Archive for November, 2010

According to sources at Warner Bros., the new Superman reboot will see the Man of Steel in an all CGI suit similar to what is being done with Green Lantern.

The news comes from IESB who has been pretty accurate with their exclusives lately.  However since Christopher Nolan is attached to the project and everyone is aware that he doesn’t care for CGI effects this could turn out to be just a false rumor.  Nolan has passed on CGI effects on his past projects and opted for conventional effects stating that CGI lacked realism.  Both Nolan and director Zack Snyder aren’t in favor of this idea according to various sources.

Although it is an intriguing idea, I don’t think it is necessary.  I’m not completely sold on the CGI Green Lantern suit yet and would be extremely disappointed if this became a standard for future comic book movies.  I know that Warner Bros. wants another successful Superman franchise and that they’ll go to great lengths to get one.  One thing they should keep in mind is to keep it simple.  A CGI suit is completely not needed; they should concentrate on the story and the characters and let the special effects take care of themselves.


It was announced last week that Marvel Comics is planning on killing Spider-Man.  Although few details are known at the time of this writing, Marvel’s release was simple and to the point, ‘The Death of Spider-Man’.  That really got me thinking about all the mainstream superheroes that have been killed off over the years.  It has become a marketing trend to announce the death of the most popular characters, make a big deal out of it, and let the hero die for a noble cause or sacrificing themselves, then bring them back a year later.  I just don’t like the idea of killing off the major characters in their respective comic universes.  My main problem with it is that they never stay dead for more than a year or so and eventually return to life somehow.  It’s a well known fact that no one stays dead for long in the world of comics or science fiction.  But to kill off characters just to boost sales is getting a little old.

Usually I don’t have a problem with the death of incidental characters like Robin or Nightcrawler.  Their deaths usually bring about some kind of change in the central characters that great stories erupt from.  Some of them get what’s coming to them and it is often a welcomed sight to witness their demise.  Case in point, I spent the $1.50 to make sure that Jason Todd (Robin #2) was put down by The Joker.  For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, in 1988 DC Comics had a phone in vote to determine the fate of Jason Todd.  Although it was close, the fans voted for death and Jason was killed off.  Later he was brought back as a villain out for revenge against Batman which was okay in my book.

The big trend started with the death of Superman.  DC Comics hyped the event heavily that they were going to kill Superman; and in the mother of all battles the Man of Steel victorious was mortally wounded and died in Lois Lane’s arms.  The issue sold out printing after printing and to this day is one of the most sought after comics there is by collectors.  There was genuine backlash from fans who couldn’t believe that one of the most well known and beloved superheroes in the world was dead.  Fans then were left to cope with a world without Superman.  His presence missed by all, he was soon resurrected and returned to fight for truth, justice and the American way.  Other characters soon followed suit, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Captain America and Batman to name a few.  To me the straw that broke the camel’s back was the death of Batman.  I’ve been a lifelong Batman fan and I found it rather insulting that DC would kill him in an obvious attempt to sell more issues.  And as I and many others predicted, nearly a year later Bruce Wayne is alive and kicking again.

Marvel Comics is just as guilty with the murder of Captain America.  Although he didn’t stay dead for very long, it too was a blow to fans.  IDW’s first action after taking over the Transformers series from Devil’s Due and making it an ongoing monthly series killed off Ironhide in the very first issue.  These deaths usually are the source of great drama and conflict among the surviving characters as they try to come to grips with the loss; but this has all been done too much.  It has become predictable that when a character like Superman or Batman is killed that they will somehow find a way to bring them back within a year.

So is it brilliant marketing or an overdone method to generate sales?  Only those who write the stories know for sure.  They said they think long and hard before going in the direction of killing a major character; but if I could talk to those people I would sit them down and try to explain to them that enough is enough.  It’s different for villains who die because that’s what is supposed to happen.  The hero kills or defeats the villain in the end and the villain always returns to challenge the hero again; that is just how it is.  Batman foils The Joker’s plot to kill everyone in Gotham City; Joker gets lock away in Arkham Asylum and a few months later he escapes and it starts all over again.  That’s the bread and butter of comics and maybe I am a purest who dislikes anything that shakes up my status quo.

I do have to hand it to DC Comics however.  During their Blackest Night event they brought everyone back to life.  Anyone who had ever died in the DC Universe hero and villain found themselves resurrected as zombies out to kill those close to them or responsible for their death.  Some didn’t live through the event while others were brought back and some major changes rattled the DC Universe.  A similar event happened over at Marvel.  When Civil War was about to come to a head and Captain American was assassinated in front of hundreds of people, it was revealed that the Skrulls had been planning an invasion of Earth.  Those heroes and villains who had died over the previous months were Skrull doppelgangers.  The real ones were being held captive on the Skrull home world and with their return to Earth the truth was finally known.  I thought this was a brilliant storyline full of twists and turns that left everyone guessing what would happen next.

I guess that at the end of the day no matter what happens in the comic universes the real tried and true fans will keep coming back every month.  No matter who dies, who lives, the stories keep us coming back.  Our heroes are immortal in our eyes and whenever we’re reminded that even heroes must sometimes fall as tragic is it may be we find a way to carry on without them.  The loss somehow makes us stronger inside and pays tribute to our fallen heroes as their examples and sacrifices are not forgotten.  Others rise to help fill their shoes and the pain we feel eases as we see that hope is not somehow lost.  Then when they return, it fills us with hope and courage again; and the belief that everything will be alright.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Word.  We’re only a week from Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner.  Soon after that we’ll be saying goodbye to 2010 and ushering in 2011.  Just wanted to let everyone know that there will not be any posts next week.  I am taking the week off for the holiday.  I will be returning the week after with a few new posts I am working on, so be sure to check back in.  But this week I have a full slate of great links for you including some new Call of Duty: Black Ops info, so let’s get to it.

Tech Nerd

Chrome Crowned As Buggiest Software
When the votes or in this case bugs were counted, Google’s Chrome browser ranked number one as the buggiest software.  With 76 known flaws found by a study conducted by the National Vulnerability Database, Chrome was atop the list of “The Dirty Dozen”.  But the other guys shouldn’t get too cocky because they too made the list with Apple’s Safari coming in second.  You can see the full list at Network World.

12 Places to Find Free Wi-Fi
If you’re like me, you feel out of touch whenever you’re disconnected from the Internet.  The onset of Wi-Fi has made it easier for nerds like us to keep a constant connection to our online lives; but what about when you’re not sure you’ll have a Wi-Fi connection available.  Wireless connections are being offered just about everywhere these days to help lure customers in.  When was the last time you were in a Starbucks and didn’t see someone there with a laptop?  Check out this great article at Unplgged.

Windows Media Player Power Tips
There are literally dozens of media players out there.  But the one that always comes through in a pinch is the old reliable Windows Media Player.  Let’s face it, it’s already installed on your PC so why wouldn’t you us it?  And although it’s not perfect, there are ways to tweak it to perform.  From the great minds at Maximum PC, a list of 14 great tweaks for Media Player.  Check it out here.

Manage Multiple Libraries in Any Media Player
Sometimes your media library just doesn’t fit neatly into one huge category and a jumbled up mess is often the result.  But there is a way to manage multiple libraries within a single player and keep your media easy to maintain.  Courtesy of Lifehacker you can check out this great how to.

