25 November 2009

Modern Cool

Acting on the advice of Geek Girl Diva I took the Nerd? Geek? or Dork? test. The results were as expected.

Modern, Cool Nerd

83 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 39% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

Congratulations!

Actually, the first thing I thought when I saw my results was that I was 187% Nerd/Geek/Dork. Then I realized there was some overlap and decided to let it go.

24 November 2009

Droid

Let me start with this: I have never owned an iPhone. I have never held an iPhone. I have no idea what an iPhone works like or how amazing it (hypothetically) is.

If you're thinking about getting a Motorola Droid and have been put off by all of the Droid v iPhone reviews where the Droid comes out lacking let me tell you this: yesterday, I bought myself a Droid and I am in love like you wouldn't believe. I am flashing back to my early days with Johnny 505. I can say unequivocally it is the most amazing thing I ever held in my hand.

The screen is so clear it was hard to get a good picture of it. Yes, that is my camera's eye you can see. Sorry.
And that is not a flower, it's a sunspot in infrared.

What? You want an actual review of something for once instead of me rhapsodizing about my love? If you insist...

The Droid weighs in 6oz and is slightly narrower than the palm of my hand. It includes a slide-out keyboard upon which the backspace key and the enter key are dangerously close together. Ask Twitter users if you think I'm exaggerating. The screen is crystal clear, and I would dare to say it's crisper than my laptop screen (sorry, Lovelace, I still love you best!). The power cable doubles as a USB cable through the magic of modern technology and file transfers from Lovelace to the Droid were as simple as drag and drop. The whole phone is pretty intuitive, I spent about twenty minutes messing with it and by the end of it, I only had to look up a few things.

(Are people really complaining about the weight? [Answer: Yes] It weighs 2oz more than the iPhone. 2oz! I brush my hair and lose more than that!)

Sidenote: When did it become okay for phones to get bigger? I remember there was a real push for a while for phones to be as tiny as possible, the size of a ballpoint pen. The Droid is easily twice the size of my Razor. Wait, I take it back, it was when we decided that phones should be personal computers as well. I'm okay with that.

The home screen is made up of three panels which all share the same background. You can swish your finger across the screen to navigate between them. I love this as it means I can keep my useful programs I use to the right, and the silly games and things off to the left, leaving my center screen gloriously empty and beautiful. Then main menu is accessed through a tab at the bottom of the screen and I really like the look of it. Figuring out how to move icons around was a little odd. I could drop things on the desktop, but couldn't manage to grab them. Easy solution, touch the icon until the phone vibrates. Then you can either move it or trash the icon (not the program); if you hold the icon to either side of the screen, it will move into the next panel. No, that last bit did not take me 15 minutes to figure out. No it didn't, shut up. Also on the phone are four "buttons" which let you go back, go to a menu, go back to the home screen, or search.

The OS looks exactly like my Ubuntu desktop, down to the thinking circles and top taskbar. I'm super happy about that. If you are not a Linux user, don't worry, it's nothing all that different - it just made me happy that it looks so alike. The top taskbar will let you know if you have email or updates or tweets or whatnot and you can access any of the above by swishing the thing down. Nice - also, handy.

When locked, which it does automatically after what feels like ten seconds but is in fact set to two minutes, you have a clock and the date as well as an actual percentage indicator for the battery if charging. I like that. It's good to know I have 80% of my battery left, or how much is left until charged, or whatever. To unlock, you have to swipe the unlock icon over, or you can silent or ... unsilent (?) your ringer while it is still locked. I like that too. What I do not like is that I have to press the power/unlock button to get to that screen. I would much rather be able to just tap my way into the phone. I don't know, this is a convenience vs accidental phoning thing. You can't stick your hand in you pocket/purse and turn this thing on by accident.

Let's get to what people really wonder about, which is apps. The very first thing I got was Twidroid, because I am a twittering fiend these days. Apps in the Android market were super easy to find and the download went smoothly. I immediately got the important apps such as Facebook, OI Safe (for passwords), pandora, lightsaber, sudoku and amazon. On the sudoku note, this is easily the best sudoku I have seen outside of paper and pencil. Oh, I also got the bubble level and spent part of today calibrating it. 'Cause I'm obsessive like that. At the moment I'm running my email, twidroid, pandora and sudoku with no problems.

