Geek Madness Week 2!

Welcome to Week 2 of GEEK MADNESS! You guys voted on the first 32, so welcome to the Sweet 16! This week, members of The Geekwave debated for their picks, and recordings of the debates can be found below. Keep scrolling down for a graphic of the bracket so far and a link to this week’s results page. And, without further ado, this is where you can vote!

Debates Intro –

 

Darth Vader vs. George Lucas –

 

Linux Penguin vs. Patrick Stewart –

 

J.R.R. Tolkein vs. Joss Whedon –

 

Batman vs. Gandalf –

 

H.G. Wells vs. J.J. Abrams –

 

Harry Potter vs. James Bond –

 

Stephen Colbert vs. The Flash –

 

GeekMadnessRound2

 

Here is this week’s results page.

 

Geek out!

March 5th, 2015 Indie Rock/Alternative Playlist

Thursday, March 5th Playlist

C License to Capture – Mr. Graceless
C Enemy Destruct – Thee Oh Sees
C Human Gift – LITE
C Today More Than Any Other Day – Ought
C Pleasant Heart – Ought
C Can’t Complain – A Giant Dog
C Do You – Spoon
C I’d Have It Just The Way We Were – White Denim

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S Salad Days – Minor Threat
R Distant Relative Salute – White Denim
S What We All Want – Gang of Four
S Bulldog Front – Fugazi
S It’s All Bad – E-40
Z So Quick – Because of Ghosts
Z Tick Tick Boom – The Hives

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R Book and Cover – This Withered Heart
R ilovethe90s – fatherfake
Z No Room to Live – Times New Viking
N Mr. Li – Mr. Graceless
R Isn’t That Your Loli – RVFS

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R Sobai – Efferat
R O Meddle I am Knee Deep in Tar Pits Again​/​/​If Anything Breaks Off in You I’m Going to be Very Put Out – Soma
R Spiritual State (ft. Uyama Hiroto) – Nujabes
R Oakley Sunglasses – Lanza Manza
R Lemon – U2
R Crashless Tendencies – Jopator
R Grocery Store – Domina

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R 1 – Home Movies Vaporwave
R The Bends – Radiohead
R Neighborhood – Zed Bias
R Return To The Carnival – Dave Roland
R Out of Time – Blur
R Friendzone – Dayruiner
R Living Zoo – Built To Spill

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R Pretty Girls Is A Motherfucker – Son Of Salami
R The Best Room – Modest Mouse
R Fire of The Mind – Coil
C Underground Up – Mr. Complex
C The World Is Yours – Nas

R = Requests
S = Sam Beattie
N = Nigel Marabello
Z = Zach Rieck
C = Caine Wenner

Mars One? More like Mars Dumb

Hi guys! I’m Allie, your science correspondent. I have a lot of strong feelings about a lot of things, one of which is how the news is very bad at reporting science. So, I’m probably going to be writing a lot of Op Eds. Here we go.

Mars! People have been enthralled with the idea of exploring worlds other than our own since we knew there were other worlds. We conquered the first leg of that journey in 1969, when the Apollo mission landed people on the moon for the first time. Mars, being a planet, is the next logical step.

But why Mars? Why not Venus, which is quite a bit closer? One reason is that Venus is extremely inhospitable, more so than Mars. We didn’t know this 120 years ago, though, when Percival Lowell, the Neil Degrasse Tyson of the day, mistranslated an Italian astronomer’s writings about river systems into man made canals. He took that idea and ran with it, imaging that the canals were sending water from the ice caps to the rest of the planet as the last hope of a dying race (the Martians) to save their planet from being destroyed by drought. He captured the public’s imagination by writing books about what he thought their societies must be like. These books influenced many science fiction writers we know today such as Edger Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlien, Phillip K Dick, and eventually my introduction to Martians, the Warner Bros.

Going to Mars would be awesome, so why am I against it? The answer to that is that I’m not against the idea, I would absolutely go, but Mars One, a privately funded manned mission, is not going to be the one to get us there. What is Mars One? From its website, “Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide.” The idea is to send unmanned ships to Mars to set up a base camp, which will be ready for people to land on in ten years.