Speed Up Antivirus Scans
We’ve all experienced a time when your PC is running dead slow for some reason; and when investigated you find your antivirus software is in the middle of a scan.  If you tend to store a lot of files on your PC, a scan could take several hours to complete.  There is a way to ease the burden of your routine scans by excluding certain folders deemed as ‘low risk’.  Check out how to set your antivirus to ignore folders and speed up scanning at How-To Geek.

Movie Nerd
Battle: Los Angeles Trailer
The first trailer for next year’s Battle: Los Angeles has been released.  The movie looks like a new take on Independence Day and Skyline.  It stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) and Michelle Rodriquez (Avatar) as two soldiers caught up in a battle against alien invaders.

Ford says Han Solo Should Have Died
In a recent interview while promoting his new movie Morning Glory, Harrison Ford said that Han Solo should have died at the end of Return of the Jedi.  Usually not one to talk about his past involvement with the Star Wars franchise this comes as a surprise that he would be so open about it now.  “As a character he was not so interesting to me. I thought he should have died in the last one, just to give it some bottom. George (Lucas) didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”  Generally it’s not wise to kill off one of the most popular characters, but I do agree it would have made sense.  You can read more of the interview with Harrison Ford at On The Red Carpet.

Wolverine Sequel Update
Director Darren Aronofski announced a couple of new details about the Wolverine sequel.  First, the title will simply be The Wolverine.  Second, Aronofsky is saying it will not be a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  Scratching of the head and confused look aside, how could this not be a sequel?  Based on what is known about the plot of the new movie it closely follows where events of the previous movie left off with Logan with no memory finding his way to Japan.  You can read all about it at Hitflix.

TV Nerd

New Spawn Series Will Be For Adults Only
In an interview with MTV, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane said the new series will still be geared toward adults.  The previous series which aired on HBO from 1997 to 1999 won an Emmy and McFarlane stated the approach for the new series will be more of the same dark themes, sex ridden and violent.  You can read more about it at MTV.

Young Justice Preview
I’ve been waiting for the next big DC Universe series since Justice League Unlimited ended its run a few years ago.  Now Bruce Timm and his team are bringing us Young Justice.  The sidekicks of the Justice League’s members team up to form their own super powered team.  The series kicks off on November 26 at 7pm with a one hour premiere.  Check out a six minute preview below.

Rumor: New Batman Series Being Developed
Still a rumor at this point but with the end coming to Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, Warner Bros. is looking to continue the momentum of the franchise.  Sources are saying that Warner is working on a new TV series based off Nolan’s Dark Knight movies.  With few details and no hard facts it is rumored that Star Trek’s Karl Urban is being considered to play Batman.  The rumors continue with word that someone to portray The Joker is also being looked for.  I have mixed feelings about a live action Batman series.  I think I’d rather see a darker, more serious animated series.  You can read more about it at Comic Book Movie.

Guillermo Del Toro and David Eick to Develop New Hulk Series
What once brought be great concern now gives me hope.  The new Incredible Hulk TV series is being headed by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica).  I don’t think you could ask for a better “dream team” to develop a new series than those two.  With Del Toro’s talent for magnificent imagery and Eick’s experience and success with television, this new Hulk series might actually be good.  You can read more about it at Deadline.

New Promotional Video for ‘The Cape’
NBC’s new superhero series The Cape, set to premiere January 9 has its first footage released.  The series will star David Lyons as a good cop framed for crimes he didn’t commit; who’s forced to go into hiding and assumes the identity of The Cape to help clear his name.  The show also stars the reigning princess of nerdom Summer Glau, Keith David and James Frain.  You can read more about it at ENI and watch the video below.

Comic Nerd

Marvel Announces ‘The Death of Spider-Man’
In another big shake up in the Marvel universe, Marvel Comics announced a new story arc beginning with Ultimate Spider-Man #153.  Does this mean the end of Spider-Man?  It’s not all that uncommon these days with every publisher bumping off major characters left and right.  The story will arc through the Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates titles beginning in February.

20 Favorite Comic Females
Kelly Thompson over at CBR gives a list of her favorite female characters in comics.  The list contains a number of surprising choices and a few rather obvious ones.  Check out the full list of Kelly’s favorites here and be sure to check out comments by yours truly.

Doomsday Returns to DC Universe
One of the most popular and most powerful of Superman’s foes is returning to seek revenge.  Doomsday was responsible for Superman’s death and has always been a source for great drama in the DC Universe.  His appearance will come in January in Steel #1 and continue in at least three other titles.  You can read more at The Source.

Gaming Nerd
Atari Preps New Yars’ Revenge Game
This is kind of cool.  One of my favorite Atari 2600 games was Yars’ Revenge.  The story as complicated and bizarre as it was is now somewhat simpler but no less confusing with Yar as a female anime character.  The game will be a Xbox Live download with no word of a release date yet.  Check out the very short trailer below.

Diablo III Will Likely Come To Consoles
This comes to no surprise that Blizzard’s upcoming Diablo III might be available on console platforms.  The first two were around while console gaming was in its infant years.  No there was no doubt in my mind that Diablo III would be available in console versions.  This might give me the opportunity to use my 360 for games other than Madden NFL.  You can read more about it at Gamasutra.

Is Steam Killing The Retail Biz?
There are pros and cons to buying your games through Steam.  No disks to keep up with and protect from damage.  You can generally pre-order your game, pay for it in full and download it on release day.  But there are those of us who prefer to have that shiny box in our hands, with the manuals and the disk.  Call it personal preference, but anyway you look at it Steam is a big presence when it comes to purchasing games online.  Does Steam present a threat to brick and mortar retailers?  Read more about it at Maximum PC.

Activision Donates One Million to Veterans
A lot of other companies should follow this shining example.  Activision donated one million dollars of the proceeds from Call of Duty: Black Ops to aid veterans with job placement.  This is a subject very near and dear to me because I feel that veterans are largely neglected in this country.  It’s good to see that someone cares and is doing what they can to help.  You can read more about it at Ripten and C.O.D.E.

American Public Wants Government to Ban Games
In a recent poll taken by The Rasmussen group, 65 percent still think that states should be allowed to ban the sale of violent video games to minors.  When are people going to wake up?  When are parents going to start doing their jobs as parents and control what their kids do instead of pushing it off on schools and the government.  If you don’t want kids playing violent games, then don’t buy the damn things for them.  Back in the day it was comic books, then rock and roll music, now its video games that are corrupting the youth of America.  Start being a parent and keep the government out of something that is clearly none of its business.  It’s called The Bill of Rights; people should actually read it sometime.  You can read more about this at Game Politics and G4.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Nerd
Multiplayer Map Guide
Multiplayer drives games these days.  A bad multiplayer mode can crush a game’s appeal.  COD: Black Ops improves on its multiplayer game’s reputation and provides some of the best maps and environments I’ve seen to date.  But everyone can use a little help navigating your way through the Black Ops multiplayer maps.  This series of useful videos will help you get the drop on unsuspecting players and also help boost your kill counts.  Check them out at G4.

Killstreaks Guide
The Black Ops killstreaks are probably better balanced than any other version in the COD series.  With the small exception of the attack dogs, the killstreaks can help you turn the tide of battle.  The attack dogs are an unfortunate carry over from Call of Duty: World at War and was one of many reasons why I hated it with a white hot passion.  Here is a video of what each killstreak does and what they look like.  You can check it out at G4.

