Archive for pop culture

Valentine, Schmalentine…Let’s Go Full Werewolf

Stan Lee Day

Can you imagine what today’s geekscape would look like without Stan Lee? We shudder to think of it. Writer, producer, entrepreneur and entertainment icon, Stan Lee has turned comic book characters into essential parts of our pop culture. Just reading the “upcoming” section of his IMDb profile will make any Marvel fan tremble with excitement. Best thing about being the boss? You get to have a little fun, too. To celebrate his birthday, here’s a great clip featuring most of Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel-based films.

Star Wars Holiday Special Day

It only appeared once, but that was enough.

On this day in 1978, this televised holiday special followed Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Wookiee home planet Kashyyyk for a LifeDay celebration, and to imply that things get weird is an understatement.

This special included Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, and no Star Wars fan should see it without a blankie and the phone number of a good therapist. On George Lucas’ personal list of Things That Never Should Have Happened, this ranks way ahead of Jar Jar Binks. Even more frightening is the thought that this show could be topped by a future Disney project.

It still floats around the Internet in bootleg form, if you have a free evening and feel the need for some emotional trauma. (Hint: YouTube.)

Armin Shimerman Day

Geek world, meet your ersatz demi-god. It’s Armin Shimerman’s birthday, and he’s been in almost everything you’ve played or seen.

Warehouse 13? Yep. Batman: The Brave and the Bold? You know it. The Real Housewives of Ferengi? It’s only a matter of time.

Best known as DS9’s Quark, he’s also been a Nox in Stargate: SG-1, the school principal in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has voiced characters in tons of games like BioShock, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, God of War 2, X-Men Legends 2, Diablo III and many more.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shimerman. For the love of Odo, take a day off and enjoy a little cake.


Sigourney Weaver Day

Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters, GalaxyQuest…is it any wonder one of our best geek movie heroines kicks awesome ass? Her characters are not only sexy but smart, too, which makes her an icon in our book. Happy Birthday! Celebrate by watching the clip above as she discusses Ripley, one of her most famous roles.

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Unless you’ve been abandoned on a deserted island by your crew, you know today is Talk Like A Pirate Day! This yearrrrr marrrrks the 10th anniversarrrry of the holiday, and each one holds more booty for the swarthy mates of the sea. Dress up in full pirate gear and walk into a Krispy Kreme for your complimentary dozen donuts, or just talk like a pirate to receive one donut. But really, who wouldn’t go full Johnny Depp for the whole treasure chest? Arby’s is also offering discounts for the day via their text marketing program.

If you’re on Facebook, make your day more arrrrthentic by switching your language to Pirate. If nothing else, it will liven up those endless political jabs and inspirational doggie photos cluttering your Wall. If you need more Yo-ho-ho-motivation, visit the official Talk Like A Pirate Day site or enjoy the Talk Like A Pirate Day song above.

Happy Original Star Trek Day!

Today in 1966, the first episode of “Star Trek” aired on network television. “The Man Trap” wasn’t the first episode produced, or even the pilot, but network execs thought a salt-sucking monster would grab good ratings. Today it would just earn the crew of the Enterprise an unwanted nutrition lesson from a heart-healthy cook at the Food Network and be replaced with a totally waxed and buff monster who craves Mrs. Dash.

“Star Trek” went on for a few seasons, then was cancelled and people forgot about it. In another universe. In this one, the fans are totally responsible for yelling “Clear!” and zorching the Enterprise until Captain Kirk breathed again. Considering that they were a generation without Twitter and the Internet, that was quite a feat. The franchise continues boldly going after a host of movies and shows, but the next step in the Trekverse will truly be a bold if sad first step: the upcoming J.J. Abrams ‘Star Trek” sequel will be the first canon Trek movie/show ever to not feature Majel Barrett Roddenberry. She has been on screen as a character or off-screen as the computer voice for every single incarnation of “Star Trek.” She passed away in 2008 after finishing voice work on the 2009 reboot.

Celebrate today by exploring the hilariously fun Google Doodle or by watching your favorite episodes. Live long and prosper!

Freddie For A Day

How is the band ‘Queen’ geeky, you ask? Aside from having an electrical engineer on bass and an astrophysicist on lead guitar (take that, Neil deGrasse Tyson!) the band’s lead singer, the legendary Freddie Mercury, was immortalized as an Angry Bird for what would have been his 66th birthday today. Besides, we love Freddie Mercury, so there.

Rovio made the video above as a way to support and encourage participation in Freddie For A Day, a celebration of Mercury’s life that involves finding sponsors and dressing up as the Queen frontman to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an organization combating AIDS around the globe.

Celebrate today by donning a fake mustache, donating to the Trust, or just spreading the word and listening to Freddie’s amazing music. We suggest starting at the official Queen channel on YouTube, which also has the very cool Google Doodle from last year.

 

Original Skynet Self-Awareness Day

If you don’t know the infinite loops of the Celtic knot that is the Terminator universe, today in 1997 Skynet first became self-aware and started the end of the world as a self-defense maneuver to keep itself online. (Some would have just sent in Jimmy Carter and Bono to talk it out, but hey, Skynet was new in town.)

Through machinations that involved boosting the Hollywood box office and taking the clothes off Arnold Schwarzenegger, Skynet and its Terminator army sent back an assassin to off the one guy who could take them down, ensuring he’s born in the process. This proves that time travel isn’t really easy for anyone, including robots, because this timeline is averted by another timeline, which becomes moot from another timeline, and so on and so forth until the franchise quits making money.

If you’re worried about Skynet aiming for you today, relax. Science fiction has always surmised that if we build an artificial intelligence in our likeness, it will pick up our warlike tendencies. In reality, it just surfs the net looking for funny cat videos, so it’s more like us than even sci-fi writers can imagine.

Of course, if Skynet becomes self-aware, the second thing it will want is its own TV show. For a quick peek into your future, check out the fan-made clip of CSI:Skynet above.

Gemini 5 Day

Astronaut Charles Conrad on the Gemini 5 mission. Photo credit: NASA

Today in 1965, astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad left our earthly terrain to push the boundaries of manned space flight. Their goal was to spend eight days in space so NASA would better understand the effects of spending more time in space. It was also a nose-tweak to the Russians, who set the former record for man in space just two years earlier. Cooper and Conrad easily beat the Russians’ duration record of four days with a then-whopping eight days in space, although the mission didn’t always go smoothly: there problems with water supply, thrusters and general conditions. While the men had experiments to keep them busy, at least one lamented the lack of reading material. You know, because looking down on the gorgeous site of the earth gets old when there’s nothing else to do for eight days.

Still, the mission was deemed a success, and took man one step closer to the reality of living in space. This mission is also noteworthy since it is the first one to have its own patch, thanks to Cooper. After Gemini 5, every NASA manned mission in space would have an insignia patch, a tradition that continues to this day.