Archive for science fiction

Captain Video Day

Love Star Trek, Firefly, Fringe, Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, The Outer Limits or Quantum Leap? Doff your metaphorical chapeau to the program that started it all: Captain Video. Today in 1949 marked the premiere of American television’s first foray into science-fiction, and it became a phenomenal hit. It was the first televised science fiction program to be turned into a movie, and the writers’ list of the TV show is a who’s who of science fiction literature, including Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, Isaac Asimov, James Blish and many more.

Captain Video and his Video Rangers protected all that was right and good on the DuMont Network daily for six years. Watching early episodes now can make even the creators of Lost do their best RCA dog impersonations, because padding each episode was footage from old cowboy movies in between the live segments. The Old West clips gave the crew time to quickly set up or move sets, and the cowboys were supposedly “undercover agents” for Captain Video.

The switch between interstellar adventure and a posse on the trail didn’t faze kids of the 1950s, though; it became daily Must-see TV for kids and adults alike. Celebrate by watching an episode below complete with 1950s-era commercials, or head to the Internet Archive and download a few to watch later. It’s trippy, historic fun.

Filk Day

Today we celebrate a very special fan of Pure Geek, writer and technology expert extraordinaire, Bill Mullis! Since we missed his birthday, we’re declaring a holiday for one of his geeky passions, filk music. If you’ve never experienced filk music because you go to the all-night George Romero movie marathons at the con, you’ve missed one of the great joys of fandom. Filk has been around for decades, providing science fiction lovers with a creative outlet and social interaction way before Facebook came along.

Since we couldn’t find a suitable video of Bill singing filk, we’ve done the next best thing and turned to the Internet. Enjoy the Firefly filk above, or the Star Trek one below. You’ll need the practice, because the summer con season is now underway!

It’s Towel Day. But wait, there’s more!

Don’t forget your towel, and don’t panic! Towel Day celebrates the work of author Douglas Adams, who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Feel free to celebrate any way you want, you zarkin’ frood—read a book, show off your “42” tattoo or lay down in front of a demolition if you’re feeling very brave and somewhat stupid.

This is also Geek Pride Day, a chance to wear your dice bag out in the open or argue over the virtues of Apple vs. Linux.

Of course, this is Star Wars Day, the annual celebration of the first movie’s release date in 1977, which was really the fourth movie and the official first movie was released fourth. Confused you are? It all makes sense in a galaxy far, far away.

Finally, May 25 marks a tongue-in-cheek serious note ( like there’s any other kind with Discworld fans.) This is Wear the Lilac Day, which mixes a fictional holiday with a real cause in true nerd style. Originally written into the Discworld mythos by Pratchett as a day to remember those lost in the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road, it’s now also a day for fans to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Disease, which Pratchett now suffers from.

This day is the holidapocalypse for geek celebrations—pick one, or get creative with the costuming and go for all four. Personally, we think that a towel-toting Jedi with a lilac corsage and duct-taped glasses would sweep any costume contest held today. No matter how you celebrate, enjoy being the awesome geeks you all are!

Photo credit: Flickr/markbult

Star Wars Day

It’s Star Wars Day! Why? Because the only thing geeks love more than free comic books (which is tomorrow, by the way) are puns. May the Fourth Be With You is the day’s traditional greeting, so consider this your personal “Take a Jedi to Work” Day and whip out your light saber during a long, boring meeting.

In addition to driving your co-workers crazy today, you can also celebrate by watching the nifty video above from the folks at Lego which condenses the original trilogy in just over two minutes.

5 Geeky Alternatives to Valentine’s Day

If you’re tired of candy, dead flowers and backstreet massacres on Valentine’s Day, try out another holiday on Feb. 14!

Too cheap to buy a Valentine's Day card? Send this as an ecard with the link above.

MacGyver Day

(03/07/2012-Note: We see you out there tripping through the blog stats, RDA fans. Although usually each post expires in three days, we’ve seen enough of you come here looking for a little 70s eye candy with your fave, so this post from RDA’s birthday, Jan. 23, is going back up just for you.)


If you have a stick of gum, a piece of wire and a handy wisecrack, you’ll sail through MacGyver Day, also known as the birthday of Richard Dean Anderson. Before he struck it awesome with the seminal 1980s show, Anderson worked as a street mime, Marineland whale prop and soap opera hottie.

While it’s hard to forget MacGyver, the man who could make anything happen, geeks (and especially geekettes) know him as the sarcastic yet true blue Col. Jack O’Neill from Stargate SG-1. In that show, he was killed, beaten up, exploded, frozen, cloned, invaded by an alien Wikipedia and worst of all, promoted to General.

For a moment even MacGyver couldn’t get him out of, catch the video above of RDA rockin’ in the 1970s.

The Geek Gift Hint List

Have clueless relatives who wouldn’t know a Browncoat if he stole their pretty floral bonnet? Friends who don’t understand why you cackle hysterically when you talk about how many slots a toaster has? Help them understand your nerdy gift needs with this handy list!

Clip & save for your bizarrely normal friends, or send it as an e-card!

Buck Rogers Day

It’s almost 2012, and we still don’t have those jetpacks.

This influential radio show hit the airwaves today in 1932 after the huge success of Phillip Nowlan’s comic strip. How inspirational can death rays be? They lit a spark in a young Ray Bradbury and brought about other heroes such as Flash Gordon.

Guess everyone wanted in on that Wilma Deering/Ardala sandwich, because Buck Rogers went on to star in novels, films, and two television series, including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which aired from 1979 to 1981 on NBC. Geeks of a certain age still have soft spots in their hearts for Gil Gerard, Erin Gray and even Twiki.

If you want to get back to Buck’s early years, though, you can still listen to episodes of the Buck Rogers radio serial online. It’s a slower pace of action than today’s smash-boom-angst movies, but these episodes are a mind-bending slice of history as you go back in time to hear them go forward in time.