The Best Hiding Spots
Camping is not looked favorably as a tactic, but is sometimes a necessary evil depending on your skill level and type of game you’re playing.  Find all the great hiding spots and choke points can often be difficult to do if you’re having to duck incoming bullets.  If you feel the need to camp in order to get the drop on your opponents, then this video will help you find the best spots to hide and ambush.  Check it out at Ripten.

Pro Perk Challenge Guide
If you’ve played Call of Duty for long you’ll know that perks are a godsend in the multiplayer environment.  Being able to nullify an enemy’s advantage is often essential to winning.  Find out what it takes to achieve the pro status of the Black Ops perks.  Check it out at Ripten.

Black Ops Zombie Mode
Everybody loves to kill zombies, right?  And everyone loves to kill zombies as JFK, right?  Well if you answered yes to either question, you will love Black Ops co-op zombie mode.  Here is a preview of how to play the zombie mode courtesy of G4.

Customization Guide
This new Call of Duty is more customizable than any previous version.  All the new features and choices can be overwhelming and somewhat confusing.  To help you through tricking out your set ups G4 has provided a nifty guide to aid you.  Check it out here.

Pure Nerd
The Biggest Harry Potter Fan…Ever
This guy is just a little bit creepy.  I’m a nerd and we nerds don’t judge each other over our particular obsessions; but I think it might be a good idea for the cast members of the Harry Potter films to go ahead and file restraining orders.  He might even have some poor girl trapped in a pit in his basement.  It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.  At first I thought this was a gag, but I soon realized this dude is serious.  Source: YouTube

Hot Girl Eats the Ultimate Corn Dog
I’m not sure whether to find this extremely gross or wildly exciting.  It seems like the Epic Meal Time guys are at it again by creating the Frankenstein of corn dogs.  This new heart attack waiting to happen is consumed by a rather gorgeous young girl who only makes herself more attractive by downing the entire thing.  Check it out for yourself below.

Facebook Given 5 Years to Live
At a marketing forum in Sydney, consumer expert Jeffery Cole announced his prediction that Facebook would be gone within five years.  Much like MySpace and Bebo, the social network’s membership will splinter off to other sites in the near future.  This really comes to no surprise due to the fact that with all fads, digital or not, Facebook will soon be replaced by the next big thing.  Social networks will be around for quite a while, but they are constantly evolving and even the mighty must give way to newer and fresher blood.  You can read more about it here.

Make Your Own McRib At Home
The Nerd has always been a big fan of the McRib sandwich at McDonald’s.  I am giddy with excitement every time they announce its back; but sadly it’s only for a few weeks.  I have tried other copy cat attempts to recreate the delicious awesomeness but they always fall short.  This attempt might be the holy grail of McRib copies.  I will be stocking up on the ingredients for this as soon as possible.  Check it out at Saveur.

Pic of the Week

Darth Kitty

Comments, comments, comments.  I need comments people.  If you like something, don’t like something, have a question or anything else, please leave me some comments.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and I will see you back here on December 1.

The Nerd says, “While everyone else watches football on Thanksgiving, I watch all three Lord of the Rings extended editions then all six Star Wars movies.

This is one of the movies I am anticipating the most for next summer.  2011 is going to be a nerd’s paradise when it comes to comics and sci-fi films.  The long awaited trailer for Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively has been released.  Check it out below and then tell me what you think.  Watch or download it in full awesome HD at Apple.

Entertainment Tonight’s Sneak Peek at the trailer for Green Lantern.  The full trailer will be attached to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 next week.  I am so damn excited to finally feast my eyes on Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordon.  This short little preview shows enough that I am sure comic nerds everywhere will be wetting their pants with excitement.  I’m not even a Harry Potter fan and I want to go see the movie just for this trailer.  I’ve got my replica power ring on and I am ready to suit up.  Now watch the clip while I go change my shorts.

Newer HD version added!!!!

Source: Slashfilm

Happy Veteran’s Day!!!  I am really surprised that I got this week’s edition posted.  Since Call of Duty: Black Ops got released on Tuesday, I have been spending nearly every spare minute playing and I have to say this new COD rocks!  Along with that and Guild Wars, I’ve been in nerd nirvana.  If you’re stuck on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, all I have to say to you is stop your crying, there are millions of people who’d give their left nut to be where you are right now.  There is a lot of gaming news this week so without further delay, let’s get to The Word for this week.

Tech Nerd
At Home STD Tests Being Developed
Now at first you might think this is a really good idea.  Imagine you’re doing the “walk of shame” after a night of drunken debauchery and you’re thinking if the person you hooked up with might have been unclean.  But now research is being done to develop “at home” or “on the go” STD testing devices.  My opinion is that if you’re that big a whore that you need an at home STD test, then you should probably stop having sex with people.  You can read more about it at Engadget.

Extract Embedded Media from Office Documents
Need to extract pictures, videos or other media from Office documents?  Try this handy work around to enable you to do just that.  This works for Word, Power Point and other Office documents.  Check out the how to at Lifehacker.

Spec the Perfect PC for Your Specific Needs
Building your own PC from parts can be a very rewarding experience.  Figuring out what components to build a new PC can be a challenge for even the most experienced PC enthusiast.  Research is the name of them game when it comes to specs for a new PC.  Lifehacker has a great guide that will help you get started and make sure your PC performs well and suits your needs.  Check it out here.

Microsoft Criticized for Offering Free Anti-Virus via Auto-download
More potential trouble for Microsoft, this time with its free anti-virus software Security Essentials.  Microsoft began offering the software via its auto-download feature last month.  Even though it is only offered to Windows users not currently running anti-virus software, Panda Security and Trend Micro have taken issue with it.  Stating that by offering only their free version of anti-virus software Redmond is “promoting a monoculture of anti-virus software”.  You can read all about it at The Register.

Customize Your Desktop
Courtesy of Lifehacker, several ways to customize your desktop.  Everyone likes to put their own personal touch on their desktop and this article has a few very clever ways to give yours a fresh look.  Check it out here.

Movie Nerd

Spider Man Has Its Aunt May & Uncle Ben
This was totally unexpected yet somehow promising for the new Spider Man reboot.  Actors Sally Field and Martin Sheen have been approached to play the roles of Aunt May and Uncle Ben.  I am not too sure about the casting for these two characters.  Why couldn’t they just get Rosemary Harris to play Aunt May?  For that matter, why do we need a Spider-Man reboot?  Spider-Man 3 sucked, but they could have recovered.  Why did you give up without a fight Sam Rami?  Read more about it at Superhero Hype.

Christopher Reeve Sought Advice from Sean Connery about Superman
In an interview shortly before his death, screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz revealed that before taking the role of Superman, Christopher Reeve was put in touch with legendary actor Sean Connery.  Knowing a thing or two about being typecast into a role, Connery gave Reeve his insight on the subject.  This is incredibly cool to know that Sean Connery helped shape one of the most iconic movie characters.  And it also goes to show you that when Sean Connery tells you to do something, you damn well better do it.  You can read all about it at Empire.

First Star Trek 2 Teaser Hits
Rumors are still going around concerning the authenticity of the photo, but if it’s real we are seeing the first teaser promo for the new Star Trek movie.  Slated for a 2012 release, the photo shows JJ Abrams’ new Enterprise at warp, with the Trek logo at release date in the bottom corner.  Check it out full size here.

