Blog Archives

In an alternate universe: Event 20 (or “Hey Bergman, why so serious?”)

The following short film, Jeg Med Døden (I With Death), is directed by Ross Murray (who I am proud to call “brother”) and stars Taylor H. Wright as “I” and Jordan Thompson as “Death.”

Upon viewing this film you may find yourself thinking of the 1957 Swedish film Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal) directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow as a knight of the Crusades who plays chess with Death for the fate of the knight’s soul.  Thus, this three-minute video made me think the following thought:

In an alternate universe, Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal was written with humor in mind, and is considered one of the most astute comedies of all time.

Behold, Jeg Med Døden! *WARNING! This video may not be appropriate for all audiences.*


In an alternate universe: Event 19 (or “Less carbonite required”)

In an alternate universe, the actor Peter Dinklage (best known as “The Half Man,” Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones) was born decades earlier, allowing him to beat out Harrison Ford for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV.

Not only does Dinklage successfully pull off the role due to genuine “leading man” qualities, but his physical stature lends itself to combat-related scenes in which he rides Chewbacca piggyback style, while shooting his blaster.  This also occurs in Empire Strikes Back in the scenes with a dissembled C-3PO strapped to the Wookiees’s back in Cloud City, on the planet Bespin.

Harrison Ford still became a household name in the Indiana Jones films, though the fourth film in that franchise was never made.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 243 (or Intergalactic gladiatorial arenas and personal dream sequences)

You recently had a dream that you accidentally traveled through an Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridge (also known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge or “wormhole”) connecting two points in space-time.

Upon arriving at the wormhole’s other end, you find yourself held captive by a group of aliens from the Predator film franchise, who force you to fight in an intergalactic gladiatorial arena alongside fellow captives Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Chicago-area wizard and private detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden from The Dresden Files novels.

Throughout the remainder of the dream, you embark on a journey of survival with these characters in which you repeatedly attempt to get a letter of recommendation from Data endorsing your application to Starfleet Academy, as well as secure a wizard’s apprenticeship with Dresden.

A farewell to “Fringe”…

The J. J. Abrams television series Fringe recently ended its five-year run on FOX, leaving an empty space in the world of nerds that was once filled with alternate universes, Red Vines, bald mystery men, and “show-me” cards.  As a tribute, we thought it appropriate to show a couple of YouTube videos that pay homage to the show, and its most unique character, Dr. Walter Bishop, portrayed by John Noble.


This compilation highlights many funny Walter Bishop moments up to 2010. If you have yet to see the show, this video will give you a taste of some rather great moments for which to anticipate.

This is a rather sentimental tribute video to the show's journey, but Fringe deserve some sentiment… it was a truly solid television series.

In an alternate universe: Event 18 (or “Hey, kid… read the fine print.”)

In an alternate universe, the much-beloved story, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, which was Francis P. Church’s response to a girl’s 1897 query to the The New York Sun concerning the existence of Santa Claus, did not gain popularity as a Christmas classic.  This was caused by the much darker tone in Church’s alternate universe response, which was titled, Hey, Virginia, Just Who The Hell Have You Been Talking to, Young Lady?

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 200 (or wisdom from Gilead )

When a person familiar with your reading habits recently stubbed their toe on a piece of furniture in your presence, uttering a curse in reaction to the pain, you respond by saying, “Ya know, ‘pain rises, from the heart to the head.'”

They then reply, “Let me guess, that’s another Dark Tower quote, right?”

You answer, “Good guess.”

Our level of the Dark Tower (or I cry your pardon…)

Long days and pleasant nights, avid reader!

While, I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve forgotten the face of my father, I cry your pardon for this overdue post.  Relatives from New York (not so fast, sai… they’re from this when, I say thankee) and more family from across the pond required my attention this past Saturday.  Though time is a face on the water, time does move but one way on this level of the Tower, so I was forced to make the hard choice to provide two extra posts on this day in order to honor our khef.  Ya ken khef, I hope… ’tis the sharing of water (or in our case, nerdy ideas).

So, behold, my ka-tet of readers… two more posts shall follow this one, by watch and by warrant.

May your days be long upon the earth!

— Brandon, Proprietor and “would-be” Wordslinger


How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 191 (or “A rose by any other name…”)

Your fondness for the Dark Tower books has led you to promise yourself that if you ever start a company you will investigate the possibility of naming it the Tet Corporation or North Central Positronics.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 190 (or Mid-World telemarketing techniques)

You are contacted by a telemarketer, who is attempting to sell you a service you do not want or need.  When they refuse to take “No” for an answer, you decide it would be funny to speak to them in the parlance of a Mid-World resident from the Dark Tower book series.

You then say the following statement, which causes the telemarketer to become very confused and you then hang up: “By the Turtle, I said no thankee-sai! Life for your crop!”

