and I were focusing on annoying, but necessary tasks like paying our taxes. All of that is done know though, so I am finally back! Admittedly, I’m back with links that are a little all over the place, but hopefully you find one or two of interest! 

1. Though it seemed like the geekynerdy world stopped on Thursday as all of us watched and re-watched the first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I still wanted to share it as my #1 link today, just in case you had missed it. Though I had been a little skeptical about the idea of another Star Wars movie hitting theaters just one year after the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, I am now totally stoked for Rogue One!!

First of all, the movie just looks awesome, but I also love the fact that we’re getting yet another female lead! And she appears to be just as badass, if not slightly more, than Rey was in TFA. Secondly, the film – which revolves around a group of Rebels trying to steal the plans for the original Death Star (it’s set before the events in Episode IV: A New Hope) – looks like more of a gritty war movie, with the bulk of the fighting happening on the ground as opposed to out in space. And as someone with a military history background who absolutely loves battle strategies, I am really excited to see this angle of the fight between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire.


2/3. HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of those series that seems to have an inverse relationship with its main characters: the more you like them, or the more prominent they become, the more likely they are to die. In fact, it took me months to get back to the books on which the show is based after reading about the Red Wedding and hundreds of video reactions showed that the televised version was just as devastating. In fact, GoT has such a high body count that it can be hard to keep track of who all has come and gone. Luckily (maybe?) for us, the Washington Post’s Shelly Tan has created an interactive web graphic that takes us through all 704 (!!!) deaths that have occurred on screen so far.

Broken out by season, the graphic shows who died; when, where, and how they met their demise; by whose hand; and for what reason. Their allegiance to a particular house, if they have one, is also noted. Additionally, Tan shows you the deadliest locations in the Seven Kingdoms and the characters with the most kills. It really is an impressive design and I highly recommend that you check it out!

Likewise, two mathematicians at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota mapped out all of the relationships in the series to try to figure out who the main character actually is. While some of their findings are what I expected, some are surprises and have me wanting to get back into the series!

4. Ever since an elementary school art project that tasked us with drawing film cells onto a larger canvas (I chose one featuring Marvin the Martian), I have been fascinated by animation, particularly the two-dimensional kind. It is absolutely amazing to me to see how many different images are required to make a character come alive on the page. I was even more astounded to see the work that goes into a simple scene after watching an animation video by Aaron Blaise.

Blaise was one of the animators working on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (my favorite animated film) and kept one of the original shots that he drew: It’s the scene when the Beast is giving Belle a tour of the castle and telling her that she can go anywhere she likes, except the West Wing. Blaise goes through the images a few at a time, describing what movements he was trying to capture, and flipping through the pages so you can see everything subtly coming together. It truly is incredible work and makes me want to watch all of the 2D-animated films that I grew up with all over again!

Sean Hughes
Sean Hughes

5. C is a big fan of the Evil Dead series, so when I saw this Kickstarter campaign to bring Sean Hughes’ The Littlest Deadite comic to life in book form, I immediately thought of him. Though I’m still not sure that it’s something I would really read with a small child, the pictures are adorable and I’m curious to see what other stories he’s added to the original nine panels. I am also really hoping that he reaches his stretch goals because The Littlest Freddy Krueger or The Littlest Alien look amazing too!

Mica Maltzman via The Washington Post
Mica Maltzman via The Washington Post

6. One of the random spring traditions that we have here in DC is the Washington Post’s Peep Show, a contest featuring dioramas that must exclusively use marshmallow Peeps to depict their main characters. This year was the 10th anniversary of the contest and the entries were just as varied as they’ve been in years past. Since this is the nation’s capital and we’re in the middle of an election year, there were some political entries, but there were others that used famous art works, historical events, and current movies, musicals, and music videos as their muses.

I always enjoy looking through the entries to see what people come up and how they choose to use the Peeps. There are some really creative dioramas and when you see the variety of treats that are used, you know that some people started planning months in advance!

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