Dune Remake May Be Stuck In the Sand
News of a Dune remake got me a little excited.  I am one of those few sci-fi purest that think that all-in-all the 1984 David Lynch adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune wasn’t that bad.  Imagine my joy when I heard some time ago that a remake was in the works.  Well now that might not happen.  The film has been plagued with problems from finding and keeping a director to licensing problems.  Like the Justice League movie that just seemed to fall apart, it looks like our hopes of seeing a redemption of a Dune movie will do the same.  You can read more about it at Blastr.

TV Nerd

Why Megan Fox Should Not Be Wonder Woman
Beyond the fact that she can’t act and her lips look like she spent the night at Fight Club, Megan Fox just isn’t suited to play Wonder Woman.  Speculation on just who might play the Amazon princess in a new TV series in development has been at a fever pitch.  When rumors surfaced last year that there might be a Wonder Woman movie in the works, everyone jumped on the Megan Fox bandwagon.  But after her abrupt departure from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I am even more convinced now that she isn’t right for the part.  If you won’t take my word for it, maybe Lynda Carter who starred in the original Wonder Woman series might sway your opinion.  Read more about it at Blastr.

Gaming Nerd

Call of Duty Will Not Go Subscription Based
This was some of the best news I’ve heard all week.  For a while now there has been talk about Activision taking the Call of Duty series and making it subscription based, like World of Warcraft.  This generated a lot of flak from the gaming community.  It seems now that Activision has changed their minds (for now) on that move.  If you think you can charge me $60 to buy the game in the first place, then another $15 to $20 a month to play it, I will hunt you all down and kill you in your sleep.  You can read more about it at Ripten.

Next COD Could Be In the Future
Sledgehammer is rumored to be working on a Call of Duty spin-off game that will take place in the future, like way in the future as in space marines.  They obviously didn’t learn the lessons from Battlefield 2142.  Although the game play was what we expected from the Battlefield franchise, the game just didn’t land with gamers.  Let Halo deal with outer space and let Call of Duty handle the present day conflicts.  You can read more about it at Gamasutra.

What and When to Expect Black Ops DLC
The new smell hasn’t worn off the packaging and the subject of DLC has already come up for Black Ops.  I miss the days when DLC for the PC version was included in a software update and was free.  Now with the introduction of Steam, they are now more able to charge for DLC.  But what does Treyarch in store for DLC and when might we see it?  Read all about it at G4.

Xbox 360 Players Outnumber PS3 and PC Players
Now this is giving me second thoughts about buying COD: Black Ops for my PC instead of my 360.  According to the numbers there are 2.8 million players on the multiplayer version; 1.5 million of those are on the Xbox 360.  That outnumbers PS3 and PC players by 1.4 million combined.  You can read more about it at G4.

Microsoft Kinect is Racist
Now get too bent out of shape with the title.  There are reports that the Kinect for Xbox has problems recognizing people with darker skin tones.  Some testing was done with GameSpot employees of various skin tones.  Two of three had trouble with the facial recognition features of the Kinect, leading rumors to spread that there were problems with the device.  You can read more about it at GameSpot.

Are We Experiencing Sequel Fatigue with Games
Video games like movies are driven by the all mighty dollar.  And how do you stretch more and more money out of a successful movie or video game; by making a sequel.  Look at any highly successful video game and more than likely there will be a number or subtitle behind the title.  And while some sequels are better than others is it becoming too much?  Are we getting burned out by having a new sequel every year?  Adam Sessler from G4 has a unique opinion to this question.  Since I can’t watch G4 on DirecTV any longer, I will just have to scour their website for into.  Check out Sessler’s Soapbox.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Unlock Guide
To help you through the sometime confusing waters of COD: Black Ops’ unlocks, here is a quick guide to the unlockable achievements and weapons.  Check it out at Ripten.

WoW Mountain Dew Game Fuel
I will admit that I bought some of this stuff and actually still have some in my mini-fridge at home.  After my article on the effects of caffeine on your body, I would be the last person to objectify the consumption of this stuff.  On the other hand, this guy looks like he’s one Klondike bar away from a massive heart attack and even still I found it necessary to laugh at this.  Check out this video at YouTube.

WoW Girl: The Next Internet Celebrity
I’m not sure if I am on the cutting edge of discovering the next viral video star or if I am just getting on the train late.  YouTube is a black hole that can suck you in for hours.  During one of my recent journeys into the darkest regions of YouTube I found the cutest thing.  This girl named Nadine does video blogs mostly about her adventures in World of Warcraft but there are other topics she talks about.  I don’t know if I am going to hell for contributing to her become famous on the Internet before I do, but I could not keep this little space cadet all to myself.  She’s as cute as a button, but more annoying than a root canal.   Check out one of my favorite videos here.

Blizzard Steps Up Security
I am actually kind of jealous over just how cool World of Warcraft is looking these days.  In their never ending war against hackers and thieves, Blizzard has taken a more high tech approach to security by offering the Authenticator.  Read more about it at Ripten.

COD: Black Ops Sells 7 Million Copies First Day
Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 7 million copies in its first day of release.  If the initial numbers are accurate, Black Ops will have surpassed its predecessor Modern Warfare 2 by at least 10 percent and would make it the largest video game release in history.  You can read more about it at GamrFeed.

Social Media Nerd

Woman Fired for Facebook Comments
I had to create a brand new category for this story.  A woman was fired from her job because of comments she made about her job and boss on her Facebook page.  I for one find this a little disturbing and I think it borders on being illegal.  So if you’re going to trash your boss and your job, best thing is to do it anonymously like everyone else.  You can read more about this story at CNET.

Guide for Teen-Proofing Facebook
If you have teens and have listened to the news lately of all the criticism when it comes to social media sights and teens, then you’re going to want to read this guide.  Sometimes we give teens too much credit when thinking they’ll make the right choices.  Not to come down on all teenagers, but taking proper precautions now might save you and your kids potential disaster later.  Check out the printable guide here.

Delete Your Facebook Friends Day
I didn’t know this was a real phenomenon until I sat down and did some research.  Facebook fatigue is sweeping the nation.  People are cleaning out their friends lists of hangers on and people they never hear from.  So on November 17, start clearing out that friends list and cut the fat from your life.  You can read more about at CNET.

Queen Elizabeth Is On Facebook
Well it’s now official; the British Monarchy has a Facebook page.  In order to further prove just own irrelevant the monarchy is over there; you can now keep up with their exploits on Facebook.  But don’t get too excited, you will not be able to add The Queen or any of the other royals as a friend.  Read more about it at The Telegraph.

Gadget Nerd
BeoSound 8 for iPad, iPod and iPhone
Bang & Olufsen has released its newest dockable speakers for your Apple devices.  Now these really make we want to get an iPad or iPhone.  Sleek design, very cool looking but will cost you some coin.  Check them out at Engadget.

Omnio Eee Keyboard
This is also for you Apple folks.  The Omnio Eee Keyboard has a built in docking port for your iPhone.  What is most cool about this keyboard is that it is Mac and PC compatible and has 15 hotkeys for iPhone use.  Check it out at Engadget.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
If you could put sexy in a video card, then this would be it.  It’s being heralded as the world’s fastest GPU and is sporting the Fermi GPU.  With 512 cores and 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory this beast will be the standard by which all other video cards will be compared to.  Priced at $499.  You can read more about it at CRN.

Pure Nerd

Why I Want to Work for Google – Part 2
In a previous edition of The Word, I posted a story of just how awesome it would be to work for Google.  As if it couldn’t get any better, Google throws in a $1000 holiday bonus and a 10 percent pay increase for all employees.  Time to start polishing up the old resume again.  Read more about it at Business Insider.