Update: I took my droid back to Verizon and got a new one. Since then, I have not had a single issue with it. If you are having the problems I'm about to describe, TAKE IT BACK. Nothing will fix it. On the not awesome note, it does have a tendency to shut itself down when it gets confused. It's done it twice in the time it has taken me to type this. Fail. In all fairness, it does not do it out of the blue, but rather when I have asked too much of it. It looks and acts so much like my laptop I expect it to be able to handle as many separate processes. And while it is awesome, it is not magical. Sad face :(

The scary thing is, it's smarter than me. Like a lot smarter. It does things without my asking, like grab people's facebook profile picture and put it next to their name in my contacts list. What's up with that? Scared the hell out of me. Really, 90% of my uses for it are sudoku and music. My phone is probably sitting here sullen and brooding at the unfulfillment of its potential. Like a wife that gave up her career and the kids turned out to be shit.

All in all, I'm quite impressed. It is my first smartphone and the sound and picture quality are amazing. The camera function is alright, but I haven't quite figured out the night functions.

Some of the bitching I have seen has been about the keyboard, which some people claim is extraneous as the onscreen keyboard is exceptional. I do not use the onscreen keyboard, it is such a pain in the ass and I inevitably mess it up. It does offer suggestions before the word is finished which is kind of nice. I suppose if you've gotten used to the onscreen keyboard on an iPhone you will default to that, but personally I'd rather use the keypad.

In the end, I am so freaking excited by my phone you have no idea. I have named it R4-P17 in honor of one of the greatest droids of all time and find that I'm using it in place of my laptop, even when my laptop is within arms reach. I'll get back to you in a month or so when the novelty has worn off and R4 is leaving dirty dished in the sink and socks on the floor.



Technical Sidenote for Users:
Droid and some freemail accounts don't get along. If you have a Droid and have been having problems synching your Yahoo! mail with it here's the fix (Note, you need to be on the 3g network to do this - it won't work on a wifi network for reasons beyond my understanding):
1. Go into email and then pull up the menu to add account.
2. Enter your email address and password, then choose Manual Setup
3. Choose IMAP
4. The IMAP server should be imap.mail.yahoo.com; and the port is 143. Security: none. IMAP path prefix: leave blank.
5. On the next screen (which should be outgoing settings)... SMTP server: smtp.mobile.mail.yahoo.com; the port is 587. Security:none. Make sure require sign-in is checked.
6. Name you account and move on.

20 November 2009

New Moon

Words do not even begin to express how much I don't want to admit to having seen New Moon, on opening day nevertheless. Let's just say I have a friend (A) who is not a lolfan.

The premise will be familiar to virtually everyone who will go see it, but I'll do a recap anyway. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen love a love than has never been loved before. Edward decides - with less evidence than what the first book's actual plot provided - that being around him puts Bella in danger. So he leaves. Bella proceeds to mope for about four months. In the book this is done with symbolically blank pages with the months as headers - in the movie it is done... as well as could be expected actually. Finding out that putting herself in danger let's her see an apparition of Edward. She enlists the help of what should be the third side of a love-triangle, Jacob, but since there is never a doubt that Bella and Edward were meant to be (see the loving of love that has never been loved before) there's not much of a triangle, just some Jacob pity. We discover Jacob is also a mythical monster, Bella nearly kills herself, Edward nearly kills himself, vampires fight, Alice tries to be as awesome as she can with her limited screentime. And in the end, it turns out that Bella and Edward's love wins out. On a move v book note, the movie stuck to the book enough to appease the Twihards, but with enough nods to the lolfans that I was in stitches.

I can think of only one word to describe New Moon - fanservice. Not only are there a half dozen teenage boys who spend 98% of the movie shirtless; but we have a shot of RPatz shirtless, with jeans slung so low you know far to much about his personal grooming habits. Far. Too. Much. The shirtlessness got so silly at one point that the audience was actually giggling. Most of the audience anyway, I was cackling. My cackling led others to let loose and what was meant to be a rather poignant scene between two leads was drowned out by the audiences laughter.