The first suspicious detail is that this mission will be primarily funded through TV networks; as it will be broadcast live, which makes me think of some horrible mash-up of The Truman Show and Lord of the Flies. Beyond the moral issues, and almost as troubling, this mission is more than likely going to cost a lot more money than what they say. Its proposed budget is six billion dollars, which may seem like a lot, but is absurdly small. To compare, NASA’s mission to Mars, Orion, is estimated to cost at least eighty billion. Where is this money going to come from? Not Indiegogo, where it raised less than half a million dollars.

The next and main criticism is that we simply do not have the technology. The Mars One website enumerates many of the technologies needed, but with no mention of if they actually have them, or when they are planning on getting them. The life support systems we have are not made for use on other planets, we have not yet figured out how to efficiently grow crops in space, so don’t know how to get drinkable water from Mars’ crust, and a thousand other little details. We don’t even know what ship they are planning on using, which seems like a big detail.

Basically, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Humans haven’t been outside of low Earth Orbit for more than forty years, I think we absolutely should get back out there, but in a safer way. I’m worried that this will fail horribly, and will delay exploration instead of prompting it forward.

The Sex Playlist to End All Sex Playlists

The Midday Mix celebrated Sex Week (and Valentine’s Day) by polling its listeners for the sexiest songs of their lives. In the mood for love? Try bringing some of these beats into the bedroom.

-Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On
-Prince: Raspberry Beret
-Salt-N-Pepa: Push It
-Frank Ocean: Forrest Gump
-Foxy Shazam: The Temple
-Marcy Playground: Sex And Candy
-Bob Seger: Night Moves
-Tupac: How Do You Want It
-Jimi Hendrix: Foxey Lady
-Journey: Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
-The Darkness: I Believe In A Thing Called Love
-Foreigner: Feels Like The First Time
-Warrant: Cherry Pie
-Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar On Me
-Beyonce: Blow
-Billy Squier: The Stroke
-Flight of the Conchords: Business Time
-Drake: Hold On, We’re Going Home
-The Lonely Island: Dick In A Box
-Rick Astley: Never Gonna Give You Up

GDC – What it is, and Why it's Important

Hey everyone! Solar here, filling in for Noah, talking about my geek specialty – Video Games.

This week is GDC – The Game Developers Conference. It’s a big deal in the video game community, advertising itself as the “World’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event”. For 5 days, over 24,000 attendees including programmers, artists, producers, designers, musicians, and business professionals will attend lectures, panels, and showcases.

GDC Banner

This year, GDC will have 8 major summits: Artificial Intelligence, Community Management, eSports, Free to Play Games, Game Narrative, Education, Independent Games, and Smartphone & Tablet Games. Each of these summits offer attendees opportunities to be taught by the best in the industry, including keynote talks by developers from Blizzard and Gearbox, and other experienced devs.

The choice of the 8 summits is fascinating to me, because it represents the areas that people want – and NEED – to learn more about in this industry. Indie Games are always a staple at GDC, but Mobile and Community games are rapidly becoming more and more popular, as major MMO creators are rethinking their processes and trying new things, and mobile games are becoming more and more community-based all the time. Free to Play games are an entirely seperate beast, but that model is starting to leave distinctive marks on the MMO and Mobile game industries, with huge games like Clash of Clans and League of Legends leaving their destinctive marks on the way we pay for games.

Speaking of which, an entire summit of GDC is dedicated to eSports. The scenes, the fans, and even the money are getting bigger every year in eSports, and companies like Twitch, Valve, Riot, and Blizzard are leading the way. With eSports teams and players both getting awards spots (albeit, fan-voted ones) at last year’s Game Awards, nobody is doubting anymore that eSports are a thing. But that’s a whole ‘nother article.