Rosario Dawson Wants Part in New Star Trek
While out promoting her new movie Unstoppable, Rosario Dawson admitted she’s a huge Trekkie and would love a role in the new Star Trek movie.  Co-starring with Captain Kirk himself Chris Pine, how could she not pass up on an opportunity to be immortalized forever in the world of Star Trek?  I think she’s cute as hell and I’d love to see her in a recurring role in the series.  You can read more of Rosario’s interview at Collider.

Alessandra Torresani in Sexy and Silly Caprica Spoof
The raven haired, raspy voiced minx that is Alessandra Torresani from the now canceled series Capria co-hosted Tuesday night’s Attack of the Show on G4.  To the delight of under-sexed nerds everywhere, she and co-host Kevin Pereira did a spoof of Caprica dressed as Slave Leia.  Somebody get me some tissues.  I would have gotten to see this episode live on Tuesday if DirecTV hadn’t pulled G4 from their lineup, damn yous guys.  Check out the video of said spoof at G4.  Also check out a photo gallery of behind the scenes action here.

The Coolest Predator & General Grievous Costumers EVER
Leave to German engineering to devise the most awesome Halloween costumes I have ever seen.  This guy should be in Hollywood designing real props and special effects for movies.  Check out the two videos at Geeks Are Sexy.

Film Canister Confetti Bomb
For the office prankster we all wish we could be.  How to take a simple plastic film canister, some compressed air and some paper punch holes and turn them into a hilarious confetti bomb that I am sure your boss will get a kick out of.  Find out how to get yourself fired and possibly arrested for terrorist activities at Lifehacker.

A Klingon Christmas Carol
You haven’t experience Shakespear until you heard it in the original Klingon.  I wonder if Charles Dickens will translate as well?  The theater company who performed Hamlet in Klingon is adapting A Christmas Carol for non-Earthers.  How do you say bah humbug in Klingon?  Read more about it at Trek Today.

The Nerd says, “I always keep a pop up tent with me.  You never know when you’ll need to be first in line”.

A Nerd’s Rant

I did not have a good weekend and I wish I could go back in time a few days and start over again.  There have been a number of things that have happened over the past few days that just have me fuming and I wanted to get them off my chest.  Since I have this blog, I have the perfect platform to spew my rants.

Rant number one.  DirecTV in their endless pursuit of greed and the continued ass raping of their customers, have taken one of my favorite networks off of their lineup.  G4, a network I’ve watched since it was Tech TV refused to give in to DirecTV’s strong arm tactics when they asked for more money to carry them on their service.  DirecTV called their bluff and pulled G4 from the lineup.  This made me extremely angry and prompted a very heated phone exchange between me and some drone working in DirecTV’s customer service center.  I have been a customer since 2003 and I have come to realize that they really don’t care about their customers.  All they are concerned with is pulling in new customers.  Once you’re a customer, you are just a number to them and they stop caring about you.  But I am going on record now, DirecTV is quickly making it to the top of my shit list and if they keep up these kind of shenanigans, I will be taking my business elsewhere.  How the hell am I going to watch Attack of the Show and X-Play now?

Rant number two.  Where did courtesy and manners disappear to in this country?  No one seems to understand the concepts of waiting in line, not talking on your cellphone when doing business at the cash register, waiting for people to get off the elevator before trying to get on the elevator and waiting your turn.  Being polite is a thing of the past these days.  We’re living in a culture where it’s me, me, me all the time.  Everyone is so caught up with their mundane lives that they completely disregard anyone else near them.  What’s wrong with at the very least acting civil toward someone?  When was the last time you held the door open for someone?  Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store because they only had a few items to your overflowing cart?  Hell, when was the last time you said ‘good morning’ to a complete stranger?  Do you see what I mean?

I was wayleided by one rude person after another this weekend.  A simple trip to Starbucks turned into me cursing under my breathe at the total cluster fuck that was going on in there.  To the stupid greedy woman who drank nearly all of her grande latte before returning it three times and practically shoving me out of the way each time to go complain, I hope you burn your crotch with the next cup of coffee you purchase.  Burn it to the point that you’ll no longer have the ability to produce any more fucktard copies of yourself.

To the man-skunk who forced his way onto the elevator before I could successfully get off and contaminated me with the foul stench that he carried.  You were obviously nose deaf to the fact that you smelled like dirt that was fucked by a hobo.  I feel sorry for you that there is no one in your life who cares for you enough to prevent you from going out in public with the kind of stench that you had.  I hope someone in that hospital smells you and decides to give you a Silkwood shower with a wire brush and bleach.  It’s the 21st century, it is socially acceptable to take a bath more than once an Olympics.

Finally to the selfish, inconsiderate hag that talked on her cellphone the entire time she was checking out at Old Navy and found it necessary to berate the poor sales clerk for having the nerve to interrupt her conversation by giving her the total of her purchase.  I hope the last thing you ever see is the headlights of the truck that runs your self absorbed over because you’re too damn stupid to pay attention before walking into the parking lot while talking on your cell phone.  You’re conversation with one of your inbred relatives about Scooter Jr. and that strange growth on his lip is more important than your own miserable existence.  The world doesn’t revolve around you, so get over yourself.

Rant number three.  To the North Carolina Fire Fighters Association.  What part of I am not interested didn’t you understand?  I have talked to you people three times and every time I told you I wasn’t interested in giving to your organization.  I support my local fire fighters in my own way and I am certain my contributions make it into the hands of the people who need it.  So why do you insist on calling me every single night while I am trying to eat dinner?  If you keep calling me at dinnertime I am going to see to it that you’ll be in need of the fire department and maybe EMS also.  Let me put it in a way that you’re tiny little brain can comprehend; I am not sending you any fucking money, ever.

Ok, I think I feel better now.

Holy crap it has been a long week.  We’ve made it through another election season finally.  I understand the importance of voting and I exercised my right on Tuesday, but I am so glad it is all over.  The hype in the media is dying down and this will all be a memory by the time another two year old gets stuck in a well.  No more TV smear campaign commercials, no more signs stuck at every intersection and no more recorded telephone messages while I am trying to watch Attack of the Show.  So now I am finished the rant here’s this week’s edition of The Word.

Tech Nerd

Real Life Superhero Technologies/Gadgets & Powers
Ever wanted your own Iron Man armor or to be able to climb walls like Spider-Man?  Well your dreams might be coming true.  Here are some superhero gadgets and powers that could soon be a reality.  Check it out at Ranker.

London Tube Stations Get Wi-Fi
Starting on November 1, select tube stations in London will be Wi-Fi enabled.  The trial will be for six months from Charing Cross, Northern and Bakerloo platforms.  Access will not be available on the trains themselves once the doors are closed.  You can read more about it at Crave.

iTunes Extends Song Previews
For all you iTunes users out there, you might be pleased to know that the sample length for songs will be increased from 30 to 90 seconds and only applies to songs longer than 2 1/2 minutes.  This move was initially halted due to resistance by the record companies.  But it appears they have worked out their little dispute for now.  You can read more about it and CNet.

When Is It Time to Retire Your Old PC
We’ve all got that old workhorse PC sitting in the corner.  At one time it was cutting edge but is now a relic of days gone by.  When it is time to put the old timer out to pasture?  This great article from The Register gives you some tips for when it’s time.