I will say, and it was rather cool, is when the vampires start fighting and getting slammed into marble, you see the marble crack while similar cracks appear on the vampires and I see what u did thar.

I would love to go on, but I'm pretty sure I've already stolen 10+ jokes from Cleolinda Jones unintentionally. So I will leave yo with this list:

Things I mumbled during New Moon:

  1. Jaaames Deeeans
  2. It's the volvo of great justice!
  3. You could do so much better [@Jacob]
  4. Go to the thugs Bella, end it all now...
  5. Oh come on!
  6. Furspolsion!
  7. Oh snap (@Alice)
  8. Jacob, how could you?
  9. Oh Edward, you sparkly diva
  10. Wait, are those... ew, put your shirt back on.
  11. I see what you did there.
  12. God I hate her so much [@Bella]
  13. So much.
See what I mean about stealing Cleolinda's jokes? Go read the Twilight recaps, just go (come on, it's called Twilight II: Vampire Boogaloo). My sense of humor about this is obviously compromised beyond all measure.

[I can say this... in the middle of the movie, they go see a movie (a metamovie if you will) called Face Punch that has some of the best dialogue ever. I really wish I'd gone to see that movie.]

17 November 2009

Of tweets and elbows...

I have to admit, I came to Twitter rather begrudgingly. Really, it was only to follow @cleolinda who posts most of her linkspam there since the Compocalypse.

Yet sometimes I get into these conversations with people that make the whole experience seem amazing. I have followers I do not know. In fact, I have no idea where I picked them up from. Either through this blog or through something I have tweeted about I would imagine. And sometimes, somehow, we start to @ at each other - the Twitter equivalent of an IM conversation.

Take the last few Tuesday nights. During and after V I am on Twitter, usually checking up on things during the commercial. In that time, either myself or @aaronswray will tweet something to cause the other to respond. We'll go back and forth for a few minutes, then go on with our lives.

And it's awesome.

Or how about this one:
@nerdheroine : V and Human, is that still bestiality? #vseries
@
J3551C4 : its like a twisted version of furries
@
nerdheroine : Scalies?
@J3551C4 : bahahha i couldnt help but think this would work for cylons as well ;)
@nerdheroine : Toasties of course.

See, outside of Twitter I would never have had a chance to have that conversation. I am sorely lacking in geek RL friends. It's sad. And if you're wondering why they need to be geek friends, I also have not started following anyone new on Twitter ever since I made a 6x6 square out of the people I do follow (36 following). I actually have a list around here somewhere of people like
@NathanFillion and @ActuallyNPH who I want to follow, but I want to bask in my square for a while.

Also, I have 25 followers and thanks to @J3551C4 (wow, I'm totally pimping her Twitter aren't I?) I am on 4 lists. Those are square numbers all the way across beeyotches. 'Cause that's how we roll in the Shire.

Also also...
Squid with elbows - all other arguments are futile.



15 November 2009

Data is my homie

Kind of a drive-by blog post for anyone who doesn't follow my Twitter.

Everyone needs a friend like Data.

Also, a Death Star wedding cake.

14 November 2009

Daisy, daisy...

Today was a trying day. Today I said goodbye to HAL.

HAL was my first laptop, and the first computer that ever came new to me. Bought in 2003, HAL was meant to see me off to college. An HP Pavillion, he did me proud with his 20gig hard drive and Athlon XP processor, he weighed in at around 10 pounds. And except for spilling a glass of wine on him my first semester - he made it through with nary a scratch.

But the times they are a-changing, the years have taken their toll on my once faster than light piece of machinery. With an average boot to actually usable time of over five minutes and processing power than rivaled my toaster it was time to go for a younger model. So this last July I got a new laptop, Lovelace. After transferring all my documents, HAL sat in a box. Unused and unloved, waiting for a decision on his future.

Well the wait is over. With all the pomp and circumstance of a state funeral, we reformatted HAL's hard drive. I'll admit, a tear was shed. Soliloquies were read. In his final moments, HAL was heard to utter... "My mind is going, I can feel it," before drifting off. I'd like to think it was a painless death, a mercy killing if you please.

