Welcome to All The [NERD] Rage, a lightning-round style review of the top nerd stories of the week. These are stories the Muggles may or might not be aware of. It’s time to catch up, so we’d better just get right into it.
- Google Pays Tribute to a Legend
As you probably know, it was Freddie Mercury’s birthday earlier this week. Google payed tribute to the legendary rocker by making a special doodle for the occasion. The animated doodle featured the song “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and it was nothing short of amazing. Google also had Queen guitarist Brian May as a guest on their blog.
“Freddie would have been 65 this year, and even though physically he is not here, his presence seems more potent than ever. Freddie made the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected. He gave people proof that a man could achieve his dreams—made them feel that through him they were overcoming their own shyness, and becoming the powerful figure of their ambitions. And he lived life to the full. He devoured life. He celebrated every minute. And, like a great comet, he left a luminous trail which will sparkle for many a generation to come.”
The doodle is available on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and change that.
[Source: Google Blog]
- Yahoo CEO Gets Sacked
Sheesh. I guess no one is safe in this economy. Tuesday night the powers that be at Yahoo told their CEO, Carol Bartz, it’s time for her to Google a new job. And they did it over the phone. Stay classy, Yahoo. Bartz had been with the company less than three years. With eyeballs going to Google and Facebook in droves, Yahoo could not achieve the revenue growth they desired. Although Bartz had advised the board that such growth would not come until 2012, apparently the board did not agree. Reportedly her leadership style was quite abrasive, and her language has been described as “salty.” Now that it’s over, what does she have to say about the whole experience? She told Fortune in an interview, “These people f—ed me over.”
- Nerd TV & Movie News
John Barrowman wants to get his Torchwood character, the immortal Captain Jack Harkness, back on Doctor Who in the worst way. The show’s 50th Anniversary takes place in November 2013, and it’s sure to have many surprises in store. Hopefully they can get as many of the remaining living doctors to appear together as possible. Who knows who else will show up? Captain Jack, maybe? Barrowman has been quite vocal on the subject. He is now asking fans to write in to the BBC and the show’s producers to make this happen.
“It’s the 50th anniversary coming up of Doctor Who and Jack is an integral part to this story and, if I’m going to be a little self-absorbed, I would hope he would be involved, it would be a shame if he wasn’t … so like I’ve said to all the fans, you need to write to them if you want it to happen because I’ve never been asked. I know Russell [T Davies] thinks it might be a nice idea as did [executive producer] Steven Moffat but who knows?”
Locke & Key is being batted around again. The graphic novel series by Joe Hill was adapted into a TV pilot for Fox, who unfortunately passed on the project. Syfy had shown some interest, but later opted out. Now MTV’s chief of programming has reportedly given it a smile. But so far MTV has not made any actual moves to acquire the rights. The story revolves around an old mansion called Keyhouse, and the premise that inside there are a series of keys that open many doors, each with its own powers and abilities it gives to those who walk through them. The graphic novels were very well received and retain a rabid cult following. Will the show be on your favorite music video channel that never shows music videos? Only time will tell.
X-Files rumors are surfacing again. Aussie television personality Kylie Speer got fanboys excited when she posted on Twitter: “Just interviewed Gillian Anderson … she is super-stunning in real life and said hopes that an #X-Files 2012 movie will be out next year!” X-Files 3? Next year?! Slow down. Gillian Anderson’s comments were later put into context. Here’s what she said when asked about doing another X-Files movie: “We’re hoping to … that’s something that we’ve said from the beginning, that we’d be interested in doing it if it ever came up again. I know that there are some discussions about it, I have no idea at what stage. There might a script, or how interested Fox is in doing it. We’re all hoping that it’s something that might take place. But they better hurry. 2012, which is the perfect subject matter, is coming up quickly.”
- Dead Island Wants Your Brains
The video game Dead Island was released this week. The open world zombie survival adventure is receiving mixed, but generally favorable reviews. The game exploded onto the radar when an innovative and emotionally moving trailer was released earlier this year. It depicted a family being attacked in an island hotel during the first day of the zombie outbreak. The story in the trailer was played backwards, and the music greatly added to the emotional impact. [The original trailer can be found on YouTube.] The game’s release was not without controversy, however. One of the female characters, named Purna, has an unlockable skill that allows her to perform extra damage against male victims. Though the skill is called Gender Wars in the game itself, a clever programmer has uncovered code showing the original name for the skill was “Feminist Whore.” Apparently, when the name was changed, some of the original code was left in one of the debug files that made it into the final release version of the game. The game’s developer, Techland has publicly apologized for the error.
- China Makes Real-Life “Angry Birds” Theme Park
Window of the World Park in China has opened an actual Angry Birds attraction. Visitors can try in real life to knock over various constructions with giant slingshots. A park official told Chinese gaming website Gamersky.com, “This park serves as a method for people to purge themselves and to gain happiness.” The attraction is unlicensed, however, and the game’s owners have already filed a lawsuit. Interested in making their own attraction in the future, they don’t want anyone watering down their franchise. There has been interest in an official Angry Birds park from various investors. Who knows? Maybe you can see some Angry Birds at Disneyland some day soon.
[Source: The Huffington Post]
- “Back to the Future” Nike Shoes Being Auctioned For Charity
The Nike Air Mag shoes, as seen being worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II, are now a reality. Nike has manufactured exact replicas of the shoes and are auctioning them off on eBay. All net proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Due to the popularity of the Back to the Future series, interest in the design for the Air Mag was such that it was previously called “The Greatest Shoe Never Made.” However, these real Nike models don’t have power laces. Now, if only we can get our hands on some hoverboards. The commercial for the event, starring Kevin Durant and Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader, can be seen here.
I enjoyed the Google doodle a lot, and paid tribute to Freddie Mercury on his birthday by posting videos of Queen songs every hour. I’m pretty geeked about the Nike Air Mags. I hope they raise a ton of money.
Thanks for my weekly nerd fix!
Thanks for coming by, Chris. And I saw the Queen stuff you posted. Thanks for that. Always good!