Consumer Reports Recommends Plasma for Good 3D
I thought plasma TVs were on their way out.  But it seems that the 3D crazy might be breathing new life into this misunderstood tech.  You can read more about it at High-Def Digest.

Movie Nerd

Tim Burton Superman Reboot = Fail
Photos surfaced this week of the costume that would have been worn by Nicholas Cage in Tim Burton’s re-imagined reboot of Superman.  Although Burton’s vision for the film would have probably been dark and gloomy like the rest of his work, I would have been willing to give it a chance.  After all, he did do a pretty good job with Batman.  We can thank the gods that we were not subjected to Nicholas Cage’s performance of the Man of Steel.  He has only made one good movie in his entire career and I am sure his version of Superman would have gone down as one of the biggest blunders in movie history.  The costume he would have worn is interesting to say the least and a far departure from the normal blue and red we’re use to seeing.  You can check out the photos of the costume here.

Hi-Rez Pics from Green Lantern
I can hardly wait to see this movie and eagerly await more images to be released.  These pics aren’t new; they were released some time ago.  They are however now officially released and in higher quality than before.  Check them out at IESB along with the synopsis of the movie.

First Images from Captain America
We’re getting our first look at Chris Evans all dolled up as Captain America.  The movie, set to come out summer 2011 is one of the most anticipated releases of the summer.  Along with Green Lantern, Transformers and Thor, summer 2011 is going to be an epic summer for movies.  Check out the images from Captain America: The First Avenger at Collider.

Trailer for Sucker Punch Released
Hot steampunk girls with machine guns fighting robots and dragons; what’s not to love?  After getting the first images of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, I just knew I had to see it.  The story is a mixture of Alice In Wonderland and The Matrix tells of a young girl who uses her imagination to escape her harsh reality.  Don’t take my word for it though, check out the trailer at Geek Tyrant

Ghostbusters 3 Could Begin Shooting Next Spring
With Dan Aykroyd now doing tweaks on the script, Sony is said to be moving forward on Ghostbusters 3.  No official word has been released but “inside sources” at Sony say a green light to begin production is coming.  Rumors started to surface about a third film being made and gained momentum when Bill Murray showed up at the 2010 Scream Award in his Ghostbusters uniform.  You can read more about it at Empire.

5 New Awesome TRON: Legacy Posters
I’ve been trying to convince my wife just how awesome and revolutionary the original TRON was back in the 80s.  It was cutting edge special effects that made nerds everywhere drool with excitement.  I will admit the story was a little weak, but it did not make it any less amazing; and with songs from Journey how could you go wrong?  I can’t wait to see this movie in 3D IMAX.  Here are 5 new posters for the movie.

MGM Files for Bankruptcy Protection
It was only a matter of time before this happened.  MGM has been in financial distress for a while now and even had to halt production on several projects including the latest James Bond film.  The studio has filed Chapter 11 in order to begin reorganization of the company.  The news is that although projects have been put on hold, this move will not affect production on The Hobbit.  You can read more about it Geek Tyrant.

Tom Hardy Offered Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
It’s been a big couple of weeks for Tom Hardy.  Last week it was confirmed he would be in The Dark Knight Rises and now it’s been reported that he was offered a role in the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s horror book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  The story is about Lincoln as a vampire hunter out to avenge the death of his mother.  Tim Burton is producing the film that is slated for release in June 2012.  You can read more about it at Bloody Disgusting.

More Batman 3 Rumors

With the title of the film confirmed and word that the villain will not be Riddler, the rumors surrounding The Dark Knight Rises are once again in overdrive.  It’s been reported that Kacie Thomas, Vera Farmiga and Charlize Theron have all auditioned for roles in the film.  It is not yet known exactly what characters they would play, but rumors are that they will have ties to Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne.  Speculation now is that based on the female casting, the possible villain could be Clayface.  You can read more about it at IESB.

Jon Favreau Predicts Summer 2011 Will Be a “Blood Bath”
From May through July 2011 there will be 13 big budget genre movies hitting theaters.  That’s nearly every weekend with a new potential blockbuster.  How are Hollywood and the public in general going to deal with the potential financial gains and losses?  Stakes are high as each of the films battle for box office revenue.  You can read more about it at Hero Complex.

Rise Of The Apes “Just The Beginning”
Director Rupert Wyatt wants to tell a true origins story in his remake of the classic and widely successful Planet of the Apes franchise.  This new retelling will use realistic apes instead of humans in costumes and will hopefully pave the way for numerous sequels.  The film due June 24, 2011 stars James Franco, John Lithgow and Andy Serkis as the intelligent ape Caesar.  You can read more of the interview the Wyatt at CBM.

TV Nerd

BSG Spared From “Techno babble”
Working and writing for shows like Star Trek, you often have to be inventive when it comes to explaining how and why things work.  Star Trek is famous for it’s hard to pronounce and even harder to understand “techno babble”.  When Ron Moore set out to recreate Battlestar Galactica, he wanted to spare the viewers all that and concentrate on the story.  BSG set new standards for science fiction in a world where spaceships used real bullets instead of lasers and nuclear missiles instead of photon torpedoes.  Courtesy of The Register a great four page article into the science and the fiction used to create the more “realistic” world of Battlestar Galactica.

Tanit Phoenix Up For Wonder Woman?
Along with Eliza Dushku, South African actress Tanit Phoenix is rumored to be up for the roll of Wonder Woman in the new David E. Kelly written series.  Due out next year, it is not yet known just who will take on the roll of the amazon princess, but after seeing photos of Phoenix, I sincerely hope she gets it.  Eliza Dushku is probably more suited physically for the role, but in my opinion isn’t quite pretty enough.  You can read more about it at What’s Playing.

Transformers: Prime Footage Disappointing
Some fans are screaming that the footage released of the new Transformers: Prime on The Hub isn’t living up to expectations.  Noting that in two pieces of footage released, the animation looked “terribly bland and boring backgrounds”.  The series still has a few weeks before its premiere and maybe the footage shown wasn’t complete.  I’m glad I am not the only one feeling this way.  You can read more about it and see the new trailer yourself at Topless Robot.

New ThunderCats Series Details
ThunderCats are goooooooo!  News of Cartoon Network working on a new ThunderCats series broke some time ago.  Since then there has been no news or updates as to the status, until yesterday.  It seems that MTV has been sitting on news of the series since the San Diego Comic Con when they spoke to producer Michael Jelenic.  For those of you along with myself who spent their weekday afternoons after school watching such great shows like G.I. Joe, Transformers and ThunderCats, this was wonderful news.  Jelenic plans to bring a lot of the classic characters into the new show including (unfortunately) Snarf.  You can read more about it at G4 and MTV.

G.I. Joe: Renegades Sneak Peek
The Hub’s new G.I. Joe series finally premieres on November 26.  Here is a sneak peek at what you can expect from the series.  It’s suppose to be a mix of G.I. Joe and The A-Team about a team of Joes wanted for crimes they were set up to take the fall for by COBRA.  The team fights to clear their names and expose COBRA.  I’ll give it a shot, if the action and story are good.  Check out the short video at IGN.