Mission accomplished…

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 187 (or in the style of Arthur Eld…)

The following Dark Tower book series phrases are just a few among many, which are now part of your lexicon of conversational tools:

1) “Thankee-sai.”

2) “I cry your pardon.”

3) “I’d set my watch and warrant on it.”

4) “I wot.”

5) “Ka is like a wheel.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 184 (or fun with fictional locations)

On a recent trip, you chose to answer your friend’s question, “Where are you now?” with the following Dark Tower reference as a response:

“I think this must be the Barony of Mejis.  Maybe there is a saloon around here with a Watch Me game I can join.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 182 (or “All things serve the Beam…”)

In all the recent trips taken by those whom you know, you find it disappointing that no one is going to travel southeast because it has prevented you from making a Dark Tower reference by saying, “Oh, you’re following the path of the Path of the Beam.”

In an alternate universe: Event 15 (or a different kind of “Taxi Driver”)

In an alternate universe, the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver has a different feel to it, as all of the taxi drivers in New York City drive rickshaws instead of automobiles.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 149 (or “Sliders” was doing it all wrong… )

When you watched the former FOX/Scifi Channel (before the SYFY renaming) showSliders, starring Jerry O’Connell, for the first time in years, you kept criticizing the show aloud.  However, these weren’t criticisms of the show’s production.  Instead, you criticized the lack of scientific record keeping that took place as the small group of people randomly traveled to parallel universes.

Even though the “timing device” that opened portals for them was set on random, you couldn’t believe that the two group members who were quantum physicists never bothered to keep a notebook with any unique identifying numbers, etc., that the timer generated on each trip to another Earth, in order to attempt some kind of cataloging system that labeled the various universes for further study or just later reference.  Also, the characters would often spend time trying to find out the specific history of the universe they were visiting, but you never noticed them retaining any of the notes or documentation they found.  Its not like they couldn’t carry the information in a backpack.

Who wouldn’t want a Jimi Hendrix album recorded live in the 1990s, for example?

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 148 (or “Slacker” science)

You recently watched Richard Linklater’s 1991 film Slacker for the first time.  During an opening monologue given by Linklater himself, as he plays a person who is riding in a cab, you actually say aloud, “Wow… that must be what I sound like to most people!”

Why?  Well, you realize during the scene that you’ve talked about the very subject on which he speaks, including having made many of the same postulations, in previous conversations over the years.  You spend the rest of the film trying to decide if this is good or bad, but never seem to reach a definitive conclusion.
This is the exact scene in question:

In an alternate universe: Event 14 (or AI programs for everyone!)

In an alternate universe, everyone is assigned a personalized artificial intelligence program to serve as a tutor, language translator, and confidant.  Each person gets to name their AI.  Mine would be called Oberon.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 133 (or wake up… and consult a physicist)

You have become a fan of the new NBC drama Awake, starring Jason Isaacs, as a police detective who was in a car wreck with his wife and teenage son.  He then wakes up each day to alternating versions of the wreck’s aftermath.  One morning, his wife is his fellow survivor, but once he falls asleep, he awakens to a reality in which his son survived.  The act of falling asleep acts as a switch that sends him back and forth between these realities, in which he sees different shrinks and has different investigative partners.

The show centers around the idea, as suggested through the two shrinks, that one reality is true and the other reality is an elaborate dream, and he should figure out which one is real for the sake of his sanity.  However, you are becoming increasingly frustrated because the show completely ignores the idea that neither reality is a dream.  You believe that his consciousness is being bounced back and forth between two parallel universes.  You further believe that the professional help he really needs is that of a quantum physicist.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 132 (or science fiction stereotyping)

A relative decides it would be fun to watch television with you so the two of you can spend time together, but as you are attempting to play something from your DVR they ask, “This isn’t one of those shows that takes place in outer space, or a parallel universe, or has vampires, or some crazy killer, is it?”

To which you roll your eyes and reply, “Of course not. That would make it fun. Oh, look… a reality show about snooty ‘housewives!’ Now that’s entertainment!”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 115 (or the “Big Bang Theory” character amalgamation)

More than one person has commented that you are like a character from the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, about a group of friends who are nerdy science academics.  Unfortunately, a case can be made for comparison between yourself and more than one of the characters, thanks to examples not unlike the following:

Within the course of two hours, during a Christmas function in December 2011, your “go-to” conversation topics consisted of historical trivia about Theodore Roosevelt, two jokes related to quantum physics, an explanation of issues related to your seasonal allergies, a discussion of a comedy sketch you wrote for an as-yet-to-be-filmed Web-based sketch comedy project for which you were asked to collaborate, and Batman.

In an alternate universe: Event 13

In an alternate universe, public schools in the United States offer martial arts and meditation courses to students as an alternative to gym class.