Rest in peace my friend, you served your mistress well.

10 November 2009

The Care and Keeping of Your Sparklepire

Guess what arrived Friday? I got myself an Edward Sparklepants Cullen.

Man, I should not be so excited about the arrival of a character I don't even like. The thing is, I don't feel like I've received 'Edward of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight'; I feel as though I've received 'Edward from Cleolinda's Secret Life of Dolls'. So in this way, I didn't get a seventeen inch tall slightly gay sparklepire, instead I got a seventeen inch tall serial killer.

So. Much. Cooler.


Look! He even comes pre-Hannibal Lectered up! It seems my totally awesome rather expensive if totally free to me doll does not come with his shoes on, and what are these things... socks? I don't know, but with them on it is impossible to put his damn shoes on. I apparently received the IKEA of Edward Sparklepants Cullen.

"I really wish you'd quit calling me that."


"What the Hell? You talk?" I can be forgiven, can't I, if I let out a girly shriek a bit? "I thought only Cleo's dolls talked. This is so not what I meant when I said I felt I was getting 'Edward from Secret Life of Dolls'. Do all of y'all talk?"

"Of course we do, but we do try to ensure we're going to improve the silence."

I glared at him a bit. "You know what? I take it back, I don't want a Cleo Edward Dollen. Can I have a Littlest Edward instead?"

"A what?"

I thought about enlightening him. The internet was right there, but honestly I don't even want to go there, I really don't. "So, uh, you have a nice trip?"

"Nothing to eat."

He eats? I got a doll that needs to eat? What half-assed manufacturing flaw was this? Am I going to have to invest in BellaBarbies? Because that shit will get old fast. Also, how creepy would that be? "Uh, are you hungry now?" Please say no, please say no...

"Starving."

I gulped, that should not have been scary. But there is a reason that the 'dolls' I do have are all in their boxes full-time. I don't exactly have pediophobia, but the idea that these human likeness are watching me is one of those feeling that you just can't talk yourself out of. It didn't help that he flashed me a grin that would have gotten him a guest spot on Criminal Minds.

I looked at my seventeen inch tall sparklepire for a long while. My seventeen inch tall serial killer sparklepire that I had been okay with until he started talking, OMG. I may have to get the Rorschach I've had my eye on (at least they'd be about the same height) just to balance out some of the crazy. Not that that's really balance, when you bring total different crazy. I suppose it's like bringing balance to the force. He was wandering across the fireplace hearth, examining the fake plants. That is, until "my" (for certain values of "my") dog came to see what my earlier squeeing was about.

His eyes flashed red for a moment, do they even do that? I need to reread Twilight (Oh Cthulhu, please don't make me). And he licked his lips, before sighing, "Off the table I presume?"

"Yes, yes, by all that is holy yes." I grabbed the dog by her collar and shunted her back out of the room. I'm not sure who would win, dog has been known to catch and devour squirrels - and lord knows those are vicious - but she would only be curious. Edward would be... hungry.

Seriously, if I'd known I would have asked for the sunglasses or the Entertainment Earth gift certificate. I don't know. Not this. GeekGirlDiva should have given me a goram warning when she offered me a Tonner Edward.

I would love to say that this whole thing ended on some sort of high note with him capturing a frog or something and I don't even know what. Something. But I noticed something else... actually someone else.

"What are you doing out of your box?!"

"Dammit Heroine, are you out of your mind. Bringing one of these onto the ship?"


I buried my face in my hands, laughing in that way you do when you have, indeed, lost your mind. He had his phaser trained on the sparklepire. I'm not sure what nadion particles would even do to Edward Sparklepants Cullen's glistening marble skin. Hell, the thing might not even work at all, but having been appropriately briefed through my Secret Life of Dolls readings, I knew for sure that ESC could read McCoy's mind and would avoid any and all attacks coming his way.

I very gently took the good doctor's phaser away; honestly, he wasn't that good a shot even if he turned out to be better than his movie/TV counterpart. Disgruntled (is he ever any other way?) he settled for scanning Edward with his tricorder.