Comic Nerd

Bruce Wayne Shocks World
Bruce Wayne, recently returned from the dead, dropped a bomb on the world that will shake up the DC Universe for some time.  Although he didn’t reveal to the world he was really Batman, he did however announce that he has been secretly financing Batman and his war against crime for many years.  He dropped another bomb by announcing the continuation of his support by creating Batman Incorporated.  All this revealed in the Batman & Robin #16. You can read more about it along with a two page preview at The Source.  **Contains Spoilers**

Marvel’s New Pricing Misleading
In a move to match DC Comic’s announcement that they were lower the cost of their comics.  Marvel made the same announcement almost immediately after but their new pricing scheme is exactly that, a scheme.  It appears that the lowering of prices only applies to its new line of Point One titles.  The Point One series is a new initiative to draw in new readers.  But trust me Marvel, you’ll lose established readers if you keep up this kind of shenanigans.  You can read more about this smoke screen at Topless Robot

Gaming Nerd
Supreme Court Weighs In On Gaming Ban
Although it is far from over it seems Round 1 has gone to the gamers.  Supreme Court Justices gave their opening opinions on the California law to ban violent video game sales to minors.  In the report from Gamasutra several of the Justices criticized the law based on how little sense it made to target video games specifically and not other media forms.  The Justices won’t make a ruling on this until June 2011 and could go either way.  You can go to the following links to read more about.  MPC, Gamasutra, G4, G4, G4, G4.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Cheats & Unlockables
Yes, after my many tirades about cheaters I am posting cheat codes.  Well this is only to the single player version of the game and I am not against that.  There are also a few cool unlockable features as well.  Check out the full list at Ripten.

New Unannounced Battlefield Game Revealed
An exec with Easy, the company that runs EA’s business unit tweeted that he was on his way to London to show the new Battlefield game to the press.  The news is to be released publicly on Friday.  There is much speculation as to this unannounced title (that’s not BF3).  I guess we’ll find out on Friday.  You can read more about it at G4.

Use Your iPhone to Invade Your City with TIE Fighters
Vertigore Games and THQ have released this awesome new game for the iPhone.  I have been wavering back and forth about getting an iPhone, but now I hear of this game and that Verizon will probably start offering them.  I can’t think of any more excuses.  Go read more about it and watch a demo of Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner at Gizmodo.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer Footage
The original Crysis was one of the most visually stunning games ever made and quickly became the standard for other games to outdo.  It is still used as a benchmark for gaming hardware today.  When Crysis was released, hardware struggled to keep up with the resource heavy title.  Now the sequel is at hand and there is new footage of the multiplayer game play.  You can see it at MegaGalak.

Gadget Nerd

TRON Themed Custom 360, PS3 & Wii Controllers
I almost passed out from extreme envy when I saw these beauties.  I am tempted to buy one of each even though I only own a 360 and Wii just in case I ever get a PS3.  They are due for release on November 11 so start saving your pennies.

First Smartphone That’s Wi-Fi Direct Certified
The Galaxy S is the latest cutting edge smart phone by Samsung.  The only way they could top having the first smart phone to be DivX certified was to have a handset listed on the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi certification docket.  You can read more about it at Engadget.

Verizon to Unveil “Iconic device” on November 9
All the signs are pointing to Verizon’s release of the new iPhone later this month.  We’ve been teased that the carrier would begin selling the iPhone for quite some time.  Emails set through the company indicate that an “iconic device” would be released for pre-sale beginning November 9.  Cross your fingers and read more about it at Ripten.

Pure Nerd

Star Wars Tourism Posters
Check out these awesome 60s style posters for different Star Wars locales.  I am particularly fond of the Rebel Transport, Inc. poster, being a huge Empire Strikes Back fan.  Check out some of the posters at Unreality and some more of the artists work here.

Takei Goes After Anti-gay Bigot

George Takei went after the Arkansas school board member who publicly lashed out at homosexuals that got nationwide attention.  Clint McCanse posted anti-gay comments on his Facebook page about his displeasure with the “wear purple” campaign to help raise awareness of gay bullying in schools.  McCanse used anti-gay slurs and invited all homosexuals to commit suicide on his Facebook posting.  Takei called McCanse a “douche bag” for his comments and expressed his disapproval of his conduct as an elected official.  McCanse has since resigned from his position on the school board.  Bravo George, bravo!  You can read more about it and watch George Takei’s video here.

WoW Kid Gains Internet Fame
The kid I posted about who owned some Blizzard staff with facts about the game that even they didn’t know has become an Internet celebrity.  The kid now known as The Red Shirt Guy has been poked fun at by some, praised by others and has taken his new found fame in stride.  He has posted a graceful and dignified rebuttal on YouTube admitting he suffers from mild Asberger’s syndrome to explain his nervousness at the event.  This kid rocks and he should be commended for being proud of who he is.  Blizzard couldn’t buy this kind of publicity; and as a result has added him into the game as the Wildhammer Fact Checker complete with red shirt.

Cool Star Wars Art
Star Wars: Visions is an awesome collection Star Wars inspired art now on sale at Amazon.  Artists like Alex Ross, Harley Brown, H.R. Giger, Moebius and many more have contributed to this amazing collection.  You can read more and see select works from the book at Geek Tyrant.

Trek Producer Bennett Talks about Roddenberry
In a recent interview Harve Bennett, the producer of Star Trek 2, 3, and 5 said that he and creator Gene Roddenberry shared a mutual dislike for one another.  Later in the interview Bennett gave insights into the production of Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan.  You can read more about it at Examiner.

The Science behind Folding @ Home
Whether you’re helping out SETI search for extraterrestrial life or looking for a cure for cancer, this noble and inventive project allows people to help make a difference while getting something cool out of it.  If you ever wondered about what the Folding @ Home project is all about, check out this interview from Maximum PC.

ISS Marks Ten Years
Although operational two years prior, the International Space Station celebrates ten years of continuous occupation.  It has also set a record for the longest continuous manned spacecraft held previously by the Russian MIR.  On October 31, 2000, the first three man crew launched into space to dock with the station two days later.  The station has been constantly occupied ever since.  You can read more about it the NASA website.

Pic of the Week

The Nerd says, “I like Kirk and Picard equally”.

Caffeine, as a culture we’re more addicted to it than ever.  Whether it’s coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks we consume a lot of caffeine.  Plus it seems that younger and younger people are getting addicted at alarming rates.  Energy drinks are targeted at younger demographics than just your normal coffee drinkers.  I for one am one of those addicts that fumbles around every morning like a zombie until I’ve had my morning coffee. 

So what’s your caffeine medium of choice?  There are a lot to choose from, and I like to get mine from a variety of sources.  The delivery system changes with my mood usually.  Not wanting to become my parents, I refuse to drink coffee from sunrise to sunset and prefer my java only in the morning.  With a Starbucks on every corner, it’s much easier for me to get my fix; although I have had to beg for change on a few occasions in order to get my Red Eye.  Come afternoon I become a soda junkie and I even have a mini-frig near my computer that I keep constantly stocked with a variety of my favorite sodas.

When it comes to sodas, I have been forced in recent years to the diet side of the fence.  Yeah the regular ones taste so much better; but if you are like most nerds and not very active besides regular trips to Gamestop or the local comic book store, then sugary sodas aren’t recommended.  I’ve always been a Pepsi man myself, but I will drink just about anything.  When Mountain Dew started putting out different flavors directly aimed at gamers I was all over that.  Isn’t it funny how marketing works and how they are so successful at targeting the core audience?