Let’s talk about what’s really important about GDC. It’s possibly the best conference where indie and triple-a devs meet together under a mutual understanding – how freaking hard it is to make games. GDC is home to the IGF – The Indie Game Festival, arguably the most prominant indie-only game awards. GDCPlay offers attendees chances to play games that are being shown off by developers trying to get their foot in the door. It also offers devs a chance to network with other indie devs who have made it further and programmers from companies like Sony, and get tons of advise, contacts, and sometimes even capital. And best of all, it offers students an inside look at the industry and the people in it. In fact, our own EAE Master Game Studio took one of 8 winning spots in the IGF Student Showcase for their game Cyber Heist last year.

Want to know more about GDC? Check out Gamasutra’s coverage of it here. Lucky enough to go to GDC? We’d love to see some pictures! Post to our Facebook page or email us at thegeekwave@gmail.com.

Geek out!

Geek Madness! Week 1

Alright everyone! It’s time for GEEK MADNESS!
On the show on Friday, the five of us drafted 30 characters or people that we think are prominent or influential in the Geekdom. We got two more from the listeners, and now all 32 of them are going head-to-head in a monthlong tournament to decide who is the King of the Geekwave for the next year! Vote for your choices, and tune in on Friday March 6th to see who makes it to the sweet 16 and listen to our hosts argue for their picks.

Click here to see the current results.

Geek out!

'Kingsman' rules as best kind of garbage

Kingsman: The Secret Service plays like a James Bond movie that never happened. The Kingsmen is a spy agency that defends the interests of Great Britain around the globe. This movie isn’t trying to break ground in the spy genre. Instead, director and screenwriter Matthew Vaughn flaunts the conventions of years past. Unlike the current iteration of the Bond franchise, Kingsman openly mocks the dreary, serious spy films like the Bourne movies. Instead, Vaughn calls back to the lighter and, dare I say, cheesier Bond films of the Rodger Moore era. Kingsman celebrates the 60s and 70s, when pasty British gentleman went around the world, stopped the vile plots of eccentric millionaires, and miraculously never caught gonorrhea. Through this lens, Kingsman can be summed up in a scene where regal Colin Firth says “Manners maketh the man” before thrashing multiple goons with a umbrella.

Kingsman, unlike the Bond films, is a fish-out-of-water story. Needing to find a new Kingsmen, Galahad (Colin Firth) turns to the hoodlum Eggsy, played by the newcomer Taron Egerton. Despite Eggsy’s low class status, his father was a former Kingsman killed in the line of duty. Despite being mocked by other Kingsmen for not choosing somebody from the upper-class, Galahad believes that despite his un-gentlemanly background, Eggsy has what it takes to join the ranks of the uber-British Kingsman and stop the plans of Dot Com Billionaire Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).

In Vaughn’s impressive film canon, Kingsman is very similar to another of his comic book adaptations, Kick-Ass. Both are incredibly violent films that serve to deconstruct their respective genres and whose protagonists are lower class white males thrust into a stylized world that clashes with the realism of current life. But Kingsman is also an across-the-board improvement on everything Vaughn did in Kick-Ass. Don’t get me wrong, Kick-Ass was an interesting, sometimes great, movie, but Kingsman is already the front runner for best action movie of the year. The fights are hyper-stylized and fun, all leading up to a fight scene in a church that is best left unexplained, but will go down as one of the most innovative and exciting action scenes of the past couple of years. The cast also doesn’t disappoint. Colin Firth is fantastic as the agent Galahad. He quickly casts away any doubt about his ability to act in action scenes. Firth alone is a great reason to see this movie. Taron Egerton also does well as the protagonist in this film. The rest of the supporting cast, (Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella, Samuel L. Jackson) is great with Jackson excelling as a Tech billionaire with a lisp.

On a final note, Kingsman does walk a very fine line from being a fun, dirty deconstruction of the spy genre, to becoming the very thing it homages back to. Kingsman mostly avoids failing this trap until the very end up of the movie, where a joke goes a bit too far and stumbles into crudeness. I understand the authorial intent in those final moments, but the joke doesn’t land as it should.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a crass, ultra-violent affair that isn’t for the more modest among us. But anybody interested in action or spy genres who wants to see a cavalcade of exploding-head fireworks should love this movie.