"I suppose I can't eat him either?"



McCoy's hand tightened on the tricorder, "Try it you pixie-skinned d├ębutante."

"No, no. Both of you calm the hell down." I was keeping a careful eye on Mr. Sparklepants. McCoy was definitely more volatile, but Edward was by far the more dangerous. I should have known better, I read nine million pages of Edward waging psychological warfare on Bella, violence would not be his first port of call.

"You were never his first friend you know," he said to my Starfleeter, "always playing second fiddle."

Oh burn, man! That was a low blow, and one I could not let pass. I picked him up by the scruff of his... well, actually, it was the neck of his coat. "No sir, we do not go there." I thought for a moment about what to do with him. "Okay, you are obviously not fit for polite company just yet. You can go back in you nice black box and we'll work on your manners later."

He grumbled a bit as a settled him back in his box. I did seriously consider tying him back down with the twist-ties, but I wasn't entirely certain he'd be still for it. Also, if it turns out he can overpower me, I'd rather we find it out sometime other than his first day home.

"You know," McCoy said to me speculatively as I put the box up on the mantle, away from the inquisitive teeth of the dog, "the fireplace is right there. No reason we couldn't have a sparklepyre..."

For the love of all that is holy in this world, I do not need this in my life right now.


Thanks Cleolinda, for the use of you SLOD format! Yes I did ask her, on Twitter, it seemed appropriate.

09 November 2009

Take that!

Attention Lunar Landing deniers!

You may not recognize this for what it is, so let me spell it out. That white splotch in the center is the Apollo 11 lunar module. Those vague dark gray lines are footprints.

On the moon.

For those that deny that we went there, you can see it for yourself. If I'm correct - and I usually am - you can actually see a lot of this stuff with a sufficiently high-powered telescope. How freakin' awesome is that? Oh, I know that if you're one of the morons who still persist in denying the moon landings these pictures aren't going to change your mind. But you're a total nutjob anyway so plbtt.

Look, I know that the LRO has been taking pictures of the moon for quite some time, I know that there were some amazing Apollo 17 landing site pictures recently (I know because I follow the Bad Astronomer's blog, and you should too).

But to see the Apollo 11 landing site. The first time a human being set foot on an alien surface...

Wowzers.

03 November 2009

V

V was made to be loved by me. It has Juliet from Lost, Wash from firefly, and to make things even more awesome Inara from firefly. ABC is where firefly castmembers go to die. Or, you know, find new jobs...

The show opens by introducing the principal characters. Erica! the single mom. Tyler! her no-good V-loving son. Father Jack! the cool religious guy. Ryan! the token black guy. Dale! Erica's partner (also, Alan Tudyk so totally hot). Oh, and Anna! the scary as hell alien chick, but we don't meet her until the next paragraph.

As these people are going about their character defining activities, spaceships begin to Independence Day their way across the major cities of the world. Then scary as hell Anna appears to reassure everyone that despite the last 100 or so years of science fiction we have been reading, the aliens are, in fact, of peace. Always.

The thing is, it was pretty obvious how things were going to go here. When I saw the preview last week I tweeted...

Preview for 'V' giving me 'To Serve Man' flashbacks. http://abc.go.com/shows/v/

And I have to give the writers props here. They didn't try and drag it out. By the end of the first episode there is no guess work or hunches about it, the V are bad news. No Alan Tudyk! Why did you have to die? Also, just for the record, if you ever did time on firefly you will turn out to be an alien. Just throwing that out there.

Yes, yes, I know this is a remake of an 80s series. Yes, I know that I could go read about it and see how things go. In fact, I'd imagine the Television Without Pity forums are full of spoilers.

But I don't want to. I missed out on following FlashForward because I was in London, I believe V will be my Lost replacement.

01 November 2009

Ain't I a Woman? - Sojourner Truth

This speech is so short I'm going to post it here in its entirety. While this series is titled 'Speeches that make me cry' I feel I should point out that this one doesn't so much make me cry as send a huge up-swell of emotion through me.

Ain't I a woman?

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

- Sojourner Truth, 1851