In recent years caffeine has popped up in everything.  Energy drinks, breath mints, you can even get soap infused with it.  It’s been a staple in chocolate bars for years and years.  ThinkGeek has an entire section of products dedicated to caffeine.  Hell some people kill two birds with one stone.  When they go for their regular body cleansing enema they use coffee and have it squirted directly up their ass where their body can more easily absorb the caffeine.  What is all this caffeine doing to our bodies?  Normally it blocks receptors in your brain that tells you when it’s time to sleep.  But what can happen if you take in too much?  A very interesting question since I consume a lot of it every day.  I put my detective hat on and went digging around for answers.

According to moderate caffeine use is considered to be 200 to 300 milligrams or around 2 to 4 cups of coffee.  Heavy use is considered to be 500 to 600 milligrams or 4 to 7 cups.  10 cups a day is considered to be excessive.  Heavy to excessive use can cause a number of health issues.  Caffeine causes the  firing of neurons in your brain to produce adrenalin, which is the heightened or alert state you feel.  When the effect wears off, you “crash” and can feel even more tired than before.  Excessive consumption causes your adrenal glands to be pushed into a state called adrenal exhaustion.  Your adrenal glands become overworked and have to struggle to produce adrenalin.  This can lead to fatigue, irritability or confusion.  Over time these conditions can lead to insomnia, nausea or other gastrointestinal problems, irregular heartbeat, headaches, anxiety, muscle tremors and depression.

Think you’re not addicted?  Just one 14 ounce mug of coffee a day, even though it is considered moderate use is enough to produce withdrawal symptoms in a short time.  When you experience withdrawal symptoms, you are addicted.  Caffeine is a drug and like any drug small amounts at first are enough to get the desired effect.  But over time it takes more and more to get your body to feel the effects and that is addiction.  Although you aren’t likely to hold up a convenience store to get your “fix”, the overall effects on your body are harmful.

So how do you get off the caffeine roller coaster?  Experts say that quitting cold turkey isn’t the best method.  They suggest you cut back gradually reducing the amount you consume.  One less cup of coffee or can of soda will help your body adjust and lessen the withdrawal symptoms.  Letting tea brew for less time will cut down on the amount of caffeine or switching to herbal teas which do not have it.  Read the labels on products you buy; many foods don’t list caffeine as an ingredient; even some pain relievers contain 130 milligrams in a single dose.  There is also caffeine free coffee and sodas if you just have to maintain the illusion.  But they aren’t 100 percent free of caffeine so be careful.

I probably burst the bubble of many gamers out there who like me consume a massive amount of sodas and coffee.  I have to admit that I was a little sad and quite shocked when I found out what I’ve been doing to myself all these years.  Cutting back seems like the responsible thing to do right now because probably like a lot of you out there, I can list a few conditions I suffer from right now that are most likely related to my excessive caffeine consumption.  But don’t go home and start pouring all your Mountain Dew down the drain just yet.  Remember that gradually reducing your intake will help easy those withdrawals.

So is caffeine evil?  I’d like to think that it isn’t.  But just like everything else, we take it to the extreme.  I’d like to think that companies like Starbucks didn’t set out to intentionally addict us to a drug that has been proven to be bad for us.  Facts are fact however and everyone involved had to know that something bad was bound to happen when a single individual consumed enough of their product meant for 4 average people.  As with tobacco there seems to be an inheritant lack of responsibility when it comes to acknowledging their product may be harmful.  I love coffee and sodas, they taste good, they make me feel good; doesn’t that sound familiar?

What it all comes down to is too much of anything isn’t necessarily a good thing.  Am I going to kick caffeine entirely?  Probably not, but what I will do is train myself to exercise a little self control and take it in moderation.  It will be hard to get use to not having a tall, frosty glass of soda next to me while I am gaming; and old habits are hard to break.  Maybe I will replace it with beer.

I was amazed the other day when I saw a co-worker leaving the bathroom and realized that he didn’t wash his hands.  This kind of grossed me out because a community bathroom is basically a peetree dish of germs and bacteria.  Then I started wondering just how many people I work with don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom; and for that matter how many people in general fail to wash their hands.  I was shocked to learn that only 3 out of 10 people I personally observed appeared to wash their hands after using the bathroom at work.

Many people lie about washing their hands; saying they did when in fact they didn’t.  Some people claim they have no reason to wash their hands because they are a clean person or the only thing they touched was themselves.  That might be true, but the person who used the bathroom before you could have been nastier than the monkey from Outbreak.  This prompted me to do a little research.  According to a study in 2006, 91 percent of adults polled by telephone said they washed their hands after visiting the bathroom.  When observers were sent into public restrooms, only 82 percent of 6,336 adults actually washed their hands.  It was found that 90 percent of women wash their hands compared to only 75 percent of men.  That was really no surprise to me because we men are dirty by nature.

As an IT worker, I am exposed to all kinds of situations where I could pick up germs from a keyboard, mouse, telephone or some other surface of a person’s workspace.  Even though I am diligent in washing my hands regularly, my efforts are stymied by either not properly cleaning my own workspace or another person’s lack of hygiene.  According to another study done by the University of Arizona, a work station contains 400 times more germs and bacteria than bathroom lavatories.  The biggest culprit being the telephone which can have over 25,000 germs per square inch; a toilet seat on average only has 49 germs per square inch.

In offices where workers were told to wipe their desks with anti-bacterial wipes, the levels of bacteria were reduced 99 percent.  That goes a long way to reducing the spread of things like colds and the flu.  Flu viruses can survive on a surface for up to 72 hours.  Many people do not think about things like this when they fail to wash their hands or come to work sick.  This puts the entire office at risk when the workplace becomes an incubator for germs.  It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to break, but can be helped by people washing their hands and the proper use of hand sanitizer.

So how should you properly wash your hands?  That varies depending on who you ask, but it is generally accepted to use warm water and soap for 20 seconds then rinse; according to the CDC.  Anti-bacterial soap is no more or less effective than regular soap; in fact anti-bacterial soap may lead to bacteria developing that are resistant to the antimicrobial agents in the soap.  The rule I have always heard of and often use is singing the Happy Birthday song in my head while lathering to ensure I’ve done it properly.  Hand sanitizers are also recommended but not as an alternative to hand washing and as long as they contain at least 60 percent alcohol.

Then the question of warm water versus cold water came to me; which one was better?  The sinks at work take forever before the water gets warm and I felt like I was wasting water by waiting.  So I figured cold water was better than nothing.  But according to a study done by Joint Bank Group/Fund Health Services Department and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2005 that subjects tested using water at temperatures ranging from 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit found “no effect on transient or resident bacterial reduction.”  The only evidence they could find is that using warm water increased the “irritant capacity” of some soaps and that could lead to contact dermatitis.  So warm water or cold water really doesn’t matter as long as you are washing properly.

Knowing all this might turn someone into a “germaphobe”, and that really wasn’t my intention.  I am the furthest thing from it but yet I do my best to maintain a level of hygiene especially in the workplace.  It is nearly impossible to create a totally sterile environment, but taking some simple steps can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria at home as well at work.  With flu season fast approaching, there is a lot more one can do than simply getting a flu shot.

I guess my overall reason for writing this was to fulfill a need to vent about the lack of hygiene of my co-workers.  But it could also serve two purposes.  The second being a guide or suggestion to some who might not be regular hand washers to change their germ ridden ways.  I guess you could say it all comes down to being an act of courtesy which is lacking nearly everywhere these days.  But if you can’t do it for your co-workers or family, why not do it for yourself?  Think about the person who will use that bathroom after you.  Then ask yourself if people might actually know you walk around with pee or poo on your hands all day.